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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Baseball Prospectus | Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Three Recap (The Call Edition)

This articulates what I believe far better than I have been able to express so far.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 27, 2013 at 11:09 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, red sox, world series

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Dale Sams Posted: October 27, 2013 at 11:50 AM (#4585403)
We don't nearly appreciate the extent to which luck decides who wins or loses baseball games


Well you damn well should. One hanging change-up not thrown and a couple of singles strung together and we're watching Tigers-Cards.
   2. spike Posted: October 27, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4585439)
With this all the way until the last sentence - "They more or less guessed."

In the first place that's "true" I suppose of every umpire call, so "so what?" and in the second, their job is to make judgments, or "guess" in the moment based on visual evidence. Seems like an awfully cheap shot to me.
   3. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 27, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4585451)
They didn't guess, they interpreted. I'm a diehard Sox fan but I think they interpreted correctly.
   4. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 27, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4585455)
I'm with #2. There was absolutely no guessing. That call was made immediately, and the home plate ump immediately called him safe. They were sure right away, and replays only confirm that they got it right.
   5. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: October 27, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4585463)
They didn't guess. They ruled, which is their jobs. They did so poorly.
   6. villageidiom Posted: October 27, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4585486)
They guessed in the sense that the 3B umpire was, at the time of the obstruction, watching the ball, not Craig/Middlebrooks. He turned back to see the aftermath, signaled obstruction based on that, the HP umpire signaled obstruction based on the 3b umpire call, and here we are. It was an absolutely correct guess, and I'd have trouble coming up with a plausible scenario that would have had Craig sprawled over Middlebrooks in that situation that didn't involve obstruction - which is a long way of saying there really wasn't another guess to make.

Middlebrooks, catch the damn ball.
   7. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 27, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4585494)
These are the drollest of possible words,

Furtado and Raybot and Sam.

Primates with logic as flighty as birds,

Furtado and Raybot and Sam.

Ruthlessly pricking the rule book's bubble,

Piling non sequiturs onto the rubble,

Hoping to extract the Bostons from trouble,

Furtado and Raybot and Sam.

-----Needless to say, with many apologies to Franklin P. Adams



   8. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 27, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4585508)
Well you damn well should. One hanging change-up not thrown and a couple of singles strung together and we're watching Tigers-Cards.

1/10 of an inch on the bat, and we're watching A's-Cards.
   9. villageidiom Posted: October 27, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4585530)
Too late to edit, so...

Upon rereading the article it's not clear to me Miller agrees with me on the guess. He's claiming the umpires didn't know which way to call it, so they picked one. I'm not saying that at all. The rules are clear, and I think whatever leeway they give is designed to avoid obvious exploitation - for example, if Craig were to be on the foul side of 3b, then run toward Middlebrooks (thus not toward home) for no reason other than to collide with him. But setting aside hypotheticals and sticking with what actually happened, the umpires applied the rules correctly here. What I am saying is the 3b umpire didn't see the obstruction, only the aftermath.
   10. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 27, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4585546)
All that lawyerly effort to parse "very likely has" when the obvious available reading is that if with a clear path to the next base the runner still would very likely not have been safe obstruction has not occurred. But, sure, there's something about the medium and the moment that encourages this sort of attempt at virtuoso logic-torturing.
   11. Jim Furtado Posted: October 27, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4585552)
That's pretty funny, Andy. To be fair, you should have made it a foursome and included yourself. :p
   12. KJOK Posted: October 27, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4585556)
Beat me to it - the whole article is premised on 'very likely has' interpretation which totally misses what that phrase is supposed to be. The only 'guess' for the umpires was whether or not Craig would have been out WITHOUT obstrution. Miller's usually very good, but this article is an epic fail.

   13. nick swisher hygiene Posted: October 27, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4585566)
yep, fake fan analysis.

aside: why do so many analytic types identify with New England teams so strongly?
couldn't some ############# Cal Tech guys start doing sports blogging?
   14. Guapo Posted: October 27, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4585606)
This article simply ignores the definitive sentence in the rule:

"After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the act of fielding the ball."

If you want to change the rule, that's one thing (although I can't fathom what advantage base runners could derive by intentionally running into fielders to draw obstruction). But there is no question this was obstruction under the rule as written.
   15. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 27, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4585641)
These are the drollest of possible words,

Furtado and Raybot and Sam.

Primates with logic as flighty as birds,

Furtado and Raybot and Sam.

Ruthlessly pricking the rule book's bubble,

Piling non sequiturs onto the rubble,

Hoping to extract the Bostons from trouble,

Furtado and Raybot and Sam.



I don't get it.
   16. Jim Furtado Posted: October 27, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4585645)
Neither does Andy.
   17. Sunday silence Posted: October 27, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4585677)

I think whatever leeway they give is designed to avoid obvious exploitation - for example, if Craig were to be on the foul side of 3b, then run toward Middlebrooks (thus not toward home) for no reason other than to collide with him.


That's not even leeway, is it? As I read that rule, if Craig were to take an indirect path he would be out of the basepath because he is not running in a straight line towards home.

For those who think the "very likely" language would create an exception for last nights play. How would last night's play differ from the example given in the rules? Just cause it's not a ground ball?
   18. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: October 27, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4585683)
Well you damn well should. One hanging change-up not thrown and a couple of singles strung together and we're watching Tigers-Cards.

1/10 of an inch on the bat, and we're watching A's-Cards.


If I hadn't traveled back in time and stepped on that butterfly, you'd be watching Brooklyn Dodgers-Tokyo Giants.
   19. villageidiom Posted: October 27, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4585684)
That's not even leeway, is it?
The runner is free to run out of the basepath, as long as he is not attempting to interfere with a throw or fielder, is not trying to avoid a tag, and is not abandoning his attempt to reach the next base. (I am distinguishing between "basepath" (straight line between bases) and "baseline" (straight line from runner to base). The baseline is irrelevant until a play is being made on a runner; the basepath is generally irrelevant.)
   20. Danny Posted: October 27, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4585714)
This article simply ignores the definitive sentence in the rule:

"After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the act of fielding the ball."

Yep, and good to see both Clay Davenport and MGL make that point in the BP comments.

The author's main defense of the call is that "A reasonable person might consider Middlebrooks to have still been in the act of attempting to field the ball." Perhaps a reasonable person who hadn't read the rule might consider that, but no reasonable person who read the rule (and the explanatory comment) could possibly think that.
   21. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 27, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4585735)
Upon rereading the article it's not clear to me Miller agrees with me on the guess. He's claiming the umpires didn't know which way to call it, so they picked one.


Umpires have an internal clock that forces them to come out with a call within a second and go with their best guess even if they're not sure; that's why we never see them standing there scratching their chin saying, "hmm, I'm not sure."

But of course, nobody can be sure all the time, so this is just an act.

And it is indeed necessary to make a call. What I would prefer to see is for an umpire to make his best call and then call the other umps over if he's not sure.
   22. Dale Sams Posted: October 27, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4585776)
If I hadn't traveled back in time and stepped on that butterfly, you'd be watching Brooklyn Dodgers-Tokyo Giants.


What's funny is that Tigers-Sox was so close and so unlikely to happen the way it did....if u start Nava over Gomes...just by Butterfly Effect, I would think Sox lose.

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