The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Baseball fans: your opinion? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3 [Next]
0pus
View Profile
Inner circle
New Jersey
1739 Posts

Profile of 0pus
It was malicious.

Utley has a history.

I think the Dodgers should be sanctioned as well.
Bob1Dog
View Profile
Inner circle
Wife: It's me or this houseful of
1159 Posts

Profile of Bob1Dog
^ +1
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
stoneunhinged
View Profile
Inner circle
3079 Posts

Profile of stoneunhinged
Friends,

I wrote a very long post yesterday, but for some reason I was unable to post it because I could no longer connect to the server.

I'll try to be very short this time.

MLB's decision to suspend Utley is OK, but their reasoning is bizarre.

Contrary to what some people seem to think here, Utley broke no official MLB rule. Lobo's rule reference was to a rule ADDED to lower levels of baseball, NOT to an offical rule. (For those who care, though I think few do, Lobo was referring to rule 7.08.(a)3; MLB official rules have a 7.08.(a)1 and 2, and then proceeds to 7.08.(b).) In other words, the rule Lobo cited is generally used by Little League and Pony League and other leagues that find it a good idea. Maybe the MLB should add it too, but it hasn't so far. So "maliciousness" in this play is entirely irrelevant, so matter how much people might like it to be.

What MLB claimed is that he broke the rule regarding running in the baseline. But he clearly didn't.

The baseline rule (again, for those interested) is one of the most misunderstood rules in baseball. I might even have written about it before here at the Café. Most people think there is are baselines between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd line there is between home and first. But there isn't. This often causes extreme confusion, even among *expert* commentators. The REAL baseline between 1st and 2nd doesn't exist until a tag is made. If a guy were fast enough--Ricky Henderson on steroids--he could, after the ball was batted, run to kiss the pitcher, then run out to right field and tell a joke to the right fielder, then head toward centerfield and start moseying toward 2nd. Then, when the 2nd baseman has the ball and steps toward Ricky in center with the ball in his glove, the baseline comes into existence. At this point Ricky must run a straight line toward the 2nd base bag. What he CANNOT do is run circles around the 2nd baseman trying to avoid the tag. Still: the baseline is now between centerfield and 2nd base.

So in the Utley play, there is literally no reasonable argument that he left the baseline. Heck--he would have actually touched the bag with his left hand had he not been so interested in sliding into Tejada in order to break up the double play.

When I mentioned "intention" above, it was because I thought that maybe the ruling would be a claim of interference. But it wasn't, so intention is irrelevant. And by the way, intention is usually irrelevant in most baseball plays.

I suppose what most here who side against Utley are thinking is that he was acting "unsportsmanlike". Maybe he was. But he wasn't acting illegally unsportsmanlike. If an MLB player wants to get ejected from a game, the easiest thing to do is insult the umpire. A physical collision--even if intentional--is (the exception of interferring or obstructing)generally allowed by MLB rules.

MLB DID change the rule handling catcher/runner collisions, and they certainly have the opportunity to change the rule regarding breaking up double plays. But they haven't so far, and Utley did nothing illegal. The baseline ruling is simply wrong, so Utley has an excellent chance for an appeal on the MLB's ruling. The umpires on the field made the call exactly according to official rules.

Oh, one point about that last point: official rules are differently enforced because of reviewing. Before reviewing was introduced, Utley would have always been considered out at 2nd. Neighborhood play and all that. But I'm boring y'all now, so I'll stop.

Final disclaimer: I'm one of rarest of baseball fans who--mainly because I have lived so little in the USA--doesn't really have a permanent favorite team. So I'm impartial here. I'm just approaching it as a rules junkie.
Bob1Dog
View Profile
Inner circle
Wife: It's me or this houseful of
1159 Posts

Profile of Bob1Dog
Maybe if you lived here longer and had a favorite team, who lost a major player to a guy with a history, you might feel differently. I think that Torre made the right decision. I have to believe he knows what he's doing vis-a-vis what we armchair folks think, or believe.
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
stoneunhinged
View Profile
Inner circle
3079 Posts

Profile of stoneunhinged
Maybe I would think he made an ethical decision, but he misapplied the rules.

I know my post was long, but the gist of it is that Utley did not break any official rule of Major League Baseball.

And the umpires on the field aren't in armchairs.
stoneunhinged
View Profile
Inner circle
3079 Posts

Profile of stoneunhinged
Re-reading my long post, I am embarrased by a wording error that makes things very misleading. I wrote, "tag is made", when I meant, "tag is attempted". This is relevant because only an attempted tag establishes a baseline between 1st and 2nd.

Lets get to the nitty gritty.

Here's the relevant portion of Torre's statement:

Quote:
...I believe his slide was in violation of Official Baseball Rule 5.09 (a)(13), which is designed to protect fielders from precisely this type of rolling block that occurs away from the base...


I'm not sure how much of the official rules I'm allowed to quote (due to copyright), but the best source is here:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2015/o......ules.pdf

Here is 5.09(a)(13) comment:

Quote:
The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner in leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously this is an umpire's judgment play.


I wish to emphasize, once again, the phrase "leaving the baseline". At no time did Utley leave the baseline, because it hadn't been established. There was literally no baseline for him to leave.

What interests rules junkies like me is this: is there a contradiction in 5.09.(a)(13)? During a typical double play attempt, the baseline is never established in time for the rule to take effect. So is the rule poorly written? I believe so.

In other words, the spirit of rule 5.09.(a)(13) may indeed apply, but the wording does not. Utley obviously (and I don't think anyone disagrees) had the "obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play", but he did not "leave the baseline" to do so. As far as "reaching the base" goes, you'll notice that while he obvously had no intention of sliding into the base with his legs (which were intended to take down Tajeda), he nevertheless had his left hand in position to touch the base. Also note that once he had been called out (assuming he was paying any attention to the umpire) he had no obligation to touch the base anymore anyway.

I love plays like this. They make us think through the rules.

Look, folks, I feel bad for Tajeda, and wish him a full and speedy recovery. And I generally dislike playing baseball "hard" in the way that Utley played it in this case.

But the OP asked about whether we thought the play was "legal" or not. And I cannot see that it was illegal in any way whatsoever according to the official rules of Major League Baseball.
mastermindreader
View Profile
V.I.P.
Seattle, WA
12589 Posts

Profile of mastermindreader
Why wasn't Utley called out at second? For years the rule has been that the defensive player at second only has to be in the "vicinity" of the base, not actually touching it. You can watch double plays all day where second base isn't actually touched. I know they have gotten stricter about this, but the purpose of the "vicinity" rule was to protect the second baseman.

Alternatively, Utley should have been called out because he never touched second base either.
LobowolfXXX
View Profile
Inner circle
La Famiglia
1191 Posts

Profile of LobowolfXXX
Quote:
On Oct 13, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
Re-reading my long post, I am embarrased by a wording error that makes things very misleading. I wrote, "tag is made", when I meant, "tag is attempted". This is relevant because only an attempted tag establishes a baseline between 1st and 2nd.

Lets get to the nitty gritty.

Here's the relevant portion of Torre's statement:

Quote:
...I believe his slide was in violation of Official Baseball Rule 5.09 (a)(13), which is designed to protect fielders from precisely this type of rolling block that occurs away from the base...


I'm not sure how much of the official rules I'm allowed to quote (due to copyright), but the best source is here:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2015/o......ules.pdf

Here is 5.09(a)(13) comment:

Quote:
The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner in leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously this is an umpire's judgment play.


I wish to emphasize, once again, the phrase "leaving the baseline". At no time did Utley leave the baseline, because it hadn't been established. There was literally no baseline for him to leave.

What interests rules junkies like me is this: is there a contradiction in 5.09.(a)(13)? During a typical double play attempt, the baseline is never established in time for the rule to take effect. So is the rule poorly written? I believe so.

In other words, the spirit of rule 5.09.(a)(13) may indeed apply, but the wording does not. Utley obviously (and I don't think anyone disagrees) had the "obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play", but he did not "leave the baseline" to do so. As far as "reaching the base" goes, you'll notice that while he obvously had no intention of sliding into the base with his legs (which were intended to take down Tajeda), he nevertheless had his left hand in position to touch the base. Also note that once he had been called out (assuming he was paying any attention to the umpire) he had no obligation to touch the base anymore anyway.

I love plays like this. They make us think through the rules.

Look, folks, I feel bad for Tajeda, and wish him a full and speedy recovery. And I generally dislike playing baseball "hard" in the way that Utley played it in this case.

But the OP asked about whether we thought the play was "legal" or not. And I cannot see that it was illegal in any way whatsoever according to the official rules of Major League Baseball.



Good catch on my quotation of a non-MLB rule...my online search obviously brought up the modified rules, and I didn't catch that. Having said that, how about...

"Rule 6.01
(6) If, in the judgment of the umpire, a base runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball with the obvious intent to break up a double play, the ball is dead. The umpire shall call the runner out for interference and also call out the batter-runner because of the action of his teammate. In no event may bases be run or runs scored because of such action by a runner"?

It's one thing to make the fielder's life difficult while attempting to advance bases; it's another thing when it's not in the process of advancement. Certainly (IMO), if the rules don't reflect this, they should. But I think starting a slide into a fielder after you've passed second base may fall under 6.01.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
stoneunhinged
View Profile
Inner circle
3079 Posts

Profile of stoneunhinged
I explained this, indirectly, Bob. What you called the "vicinity" is usually called a "neighborhood play," and in the past it was even encouraged to call an out when a fileder was close to the bag, precisely to give the fielder a bit of room to avoid contact with the runner. What happened here was the result of the new "instant replay review." Utley was called out--rghtly so according to pre instant replay review rules--but instant review replay showed that Tajeda didn't touch the bag. That meant that under review, Utley was safe.

There is a lot of irony in this play, which is why rules junkies like me will be talking about it for years. No instant replay? Utley was out. Instant replay? Not only was he safe, but he was entitled to a base he hadn't touched, even after intentionally but legally sliding into a fielder who ended up with a broken leg.

A couple of years ago I told y'all about the concept of a "train wreck" in the application of baseball rules. This is an example of one.
stoneunhinged
View Profile
Inner circle
3079 Posts

Profile of stoneunhinged
Lobo, rule 6.01 never came into question because Tajeda was not fielding a batted ball.
Bob1Dog
View Profile
Inner circle
Wife: It's me or this houseful of
1159 Posts

Profile of Bob1Dog
Quote:
On Oct 13, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:

And the umpires on the field aren't in armchairs.


Neither is Joe Torre.
Smile
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
S2000magician
View Profile
Inner circle
Yorba Linda, CA
3469 Posts

Profile of S2000magician
Quote:
On Oct 13, 2015, Bob1Dog wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 13, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:

And the umpires on the field aren't in armchairs.


Neither is Joe Torre.
Smile

Maybe he should be.

(Don't write: it's just a joke.)
LobowolfXXX
View Profile
Inner circle
La Famiglia
1191 Posts

Profile of LobowolfXXX
Quote:
On Oct 13, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
Lobo, rule 6.01 never came into question because Tajeda was not fielding a batted ball.



Another good catch. I'd say there's a glaring hole in the rules that should be fixed, but I agree with you...no violation as they currently exist.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
S2000magician
View Profile
Inner circle
Yorba Linda, CA
3469 Posts

Profile of S2000magician
Quote:
On Oct 13, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 13, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
Lobo, rule 6.01 never came into question because Tajeda was not fielding a batted ball.

Another good catch. I'd say there's a glaring hole in the rules that should be fixed, but I agree with you...no violation as they currently exist.

Lobo: my faith in you wanes.
LobowolfXXX
View Profile
Inner circle
La Famiglia
1191 Posts

Profile of LobowolfXXX
Sounds fair, but why in this instance? Smile
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
S2000magician
View Profile
Inner circle
Yorba Linda, CA
3469 Posts

Profile of S2000magician
Quote:
On Oct 13, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Sounds fair, but why in this instance? Smile

There are two spheres in which I thought you had unerring knowledge:

  • Law
  • Baseball

I've now been disillusioned in the latter.
LobowolfXXX
View Profile
Inner circle
La Famiglia
1191 Posts

Profile of LobowolfXXX
Quote:
On Oct 13, 2015, S2000magician wrote:

There are two spheres in which I thought you had unerring knowledge:



Wow, thought THAT?!

My faith in you wanes!
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
landmark
View Profile
Inner circle
within a triangle
4912 Posts

Profile of landmark
I rarely follow baseball anymore, but hasn't this been going on forever? Back in the day, one of my BB heroes was Maury Wills, and he was always spiking infielders.
LobowolfXXX
View Profile
Inner circle
La Famiglia
1191 Posts

Profile of LobowolfXXX
Quote:
On Oct 13, 2015, landmark wrote:
I rarely follow baseball anymore, but hasn't this been going on forever? Back in the day, one of my BB heroes was Maury Wills, and he was always spiking infielders.


What's been going on forever is the breaking up of a double play while heading for second base; here, though, the (main) issue is that Utley took Tejada out while (seemingly) not remotely making an effort to get to second base. It was just a pure slide tackle.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
stoneunhinged
View Profile
Inner circle
3079 Posts

Profile of stoneunhinged
Quote:
On Oct 13, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
... here, though, the (main) issue is that Utley took Tejada out while (seemingly) not remotely making an effort to get to second base. It was just a pure slide tackle.


Exactly.

And the rules shouldn't allow it, but they do.

I suspect that they will change the rules accordingly, since athletes are worth a heck of a lot more money without broken legs.

Another thought: Scarney baseball!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Baseball fans: your opinion? (0 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.28 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL