MLBRT 7/2… Perfect game… All-Star fix & more

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We almost got to see a perfect game tossed… but it was an elbow away from happening…

So, of course the crew pitches in with their views on that wayward elbow and whether it was the right thing to do or against an unwritten rule of the game.

That and some speculation on how to fix the All-star voting and what would happen if they caught a ball that was a part of the games history… like ARod’s 3000th hit.

All of that and more in this week’s edition of the Round Table…

1) Max Scherzer missed a perfect game by one pitch… with a two strike count on Jose Tabata, a ball that was slightly inside struck Tabata on his padded elbow. It appeared as if he made no effort to move away from the pitch and, in fact, seemed to have dipped his elbow into the pitch. A MLB rule says a batter must make an effort to avoid being hit but that rule is “never” called.

jose-tabata-hit-by-pitch-max-scherzerA lot of announcers, and others on social media, complained about Tabata seemingly getting hit on purpose. Tabata said it was his job to get on base in any way possible. He later said that he did not get hit by the pitch on purpose.

What’s your opinion? Did Tabata break an unwritten rule, as well as maybe a written one, to break up the perfect game or did he just do his job to give his team a chance to win?

Archie1Archie: Actually, either way I answer this I will feel I am wrong.

The “unwritten” rules of baseball is that traditional piece about playing the game “right” and “professionally. There are many of those. Things like “You don’t cross over the mound on your way back to the dugout.” “You don’t steal bases when you are up by a ton of runs.” “Thou shalt not steal the opponent’s signs”, “You don’t show up the pitcher on a homerun trot” and then “You don’t lean into a pitch to get hit on purpose”. unwritten 2

Now, that I have stated some of those… let’s look at how they apply in today’s game?

Uh, not at all that I can tell. Traditions are being forced out of baseball behind the smoke screen of all the other issues surrounding the game. Managers are so quick to be fired and players are so greedy the game itself is not as important as their careers.

I had to go and look at the stats for Jose Tabata to see what a kind of a player he was. I could not recall his name or his association to any highlight reel, and, I’ll bet most others could not either. But, now, he will be remembered as that “guy” that cost Scherzer a perfect game for “cheating”. Well, isn’t the umpiring crew responsible for deciding IF he made an attempt to get out of the way? Whether Tabata did or did NOT attempt to move is irrelevant; the umpires are still responsible for making that decision. Like stated above the rule is “never” called, so…..? NO TEAM likes to have a no hitter thrown against them let alone a perfect game.

MLB and their lax rules of equipment that batters can wear is part of the problem. Barry Bonds used to come to the plate looking more like a gladiator entering the arena at times more than a batter. With all the specialized padding these days taking one to the noggin is about the only fear batters have. AND IF they are facing a “soft” thrower they don’t fear even that. As soon as technology reaches the point that pads can be added to a player’s entire body without restricting movement or creating overheating then players will become virtually robots at the plate.

Player’s want to lean into one; fine, but let’s take away all protective gear UNLESS they have a listed medical issue in that area covered as prescribed by an independent doctor.

Dan: I understand the whole “unwritten” rules in baseball and such, but, really, this isn’t that big of a deal.hbp

Just because a player almost has a perfect game doesn’t mean you just give up and give it to him. You still have to try your best each plate appearance you get. Tabata did the right move in getting hit by the pitch. He got on base and gave another opportunity to his team so they could win.

And, that’s what it’s all about. Winning and losing. You need to be perfect. He wasn’t perfect. Wasn’t Tabata’s fault. I have no problem with what Tabata did.

E.J. 12Earl: Tabata did his job and got on base, but, the whole thing feels so cheap.

Scherzer pitched a marvelous game and to have a perfect game ruined in such a way, sucks. Tabata leaned in and drew contact and got on base. I know there are rules, both written and unwritten, and at the end of the day I really have no problem with what Tabata did, but it does kind of suck.

It does.

Scherzer after HBP
Scherzer after HBP

major leagueJoe: When I saw this on TV, I thoughtTbabata kind of dipped his elbow into the pitch and my reaction was “that really sucks!”

Scherzer, to his credit, in a post game interview essentially said stuff happens and you just gotta move on and win the game.

Tabata, at first, did say he his job was to get on base any way that he could to help his team win… he later said that according to how Scherzer was throwing that type of pitch earlier in the game that he expected the ball it to break a certain way and it didn’t and he couldn’t react to it to avoid getting hit.

My feeling? Whatever. Scherzer pitched a great game and did get a no-hitter. Tabata knows whether he dipped into the pitch or not but when I reflect back… regardless… Tabata’s right his job is to get on base and prolong the game in any way that he can.

Steve 01Steve: Well, I have two responses to this.

Do I think he intentionally got his? No, but ,I do think he made zero effort to get out of the way. I don’t fault Tabata at all for doing his job and trying to get on base. It was the fault of the umpire who did not call the fact that he made no effort to get out of the way.

If, you look at the pitch from Scherzer, yes it was a little inside, but, Tabata was crowding the plate, and, the pitch was actually a borderline strike. Tabata got hit, end of story. The umpire should have called it a ball and he should have never been awarded first base. He didn’t and it is what it is.

Credit to Matt Williams for not going on and arguing the call, thus breaking up Scherzer’s momentum, and, credit Scherzer for not breaking down and then getting the next out. 

thU4HH7BJ52) Last week a question dealt with the All-Star game voting and what some would call “fan ballot box stuffing” vis-à-vis loading up the AS game with Royals… regardless of what was thought about the possible Royal’s dominated AS lineup, to a man we all pretty much agreed that the All-Star game voting need to be fixed…

What would you do to quick fix the All-Star game voting?

Archie1Archie: For me the ASG has lost its luster that it once had. I no longer feel like I am watching the best in the business but more so I am watching those large market teams heroes OR those promoted the most by ESPN. For instance, my Step-Daughter has never ONCE watched more than an inning or two of a game but she liked “Derek Jeter” and bought all his market crap. She was not fan enough to log on and vote NOR did she ever watch the ASG but in her mind Jeter was the best player in ALL of MLB; even his last couple of years.

Okay, fine but when that same mentality reaches those that are fans enough to log on and vote, it taints the process before it even gets started. Those that are fans of a certain team and/or player will ALWAYS let their bias dictate their votes. We will NEVER see the most deserving at each position as long as this is in place. I guess I just reiterated the opening issue and did not really answer the question didn’t I?

Okay, here it is:thDMM9VQ70

First, shorten the time frame fans can vote. There is no reason in hell for the balloting to begin prior to 1 June of each season.

Then, second, at the same time frame of 1 June, the ballots should ONLY include the top five players at each position in the infield and top 8 of the outfield from each league that fans can vote on (given we still allow fan voting to count, and I will get to that in a moment) as Determined by either the MLBPA or the players themselves. That’s right, let their peers decide WHO should be on the ballot. That way NO Player can ever say they were “jilted” by the fans IF THEIR own don’t deem them worthy enough to make the ballot. There might instances where you still hear some barking if the player is an “asshole” to begin with and his peers can’t stand him, but, really, do you want that cancerous piece of crap on your All Star team to begin with?

Third, now you have the ballot as picked by the players and/or MLBPA, from this point either the fans can vote for the starting lineup OR the Manager for each league can pick from each of the position selections for his starting lineup and let the total fan votes gained by each player fill the other bench spots (the highest two at each position).

And, I really don’t see how this would be a problem with the pitching selection as well, keeping in mind that any pitcher that starts on the Sunday before the game is ineligible to pitch in the game itself.

Doing it this way I feel that we would have a more legitimate shot at having the “best” among the players on the field and not sitting home watching because they did not receive enough votes.  AND if they did NOT receive enough votes it was due to their own keeping them out.

Dan: Honestly, I wouldn’t even have an All-Star game. I feel like it’s just a waste of time and a exhibition game that shouldn’t be played.thENJ6B2KP

But, in all honesty, I would change it to 1 vote per person instead of their current set-up of 35 votes per email address. That’s it, 1 vote per email. Or, you can do 1 vote per day per email.

But, really, I feel like 1 vote per email is the best solution. You’ll still have people who have a million emails voting a million times but you can’t stop that.

E.J. 12Earl: I haven’t watched the All-Star Game in years. However, I did vote a few months ago, and I voted multiple times for several Mets and Blue Jays players. And,that’s problem number one, right there.

Limit the fan vote to one per email address.

Now, you might have people create multiple addresses to jam the box, but, if you have time to do that, then I need to question your life. Like you ain’t got nothing else better to do?

major leagueJoe: Don’t allow the fans to vote… that ain’t gonna happen.unnamed9

Then limit the amount a fan can vote to being just once… that could happen but probably won’t.

So here’s something I saw that I think could work… have the players select the top 5 players at each position and then let the fans vote from that list. 

Steve 01Steve: I said it last week on this very forum. Fans should not be able to control who plays in the all star game. Allow them the final spot per league to vote on. This is typically five guys who deserve to be there, and, the fans can vote on that. Have the players vote on the best players, they will get it right.

3) Not long after AROD slugged a home run for his 3,000th career hit, the fan who caught the ball said he wasn’t giving it back to the player or the NY Yankees. Now, Zack Hample seems to have changed his mind and according to the New York Daily News he has reached out to Rodriguez on Twitter and has been talking to the Yankees. Included in any exchange for the ball would be a donation to Hample’s favorite charity, Pitch In For Baseball plus some stuff for himself.

So… you have just caught a player’s 3000th hit, or, a record breaking HR, etc… what would you do with the ball?

Archie1Archie: For me, I guess it would definitely make a difference as to the player that hit the ball and the situation.

For someone like Hank Aaron, I would surely be tempted to hand him the ball for an autographed ball in return.ARod;s 3000th

For A-Rod , he is going to have to make me a real sweet offer to get it back. I’m talking at least six figures for me to ever part with it back to him. I might be convinced to give it to the HOF should he ever be enshrined, however, I KNOW for a fact HE would never benefit from that ball in any form or fashion WITHOUT coming off of some of his gains.

Dan: I’m going to need a couple thousand dollars to give it back. And, I’m going to need to get some stuff in return for that ball too.

How bad do you want it? If, you don’t want to pay up like that, I’m not giving it to you and I’ll sell it on eBay or on online somewhere. Simple as that.

But, they’ll need to give me some incentives to it give back. I’m definitely going to need money.

E.J. 12Earl: What would I want?

A picture, an autograph, season tickets in a good section, and, a few thousand dollars. I wouldn’t just hand it over. It’s commendable, but, damn that. I got bills, and, I want some shit. So come up off the tickets, snap a pic so I can post it and tag you on the ‘gram and give me some racks.

Racks!!

major leagueJoe: Me? I want a meet and greet and pictures taken…

Officials try to get ARod 3,000th hit
Officials try to get ARod 3,000th hit

Then I want stuff…  a signed ball and bat by the record breaker and a signed team ball and some tickets…. real good tickets to some future games and I don’t mean in a suite… I want first row either behind the batter’s circle or the corner of the dugout.

Steve 01Steve: I thought about this after I saw that Hample was “undecided” on what to do with the ball. I don’t believe him for one second when he says that he has over 8000 balls collected from home runs, foul balls, and what not. Unless that it is he goes to a lot of High School games, but, then, I think they have to give those back.

If I were Hemple, I keep the ball and sell it. Call me selfish, but these guys make millions of dollars. If I was fortunate enough to hit the jackpot and catch one of these elite balls, I would absolutely sell it. Now to be fair, I would give that player first crack at it, and would not be stingy and request an obscene amount of money. However, I would want what the ball was worth.

 

4) The College World Series best-of-three Finals was played last week with Virginia winning over Vanderbilt… did you pay it any attention at all?

Archie1Archie: Uh No, I am sad to say.

I did not even see it advertised or on any of the typical sports channels I watch. I was busy entertaining guest during that time span and did not have the TV on very much, but, at the same time the CWS did not even cross my mind. I typically watch it every year but for the reasons listed I missed it this year. And, to be quite honest, it does not really bother me much that I missed it.

Dan: No, the only attention I paid it was if my picks won for ESPN’s Streak for the Cash. Other than that, I didn’t care.thC81NFCHK

Never really have gotten into college baseball because no teams are broadcast anywhere nearby me. The only team close to me who play baseball is UWM, but, they’ve been awful for years and are never broadcasted on TV or radio. Therefore, I have no idea who the players are and the only baseball that matters to me is the MLB.

E.J. 12Earl: Didn’t watch a second. I did hear about the kid from Vandy that the Diamondbacks drafted number one overall had some struggles but I didn’t watch.

Virginia wins its 1st CWS
Virginia wins its 1st CWS

Congrats to the University of Virginia for winning though. Props to them.

major leagueJoe: I watched the CWS off and on…

I flipped channels  back and forth from MLB to the CWS.

Steve 01Steve: I did watch the College World Series Championship. I loved watching the stellar pitching from both teams. It was an unlikely run for Virginia, who from what many say, had no business even being in the Regionals. They had to win to even get in, then went on a roll. The story was great, and the games were just as exciting. Two shutouts and a two run finale, where Virginia came from behind to win. Was good TV. 

5) During a game last week between the Cubs and the Dodgers Kris Bryant was remove from the game and in the 3rd inning and the team said he was removed with flu-like symptoms.

According to CBSSports.com, “Almost immediately, there was speculation Bryant had to leave the game because he was hung over, not because of the flu.” CBS added, “Flu-like symptoms is a pretty common baseball vernacular for being hung over, especially when a player sits out a day game.”

On Friday 6/24), Bryant denied having a hangover and tweeted to reporters: “I think if u know type of person I am, you know what I believe in. A trade would be more believable.”

1) Is this even worth the time and space involved to report about… i.e. much ado about nothing?

2) Do you care?

Archie1Archie: No and No, until of course it becomes problematic like Josh Hamilton.thJWRF13EK

While a young budding star like Bryant could easily succumb to the pressure and head down the road to destruction, IF, it was hangover symptoms and not the flu, as a manager, I would take him aside, read him the riot act and then move on like nothing ever happened. Until of course, it did happen again.

Dan: No, I don’t care. No, I don’t think this is even worth reporting.

Unless they have hard, substantial evidence he was out drinking the night before and he got to the point where he was hung over and couldn’t perform on the field would this come up as an issue. But, this is all just speculation, so, to me, I take it as being a story made out of nothing.

E.J. 12Earl: Is the kid over 21 years old? He is? Then why the hell would I care if the kid had a hangover. We all got “flu like” symptoms every now and again. Shoot, I get them frequently.

However, if, the kid was legit sick then cut him a break and get off his back with this much ado about nothing B.S.

major leagueJoe: This is not worth the time spent on it speculating about stuff nobody really has any proof about. So, unless someone has some evidence this guy has a drinking problem and this will become a habitual thing then peeps need to STFU and quit making noise about stupid stuff.thQPZD44LR

Besides even if it were true he was that sick from a hangover… as long as it’s not a habitual thing and is an isolated circumstance.. shit happens.. so back off and give Bryant the benefit of the doubt.

If, on the other hand he has to leave more than a few more  games with “flulike symptoms”… then that’s another ball game entirely.

Steve 01Steve: It appears as if the writers are bored and have nothing better to do than to write rumors about a young up and coming superstar.

First of all, if, he was hungover, he still went out there and played, so credit to him. And, if, I recall, he was back in the lineup the next day. I could care less what the reason he went out of the game is, flu like, hungover, it doesn’t matter to me. Kris Bryant is a superstar in the making. 

Extra question… Let’s revisit Max…

Max Scherzer has been treading around in historical territory as of late… in his first start after his no-hitter he took a perfect game into the sixth inning in his bid to become the second pitcher in major league history to throw two consecutive no-hitters. He won the game but had no no-hitter and actually gave up two runs and five hits in 8 innings.

Once again, Johnny Vander Meer, who threw two straight no-hitters for the Cincinnati Reds in June 1938, stands alone with that accomplishment. FYI: The deepest a pitcher took a no-hitter after throwing one was Nolan Ryan in 1973, when he allowed a hit with no outs in the eighth.

Max celebrates no-hitter
Max celebrates no-hitter

Back to Max… In his previous two games Scherzer threw the referenced no-no and prior to that threw a one-hitter, striking out 16, in his previous start.

Scherzer has taken a no-hitter into the sixth inning in three straight starts. In his those three starts he has struck out 33 batters and walked one.

In your opinion how good is Scherzer right now and how do you think his stats will measure up by season’s end? We talking a season for the ages or what?

Archie1Archie: IF, the season finished today his ERA+ would put him tied for 26th on the All Time list. Pedro Martinez had four seasons better. Roger Clemens had three better or tied. Greg Maddux had two seasons that were better in his career. I am stating this for the simple reason that Scherzer is flirting with HOF caliber numbers this season.

Of course, he has to finish and with the hitting numbers for the NL East opponents either middle of the pack or at the bottom of the NL he stands a good chance of finishing about where he is right now. IF, he finished close to his current numbers it will be a season for the ages. Personally, barring any injuries, I feel his game is at its peak and I see no reason why he should not finish strong.

Dan:  I think he’ll have a very good year and compete for the Cy Young Award, but, I don’t think this will scherzerbe a season for the ages. He’s just on fire currently but he’ll cool down.

I do think he’ll be top 3 in the Cy Young voting.

E.J. 12Earl: He’s on fire right now, and, he’ll definitely be in the Cy Young conversation, barring injury, but I can’t go as far and say “season for the ages”.

He’s definitely must see television when he pitches, but he’ll likely come back down to Earth.

major leagueJoe: Hell, if, this guy keeps pitching like he has for these three game then he will have one of the all time great seasons that few if any will ever be able to match… he’ll be right up there with some of the greats that I have ever seen… Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson or Pedro Martinez type years…

Not perfect but still great...
Not perfect but still great…

Personally, I think he’ll come back to Earth a bit, but, still wind up having a hell of a damn good season and be in the running for the Cy Young award.

But… ya never know… we could be on the brink of seeing one of the all time great pitching years ever.

Steve 01Steve: Max Scherzer is the most dominant pitcher in baseball right now. Is he having a season for the ages? I would say no to that as he is just 9-5. His ERA is below 2.00 which is amazing, but has been done before.

I would say however, that he is having a run for the ages. The way he is pitching right now, he should have another 20 game winning season, and, may be the favorite to win his second Cy Young Award.

Question is, can he keep it up, and history would show that he has the durability to do just that.

Extra Innings…

The baseball record that may never be broken?

th251JYXKT100_2919

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  1. Before the ASG can be “fixed,” there has to be agreement regarding what it should be. The two principle options now seem to be (1) a display of the current best of the sport and (2) a party to celebrate, clown, and promote the sport (although it is not clear what the target audience is). These two objectives are sometimes in conflict.

    If the first objective is to be satisfied, then the selection process must be radically adjusted. Perhaps this should be done by requiring specific abilities in both defense and offense from the candidates. There would likely have to be severely restricted voting rights (if not outright elimination of them altogether). Several other issues should be attended to such as how it is promoted and how it is used to promote other things, and rejecting the unwritten rule that all those designated as “all-stars” should participate in the game if possible.

    If the second objective is to be satisfied, then any effort to consider the ASG “serious” should be eliminated. In particular, the rule that the league which wins the ASG gets the home field “advantage” for the World Series must go. Other things deemed as “frivolous” (and/or “commercial”) should be eliminated.

    Which was to go is a matter of choice, of course. My choice would be to take the ASG seriously, but I understand that in a market-driven economy the popular choice would likely be for a more “showy” type of game. And so my prediction for the future of the game is a hypocritical approach which keeps the game the hermaphrodite that it is now.

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