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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Joe Torre Confirms Nationals Hurt By Blown Call In NLDS Game 5

The Nats bizarre, bewildering and sometimes-Byzantine Game 5 loss to the Chicago Cubs included more than a bit of controversy, most of it taking place during Max Scherzer’s disastrous four-run fifth inning. And the controversy concerned whether, with two outs and two strikes, Javier Baez should have been allowed to run to first on a passed-ball swinging strike three, since his bat made contact with catcher Matt Wieters.

The rule book seemed clear:

  If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpire’s judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him on the backswing, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play.

Wieters felt the same way; “I believed I was protected under the rule,” he said, and the Nationals did not think there was space for umpire discretion. (Read Kilgore’s breakdown from that night. See also, Jorge Castillo’s breakdown of the entire inning.)

Let the second-guessing resume!

Bote Man Posted: October 26, 2017 at 05:03 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, playoffs, protests, umpiring

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 26, 2017 at 05:23 PM (#5563216)
And now the Cubs are on the cusp of repeating as World Champs. Salt on an opened wound.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 26, 2017 at 05:39 PM (#5563220)
“And again, the manager — Dusty [Baker] in this case — he could have gone, which we remind the managers,” Torre went on. “If you’ve got a question, a rule question — not a judgment question but a rule question — if you don’t like what the umpire’s telling you, ask him for a rules check. And they can do that. They can go to the replay center on the headset and check a rule.”

Coulda, shoulda, but that sort of assumes that the replay umpire would have got the rule right. Maybe, but I wonder what the MLB response would be if they got it wrong? Too bad, you should have played the game under protest? Would have been something to have MLB uphold a protest in a playoff game, and perhaps I'm a bit cynical, but I think they'd have gone to considerable lengths to avoid that.
   3. DaVoice of DaPeople Posted: October 26, 2017 at 05:54 PM (#5563223)
I know it’s s different sport, but I recall a playoff football game that was decided by the refs very clearly misinterpreting the rule book; it wasn’t that they screwed up a judgment play, it was that the rules very clearly said the call should go one way, but they ruled it another. (If memory serves, it was some kind of “the player who caught the touchdown pass was in ineligible receiver, therefore, the touchdown doesn’t count”.....except the guy actually WAS an eligible receiver, they just misunderstood the rules.)

Anyway, the NFL’s response was essentially “Eh, them’s the breaks!”

I think that’s what would (will?) happen here. Sorry Nats.
   4. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 26, 2017 at 06:01 PM (#5563226)
And of course the infamous Colorado-Missouri Fifth Down play.
   5. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 26, 2017 at 06:04 PM (#5563228)
I think that’s what would (will?) happen here.

Wait, so there's a small part of you that thinks they'll go back to game 5 of the NLDS 5th inning, resume the game from the point of the botched call, then replay the NLCS, and restart the WS?
   6. fra paolo Posted: October 26, 2017 at 06:38 PM (#5563234)
All the replay in the world isn't going to save you from g----m ignorance.
   7. esseff Posted: October 26, 2017 at 07:48 PM (#5563253)
I know it’s s different sport, but I recall a playoff football game that was decided by the refs very clearly misinterpreting the rule book; it wasn’t that they screwed up a judgment play, it was that the rules very clearly said the call should go one way, but they ruled it another. (If memory serves, it was some kind of “the player who caught the touchdown pass was in ineligible receiver, therefore, the touchdown doesn’t count”.....except the guy actually WAS an eligible receiver, they just misunderstood the rules.)

Anyway, the NFL’s response was essentially “Eh, them’s the breaks!”


You might be thinking of the playoff game where the Giants blew a 38-14 lead and lost to the 49ers 39-38. 2002, I think. At the end of the game, the Giants had a chance to kick a winning FG, but after a bad snap, the holder threw a desperation pass toward an offensive lineman, who was clearly pulled down by a defender before the ball arrived. The officials didn't penalize the interference, but did penalize the Giants for an ineligible receiver downfield. Except that the lineman had checked in, and lined up, as eligible, as the league admitted later.
   8. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 26, 2017 at 07:54 PM (#5563254)
I know it’s s different sport, but I recall a playoff football game that was decided by the refs very clearly misinterpreting the rule book; it wasn’t that they screwed up a judgment play, it was that the rules very clearly said the call should go one way, but they ruled it another. (If memory serves, it was some kind of “the player who caught the touchdown pass was in ineligible receiver, therefore, the touchdown doesn’t count”.....except the guy actually WAS an eligible receiver, they just misunderstood the rules.)

Anyway, the NFL’s response was essentially “Eh, them’s the breaks!”

I think that’s what would (will?) happen here. Sorry Nats.


And of course the infamous Colorado-Missouri Fifth Down play.

There was a similar and even more famous "5th down" play in 1940 that gave Cornell a 7-3 win over Dartmouth, when they scored a touchdown with 3 seconds to go after Dartmouth had stopped them on the four preceding plays. This was the last play of the season, in a year when Cornell was undefeated and fighting for a national championship.

The difference is that after the referee admitted two days later that he'd blown the call, Cornell voluntarily forfeited the game, making the official score Dartmouth 3, Cornell 0.
   9. BDC Posted: October 26, 2017 at 08:07 PM (#5563258)
I thought that forfeits in American football were scored 1-0.

Though I guess the rule has varied. In looking it up, I ran across the “conversion safety” rule whereby a team can score a single point in actual play. There,s always something new about sports.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: October 26, 2017 at 08:37 PM (#5563266)
And of course the infamous Colorado-Missouri Fifth Down play.


I loathe Bill McCartney as much as I do anyone who's ever coached college football, but I always thought the uproar over that was overblown. If the Colorado QB knew that it was fourth down when it was fourth down, as opposed to what it said on the down marker, he surely wouldn't have spiked the ball to stop the clock.
   11. PreservedFish Posted: October 26, 2017 at 09:03 PM (#5563274)
There was a similar and even more famous "5th down" play in 1940 that gave Cornell a 7-3 win over Dartmouth, when they scored a touchdown with 3 seconds to go after Dartmouth had stopped them on the four preceding plays.


Were these fellows actually world-class athletes? Or was it just a club that only rich young men were allowed to participate in?
   12. Bote Man Posted: October 26, 2017 at 09:12 PM (#5563277)
I'm also aware of the notion that if maybe the Nationals' top pitcher and its front-line catcher had actually not botched a critical sequence of plays that they could've gotten out of the mess before it snowballed and buried their season. That would have rendered this botched call less important.
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 26, 2017 at 09:13 PM (#5563278)
There was a similar and even more famous "5th down" play in 1940 that gave Cornell a 7-3 win over Dartmouth, when they scored a touchdown with 3 seconds to go after Dartmouth had stopped them on the four preceding plays. This was the last play of the season, in a year when Cornell was undefeated and fighting for a national championship.

The difference is that after the referee admitted two days later that he'd blown the call, Cornell voluntarily forfeited the game, making the official score Dartmouth 3, Cornell 0.


I thought that forfeits in American football were scored 1-0.

Well, the score in the books is 3 to 0.

But to respond more directly to your point, the 1-0 forfeit might be the result of an officially mandated forfeit for a rules infraction, whereas that Cornell forfeit was voluntarily given as a gesture of sportsmanship. And since prior to the "5th down", the score was Dartmouth 3, Cornell 0, it wasn't so much a forfeit in the usual sense as it was a simple nullification of the extra play.
   14. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 26, 2017 at 09:18 PM (#5563280)
Cornell voluntarily forfeited the game, making the official score Dartmouth 3, Cornell 0.


I dare say this would never happen in today's society. Or am I being cynical and good sportsmanship would actually overrule the quest for the almighty dollar.
   15. The Duke Posted: October 26, 2017 at 10:08 PM (#5563290)
As my high school coach used to say, Beat them so badly that the refs can’t take it away from you. Trump’s election is a one rigid example of having to win beyond the margin of lawyers. Imagine how insane the legal stuff would have been had he not trounced Hillary. Hanging chads all over again.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: October 26, 2017 at 11:24 PM (#5563308)
Wait, so there's a small part of you that thinks they'll go back to game 5 of the NLDS 5th inning, resume the game from the point of the botched call, then replay the NLCS, and restart the WS?

We can only hope! The Cubs' fate can't turn out much worse.

As punishment, Javy and Wieters have to swap playoff shares and the ump has to spend Sat morning in detention.
   17. DaVoice of DaPeople Posted: October 26, 2017 at 11:30 PM (#5563309)
5–No, I was responding to post #1, regarding the extreme unlikelihood of the league ever upholding even a valid protest in a postseason game.
   18. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 27, 2017 at 12:08 AM (#5563323)
Cornell voluntarily forfeited the game, making the official score Dartmouth 3, Cornell 0.

I dare say this would never happen in today's society. Or am I being cynical and good sportsmanship would actually overrule the quest for the almighty dollar.


I don't think good sportsmanship would do the trick, but fear of public mockery and social media pushback would. Although these days replay and review would make a recurrence of anything like that an impossibility for more than a few seconds.
   19. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 27, 2017 at 01:09 AM (#5563331)
I dare say this would never happen in today's society. Or am I being cynical and good sportsmanship would actually overrule the quest for the almighty dollar.



There was something similar as recently as 1999, when Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger offered to nullify the result of their 2-1 win over Sheffield United because the winning goal had been scored legally, but unsportingly. The offer was accepted, the FA nullified the result, and the game was replayed. Arsenal won the replay by the same 2-1 score.
   20. Meatwad Posted: October 27, 2017 at 02:17 AM (#5563336)
So torre has nothing to say about had bad the plate umps were that series or how they ###### up a huge swing and a miss call?
   21. Lassus Posted: October 27, 2017 at 08:33 AM (#5563365)
Eh. It didn't force in the winning walk-off run.
   22. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 27, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5563430)
5–No, I was responding to post #1, regarding the extreme unlikelihood of the league ever upholding even a valid protest in a postseason game.

Take a stand, man.
   23. DaVoice of DaPeople Posted: October 27, 2017 at 12:45 PM (#5563574)
Well I do still think the Indians have a shot at beating the Yankees in the ALDS. Sanchez never tagged Jackson after dropping the third strike!
   24. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 27, 2017 at 02:19 PM (#5563704)
There was a similar and even more famous "5th down" play in 1940 that gave Cornell a 7-3 win over Dartmouth


Only to Andy is game between two Ivy League schools in 1940 more famous than a game between two Big Eight teams in 1990.

Google results:
5th down game dartmouth = 92,700
5th down game cornell = 245,000
5th down game colorado = 1,650,000
5th down game missouri = 672,000
5th down game 1940 = 728,000
5th down game 1990 = 1,390,000
   25. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 27, 2017 at 02:42 PM (#5563736)
There was a similar and even more famous "5th down" play in 1940 that gave Cornell a 7-3 win over Dartmouth

Only to Andy is game between two Ivy League schools in 1940 more famous than a game between two Big Eight teams in 1990.

Google results:
5th down game dartmouth = 92,700
5th down game cornell = 245,000
5th down game colorado = 1,650,000
5th down game missouri = 672,000
5th down game 1940 = 728,000
5th down game 1990 = 1,390,000


Well, I guess that means that Jose Altuve is more famous than Babe Ruth, and more than twice as famous as Ty Cobb:

Google results:
Jose Altuve baseball = 1,530,000 results
Babe Ruth baseball = 978,000 results
Ty Cobb baseball = 639,000 results

Or maybe it's just that the world didn't begin when the people who are alive today were born.

And FWIW at the time of that Cornell-Dartmouth game, that first Ivy League school was ranked #2 in the country. Three weeks before that Dartmouth game, they'd beaten Ohio State for the second straight year. Before WW2 Ivy League schools made frequent appearances in the Top 10, and as late as 1951 Princeton wound up #6.
   26. Voodoo Posted: October 27, 2017 at 05:58 PM (#5563888)

Well, I guess that means that Jose Altuve is more famous than Babe Ruth, and more than twice as famous as Ty Cobb:

Google results:
Jose Altuve baseball = 1,530,000 results
Babe Ruth baseball = 978,000 results
Ty Cobb baseball = 639,000 results


Not sure why you would add "baseball" to the query. Just by name, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb post more results than Jose Altuve.

   27. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 27, 2017 at 06:29 PM (#5563900)
I always thought the uproar over that was overblown. If the Colorado QB knew that it was fourth down when it was fourth down, as opposed to what it said on the down marker, he surely wouldn't have spiked the ball to stop the clock.

AGREED! Most of the idiots who complain about the fifth down seem to think CU ran four plays that were stonewalled before the fifth down. The spike never would have happened. Would CU have scored on a rushed 4th down while the clock ran down? Maybe, maybe not.

   28. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 27, 2017 at 06:30 PM (#5563901)
Not sure why you would add "baseball" to the query. Just by name, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb post more results than Jose Altuve.

Intellectual dishonesty.
   29. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 27, 2017 at 07:21 PM (#5563913)

Not sure why you would add "baseball" to the query. Just by name, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb post more results than Jose Altuve.

Because by restricting it to baseball, you eliminate all the extraneous people with identical names. Just to take one obvious example, one of Trump's more prominent lawyers is----Ty Cobb.
   30. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 27, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5563919)
And there was also a very good British rock band of the 1970s named Babe Ruth.
   31. SouthSideRyan Posted: October 28, 2017 at 01:32 AM (#5564242)
And Babe Ruth baseball returns 8,590,000 results.
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 28, 2017 at 09:31 AM (#5564281)
And Babe Ruth baseball returns 8,590,000 results

Those numbers I posted yesterday were simply copied and pasted from the google searches I ran. I just ran them again and none of the numbers are the same.

Jose Altuve baseball = 1,530,000 1,100,000
Babe Ruth baseball = 978,000 8,580,000
Ty Cobb baseball = 639,000 473,000

All of which makes me even more skeptical about using google results to measure "fame", when all you really mean is "more likely to be remembered by people who are alive today", which are two entirely different things. It's about as relevant as saying that Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have a prayer of surviving a 2018 Republican primary against Donald Trump.

   33. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 28, 2017 at 09:37 AM (#5564283)
And of course the infamous Colorado-Missouri Fifth Down play.

There was a similar and even more famous "5th down" play in 1940
I know others said it above, but I feel the need to reiterate: you have a very very very very very very very very idiosyncratic definition of "even more famous."

All of which makes me even more skeptical about using google results to measure "fame", when all you really mean is "more likely to be remembered by people who are alive today", which are two entirely different things.
Uh, not actually, no. Something that isn't remembered is by definition not famous. Perhaps what you meant was that the earlier play was more famous in its time than the Colorado-Missouri one is today, but of course (a) that's not remotely what you wrote, and (b) I have no idea what your basis is for thinking that it's true.
   34. BDC Posted: October 28, 2017 at 10:57 AM (#5564296)
skeptical about using google results to measure "fame"

Google results are recalibrated continuously, and, if you're logged into your Google account, customized to your own searching patterns. For example, I would not be surprised to see Google tell you that Barbara Stanwyck is 9,000 times more famous than Lady Gaga.
   35. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 28, 2017 at 11:41 AM (#5564307)
All of which makes me even more skeptical about using google results to measure "fame", when all you really mean is "more likely to be remembered by people who are alive today", which are two entirely different things.

Uh, not actually, no. Something that isn't remembered is by definition not famous. Perhaps what you meant was that the earlier play was more famous in its time than the Colorado-Missouri one is today, but of course (a) that's not remotely what you wrote,


I'll accept that criticism, although that was what I meant.

and (b) I have no idea what your basis is for thinking that it's true.

It's not too complicated: The sports pages on the day of that Cornell-Dartmouth game were dominated by college football and college football alone, since baseball was done for the year and pro football was a relatively minor (and strictly regional) blip on the map. During the week of the Colorado-Missouri game, college football was competing with the baseball playoffs and the pro football season.

Plus at the time, Cornell was ranked #2 in the country, and the 5th down had (temporarily) enabled it to remain unbeaten. And in 1940 there weren't nearly as many colleges with major football programs as there were by 1990, meaning that Colorado and Missouri were competing for attention in a far bigger sea of Big Time games than Cornell was in 1940.

Beyond that, in the subsequent coverage, the sportsmanship angle was played up, and Cornell voluntarily forfeited the game. No such angle, and no such result, occurred in the aftermath of that 1990 game.** To the extent that you can find far more google hits today about the 1990 game, that's simply because in 1940 there weren't entire cable networks devoted to the re-hashing of every bit of sports controversy, with the resulting abundance of video material for future google researchers to find, and future sports cable shows to re-hash.

** Wiki's summary of the aftermath might even provide some grist for SBB's "decline" meme, even if 1979 doesn't fit into it:
Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, a former Missouri Tigers player, did little to soothe the controversy. Asked whether he would consider forfeiting the game, McCartney declared that he had considered it but decided against it because "the field was lousy." He complained about Missouri's notorious Omniturf artificial turf surface, which he said had caused repeated slips and falls during the game.[8]

Missouri chancellor Haskell Monroe appealed to the Big Eight, arguing that since Colorado's game-winning touchdown had come on a play that should have never been run, Missouri should be declared the winner 31-27. However, he was rebuffed by Big Eight commissioner Carl James, who said in a statement that "the allowance of the fifth down to Colorado is not a post-game correctable error," and therefore Colorado's win would stand.[11]

Some closure came in the summer of 1998—four years after McCartney retired as the Buffs' head coach—when he admitted to making mistakes and being saddened by the Fifth Down fiasco. McCartney made the remarks at a Promise Keepers gathering at the site of the controversy in Columbia, Missouri.[12]




   36. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 28, 2017 at 11:46 AM (#5564308)
skeptical about using google results to measure "fame"

Google results are recalibrated continuously, and, if you're logged into your Google account, customized to your own searching patterns. For example, I would not be surprised to see Google tell you that Barbara Stanwyck is 9,000 times more famous than Lady Gaga.


Well, she should be!

But sadly, here's what I find:

"Lady Gaga" = 41,200,000 google results
"Barbara Stanwyck" = 410,000 google results

It's a trap!

   37. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: October 28, 2017 at 01:04 PM (#5564335)
Then there's the PGA, which not only allows penalties to be imposed well after the moment of an incident, but allows TV spectators to rat out players.
   38. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: October 28, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5564336)
I always thought the uproar over that was overblown. If the Colorado QB knew that it was fourth down when it was fourth down, as opposed to what it said on the down marker, he surely wouldn't have spiked the ball to stop the clock.

AGREED! Most of the idiots who complain about the fifth down seem to think CU ran four plays that were stonewalled before the fifth down. The spike never would have happened. Would CU have scored on a rushed 4th down while the clock ran down? Maybe, maybe not.

I don't think Colorado could have gotten any kind of organized play off on fourth down. The spike only happened with two seconds left, and it was a predetermined response to Bieniemy being stopped short on "second" down; it further required the officials stopping the clock for several seconds. Then there's the matter of Johnson having likely not scored on the final play.
   39. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 28, 2017 at 03:40 PM (#5564381)
Perhaps what you meant was that the earlier play was more famous in its time than the Colorado-Missouri one is today, but of course (a) that's not remotely what you wrote, and (b) I have no idea what your basis is for thinking that it's true.

As much as I enjoy making a bit of fun about Andy's fondness for the days of yore, his version of "ancient history" is mostly correct, even if his wording was a bit sloppy. For decades if anyone mentioned the 5th Down Game, those with any knowledge of the subject knew it referred to the 1940 Cornell-Dartmouth game. I suspect that even more modern college football fans, if aware of the Colorado-Missouri game, know that there was an earlier 5th Down Game in which the beneficiary of the mistake "did the right thing'" by declining the "undeserved" victory. Of course, my view might be influenced by growing up in Ithaca when the Big Red didn't have much to tout about its football program other than its decades earlier supposedly superior morality.
   40. Greg Pope Posted: October 28, 2017 at 03:49 PM (#5564383)

I don't think Colorado could have gotten any kind of organized play off on fourth down. The spike only happened with two seconds left, and it was a predetermined response to Bieniemy being stopped short on "second" down; it further required the officials stopping the clock for several seconds. Then there's the matter of Johnson having likely not scored on the final play.


Right, but the mistake had occurred before the Bienemy run. If Colorado knew it was already third down, then they also likely don't run there. They pass.
   41. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 28, 2017 at 09:15 PM (#5564528)

To the extent that you can find far more google hits today about the 1990 game, that's simply because in 1940 there weren't entire cable networks devoted to the re-hashing of every bit of sports controversy
Sigh. That's an argument about why the Colorado game is more famous, not an argument that it isn't.

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