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Jim Furtado
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Rules Newsbeat

Friday, August 08, 2014

Bill James Mailbag - 8/6/14 - 8/8/14

But Jeff Bagwell’s son won’t pass for a while…

... do you think that baseball is best served if Felix and Kershaw et al are there pitching the whole game, and if their bodies can’t handle it, then the structure of baseball should adapt to allow for it?...

... I think it would be desirable to have cleaner matchup. “Conceptual clarity” sounds like an esoteric concept, but it is fundamental to the success of any esthetic medium. You go to a movie, you want to know what the movie is about. If you the plot line is a mess, it diminishes the movie. If a work of music is all over the place, we regard it as a failed effort. A baseball game of constantly changing pitchers is like a movie with a convoluted plot line: you don’t know what it is ABOUT.

... I disagree slightly with your observation that “A baseball game of constantly changing pitchers is like a movie with a convoluted plot line: you don’t know what it is ABOUT.” Actually, I think we know what it is about—it’s about the cleverness of the two managers in trying to out-maneuver one another with pitching changes and pinch hitters. The problem is that this is a really boring thing to watch.

Thanks. I think I agree with that.

...what are your thoughts on George “High Pockets” Kelly being in the HOF?

Oh, I used to get regular hate mail from George Kelly’s son. No ####; I really did. Kelly’s selection to the Hall of Fame was absurd, farcical. Bob Watson would have been a better Hall of Fame selection that George Kelly. But after I wrote things like that a few times I used to get nasty letters from George Kelly’s son, who I think was named Walter. I assume that Walter has passed on, because I haven’t heard from him for ten years.

... What can you tell us about the decision to turn Papelbon into a starter? Was it just an experiment at first? Was there ever an announcement about it? Was it based on Boston’s needs or mainly just his skills? Was it something Jonathan was happy to do? Etc.

Jonathan kind of drove the train; Jonathan and need. We needed a closer, and he was pitching relief and doing really well, but the plans of the organization were to make him a starter. But it just got away from us; we had a good starting rotation, and Jon decided that he wanted to Close, and Terry wanted to keep him as the closer, so the front office would have had to use firearms to keep him in the rotation, more or less. And we just don’t operate that way.


Friday, July 04, 2014

Loophole offers potential path for some minor league players to smoke way onto major league rosters - Yahoo Sports

Inside a minor league clubhouse this year, a player who had tested positive for marijuana a second time informed teammates of the 50-game suspension he would serve because of it. The player wasn’t concerned, according to a witness. He didn’t plan on curtailing his marijuana use, either.

“I’ll just smoke my way onto the 40-man,” he said.

In the annals of drug use, this might be a first: an employee trying to get a promotion by getting high.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 04, 2014 at 09:11 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: drug testing, drug use, rules

Thursday, June 19, 2014

MLB’s New Home-Plate Rule Had Its Lowest Moment

The bases were loaded—this was a force play. Bucs catcher Russell Martin received the throw, tapped home plate with his his foot, then got out of the way of the sliding Devin Mesoraco. Mesoraco was ruled out; Bryan Pryce argued, and after a lengthy chat with the replay office in New York, umpires overturned the call.

Natty Fan Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:40 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: catcher collisions, pirates, reds, rules

Monday, May 12, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-12-2014

Pittsburgh Press, May 12, 1914:

John Heydler, secretary of the National league and compiler of the official records, has just decided one of those freak plays that come up once in a while.
...
The score was 0 to 0 in the ninth inning with Manual at the bat. The bases were full with one out. A substitute batter hit cleanly to left, but instead of running to first he walked toward the bench. The runner from second was thrown out at the plate. The Bushwick catcher then threw to first…Here is the decision the umpire give [sic]:

That the batter was out for walking to the bench and that the third out was the one at the plate. He allowed the run brought in by the runner who was on third to count.

This doesn’t seem that difficult to me. The umpire blew the call: The second out was the one at the plate, and the third out came when the batter was thrown out at first. A routine 7-2-3 groundout.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 08:07 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rules

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The Poscast Episode 7: Penalties

Joe & Michael discuss the AL East (it’s awful), Derek Jeter (he’s awful), intentional walks (they’re nonsensical), and conclude by having a fantasy draft for penalties.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Cameron: Baseball’s New Strategy: Drop the Ball on Purpose

Setting the stage for a Brant Brown comeback?

This year, in an attempt to clarify the difference between a catch and a transfer on plays around the [second] base bag, MLB informed teams that a clean transfer from glove to hand was now going to be a required element in making a legal catch. No longer could a player argue that the ball was dropped on the exchange between glove and hand in order to retire the lead runner in a double play attempt…

However, this rule isn’t just being applied to second base; it’s being applied everywhere, including the outfield…

it shouldn’t be too hard to spot the problem with using the same definition of a catch in the outfield as it is at second base; the drop at second base has no real impact on the runner’s decision making..

That is absolutely not true with runners and outfielders, however; the decision of whether to advance or return to base is entirely dependent on whether the outfielder is ruled to have safely caught the ball… now, the ball entering the glove is no longer the determining factor of whether or not the catch was made; that is now the ball moving from the glove to the hand… [an outfielder] can catch the ball in his glove, run in a direction for several steps, and still be ruled to have not caught the ball if he drops the ball on the transfer to his hand. This definition of an outfield catch opens up a huge can of worms, because this definition has now created the exact play that the infield fly rule was designed to eliminate…

If some enterprising team wants to test the rule, they should actually tell their left fielder that, on any play with runners at first and second and less than two outs, he should run the ball all the way back in to the infield, and then drop the ball only once he’s a few feet from the second base bag…

This is most likely going to be a one season nuisance than a long term problem, as everyone watching these plays can see the problems with this definition of a catch, and I can’t see any way in which anyone would support this definition staying in place… Most likely, we’re in for a year of weird plays like the ones from last week, where runners don’t know whether to advance or not, and teams get free outs when their fielders screw up.

The District Attorney Posted: April 14, 2014 at 06:54 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: rules, strategy

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Major League Baseball unveils state-of-the-art replay center | MLB.com

377 out of 50,000 calls. Do we really need instant replay?

Among the most impressive parts of the presentation were the statistics MLB compiled which showed how few “clear and convincing incorrect calls” were made by umpires in 2013. By MLB’s reckoning, there were only 377 out of some 50,000 that merited review. Only 27 times did it happen twice in a game. On just three occasions, it happened three times, never against the same team.

Linked fixed: Sorry, Jim.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2014 at 09:01 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: instant replay, rules

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Tigers lose on walk-off balk

Among the first drills new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus worked on with his club in February was a rarely attempted pickoff move to third base.
...
Honestly, it felt like a disaster waiting to happen when Ausmus introduced the drill, and on Friday night a perfect example of just how disastrous it can be played out when a little bit of miscommunication led to a game-ending balk in Detroit’s 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees.

SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:31 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: rules, tigers

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

MLB adopts rule on collisions at plate

The new rule, 7.13, states “a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate).” A runner violating the rule shall be declared out, even if the fielder drops the ball.

And there are a lot more rules, too. If a catcher blocks the plate with the ball, a collision is still legal. If a catcher blocks the plate without the ball, the runner is automatically safe.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 25, 2014 at 01:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rule changes, rules, rules of play

 

 

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