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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Mexican League Umpires Suspended for Possibly Worst Call Ever

Angel Hernandez now has an aspirational goal

Master of the Horse Posted: July 22, 2018 at 08:47 AM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mexican league, umpires

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   1. puck Posted: July 22, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5713752)
Was this a match fixing thing?
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 22, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5713757)
What's even more upsetting than that unbelievable call is the sight of sponsors' names splashed on the front of the players' jerseys and the umpire's chest protector.
   3. phredbird Posted: July 22, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5713767)
i want to say something, but i'm speechless ...
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: July 22, 2018 at 12:52 PM (#5713778)
Mexican umpires? some, I assume, are good people
   5. bunyon Posted: July 22, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5713805)
Awesome. Even if he didn’t swing it was a strike.
   6. puck Posted: July 22, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5713823)
Mexican umpires? some, I assume, are good people


They don't send their best.

/obligatory
   7. bfan Posted: July 22, 2018 at 07:29 PM (#5713888)
The great things about the internet is that there is a contrary opinion voiced for everything. I am anxious to hear the contrary view on this, that starts with, "Well, I can see it as a checked swing because..."
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: July 22, 2018 at 07:50 PM (#5713891)

The great things about the internet is that there is a contrary opinion voiced for everything. I am anxious to hear the contrary view on this, that starts with, "Well, I can see it as a checked swing because..."


I'm not going to say you could see it as a check swing, but there was something strange-looking about it.

Like bunyon said, the fact that the pitch was pretty clearly in the zone really makes it extra special.
   9. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: July 22, 2018 at 10:02 PM (#5713910)
Your move, Angel Hernandez and C.B. Bucknor...
   10. Walt Davis Posted: July 22, 2018 at 11:28 PM (#5713924)
Like #8 ... it was an odd swing ... or maybe it's the camera angle. Watching it the first time, about mid-swing I kinda had the impression the bat was being pulled up to vertical ... but then it keeps coming through over his shoulder at a normal looking angle. If it appeared that way from behind the plate (which I doubt), I almost kinda, maybe could sorta see how the HP ump might have made his decision too early, then appealed. I can't see how the 1B ump could miss that. As yeah, it's a strike anyway.

Was this a match fixing thing?

As the article notes, either way it's just a strike ... and a very obviously bad call. Maybe they had money riding on an over/under strikeout bet. If I had to take a WAG at a "rational" but un-crooked explanation for the impossible, I'd start with the 1B ump simply wasn't paying attention.

I recall ref'ing an intramural football game once (I must have been filling in in an "emergency" or something, I never reffed any other games). I was in a horrible position to make a call, thought I saw the guy's foot over the goal line and just assumed the ball must have gone over as well, so called a touchdown. The "scoring" team immediately acted sheepish, the opposing team immediately got pissed off. There was a 2nd ref in a good spot who did not call touchdown. I tried to defer to him but, for some reason, he insisted the call was mine. I kept telling him I didn't have a good view, he continued to refuse to make the call and insisted the call was mine. What could I do but call touchdown although I was the only one out of 16+ people who had thought so and was (for that reason) pretty sure I was wrong but I'd already made my call.

Thank god this was before cellphones recording everything or I'd have gone viral and not in a good way.
   11. eric Posted: July 22, 2018 at 11:42 PM (#5713926)
I think if it were a fixing thing they'd find much better opportunities to engage in it. Intentionally doing something like what happened there would probably put the umps' lives in danger with whomever is cutting their checks.

I suspect Walt is right--the home plate ump, by angle or blinking at the wrong time or what have you (sweat in the eye?) thought it was a check swing and made his call based on that, perhaps forgetting to take into account where the ball actually crossed the plate. Then, in a similar fashion to Walt's story, he realized he was probably wrong so then checked with the 1B ump to save face. Having been busy ogling the cutie in the front row, the first-base ump had missed the play, and just went to the default "confirm the home plate umpire's call."

With so many thousands of baseball games being played around the world with so many hundreds of pitches and events in each game, occasionally a few very unlikely events will string together to result in a wacky, wacky play such as this one. And with modern technology we all get to watch it and wonder...W T F.
   12. A triple short of the cycle Posted: July 23, 2018 at 12:15 AM (#5713927)
The guy took a full albeit halfhearted swing. Umpires obviously blew the call, but hard to believe a blown check swing call in the top of the first inning of a mexican league baseball game rises to the level of worst call ever.
   13. shoelesjoe Posted: July 23, 2018 at 12:43 AM (#5713932)
The great things about the internet is that there is a contrary opinion voiced for everything. I am anxious to hear the contrary view on this, that starts with, "Well, I can see it as a checked swing because..."


“My strike zone has been the same for 25 years. I don’t have any problem with it."

-- Eric Gregg
   14. Adam Starblind Posted: July 23, 2018 at 06:49 AM (#5713942)
The guy took a full albeit halfhearted swing. Umpires obviously blew the call, but hard to believe a blown check swing call in the top of the first inning of a mexican league baseball game rises to the level of worst call ever.


I guess it depends on how you're weighing things.

There was the clearly blown call at first base on out 27 of Armando Galarraga's 28-out perfect game, which resulted in the (technical) loss of a perfect game. But while more significant, that (clearly blown) call was not quite as blown as this one, and this one involved two umpires.

Any other candidates?
   15. bunyon Posted: July 23, 2018 at 07:00 AM (#5713943)
Maybe it was a signal that the fix was in?
   16. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 23, 2018 at 08:06 AM (#5713957)


I suspect Walt is right
Given that Walt just confessed to fixing an intramural football game, I don't think we can rely on him anymore.
   17. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 23, 2018 at 08:21 AM (#5713960)
When I was in high school I umpired little league. I still remember distinctly calling a strike on a pitch that was literally over the batter's head. I knew I blew it before I was done saying "strike."
   18. Spahn Insane Posted: July 23, 2018 at 08:51 AM (#5713967)
Awesome. Even if he didn’t swing it was a strike.

Even better was the first base ump blowing the appeal (which is what causes me to buy into "the fix was in" theories in this instance).
   19. Brian C Posted: July 23, 2018 at 09:07 AM (#5713972)
Anyone been to a Mexican League game before? What's the atmosphere like?

As for this call, I find Walt's guess more plausible than the fix theories. If the 1B ump wasn't paying attention, he'd have absolutely no way to guess that the home plate ump was appealing to him for something so stupendously obvious - he'd have simply assumed it was the kind of 50/50 (or at worst 60/40) call that gets appealed to the 1B ump 99.99% of the time. Who on earth has ever seen the home plate ump appeal a full swing?
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: July 23, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5713990)
As for this call, I find Walt's guess more plausible than the fix theories. If the 1B ump wasn't paying attention, he'd have absolutely no way to guess that the home plate ump was appealing to him for something so stupendously obvious - he'd have simply assumed it was the kind of 50/50 (or at worst 60/40) call that gets appealed to the 1B ump 99.99% of the time. Who on earth has ever seen the home plate ump appeal a full swing?


It wasn't baseball. But I was the assistant coach in a softball game, and our head coach had already gotten tossed from the game (largely because he was being an ass, though he'd been justifiably riled up earlier by some BS from the head ump). A pitch sailed over the batter's head, the girl made this same kind of half-hearted but full swing and the home plate umpire simply didn't see it. I didn't question it because I was the only coach left and they were already pissed at us. I mentioned the injustice to the opposing team's third-base coach to see if he would alert the home plate ump of the obvious miss, and he said something to the effect that if he were to bring it up, his fans would kill him. So it went as a ball.

Ah, the beauty of 8-and-under girls softball.

   21. bunyon Posted: July 23, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5713991)
Brian is on to something, I think.

How does the line ump watch the swing? I'd think it's possible you're watching for a check swing. If it's close, that part of your brain kicks in to assess whether it was a swing or not. If it's a full swing, you just assume your colleague gets it and the brain flushes the data. That falls under "not really paying attention" but is more like "wait, what?" when the appeal comes down.

Imagine you're driving on a two lane road. A car goes by in the other direction. As it goes by, you watch it closely. Immediately after it passes, you could probably describe it well. Now, wait ten seconds. How well can you describe it now?
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: July 23, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5713992)
that would be the lamest "fix" in the history of sports, so common sense says it was not that

wait - is this 4-dimensional chess?
   23. TomH Posted: July 23, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5714000)
Someone give me a primer on 4D chess. Does a queen magically show up from another plane for checkmate, guarded by a knight in a different extra dimension? Does the Ruy Lopez still work? How many pawns are needed to guard the front line in every direction? Is Magnus C still favored over the surprise Chinese-American?
   24. DL from MN Posted: July 23, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5714003)
our head coach had already gotten tossed from the game (largely because he was being an ass)


You pretty much have to be a giant ass to get tossed from an 8U softball game.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: July 23, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5714007)
You pretty much have to be a giant ass to get tossed from an 8U softball game.


That was the only time he'd ever acted that way, and the head ump really acted like a confrontational dick (for no reason) before our previous game, but yeah, he was a giant ass. I would have tossed him.

   26. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 23, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5714044)
When I was in high school I umpired little league. I still remember distinctly calling a strike on a pitch that was literally over the batter's head. I knew I blew it before I was done saying "strike."
You didn't happen to go to high school in east central Illinois, did you? When I was in little league, I had the ump call a strike on me on a pitch that bounced on the plate. I looked back, and he just kind of shrugged.
   27. winnipegwhip Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5715208)
See, Trump is right. Our President, protecting the integrity of our National Pastime.
   28. winnipegwhip Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5715224)
Ah, the beauty of 8-and-under girls softball.


Last weekend, two dads got into some serious fisticuffs at my son's 18 and under tournament. That is one dad's third incident this season. He was banned as a coach after last year and he cannot handle being on the sideline. First incident was with an young umpire in the parking lot. (His kid's team won 15-5). The second incident involved yelling at a player on the team then yelling at the mom when she defended her kid. (He had to write a letter of apology. He did, but concluded the apology with the fact, "But he still overthrew the cut-off man.) The latest incident has been concluded with the powers that be saying they can't do anything with him. Suggestions to suspend the kid (is an acorn to dad's oak) were met with it isn't fair to the boy.
   29. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 25, 2018 at 01:37 AM (#5715449)
Last weekend, two dads got into some serious fisticuffs at my son's 18 and under tournament


I was coaching an U7 A's(aka a group of the fastest kids) soccer game years ago and there was a serious punch up. Best part was that it was between the other team's coach and his own ref(another dad) who he had assigned to ref the game. He missed an off-sides call(which was 50/50), ironically my kid scored on the play and we went up 1-0 with about 10 minutes to play. Well the coach stormed onto the pitch, started jawing with his own ref and next thing was full on fistacuffs.

I immediately took my team off the field and walked away. The other coach shouted that we would forfeit if we did that and I was like, so what, I can't let my kids watch this behaviour. We appealed to the tribunal, got a make up game scheduled, and best part...my guys thrashed them 7-0. It was 16 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday.
   30. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 25, 2018 at 07:43 AM (#5715466)
A few weeks ago a former player of mine who is now 15 years old was umpiring an 8-9 year old game and had to toss the mom of one of the kids because she was screaming at him from the sideline. She refused to leave so the league commissioner was summonsed to explain to her she had to get the #### out. Her response was "you don't understand, he's doing a poor job", the commissioner responded with "no, you don't understand, you are screaming at a 15 year old kid during a little league game with a bunch of 8 and 9 year old kids." It took a bit but she eventually left.
   31. PreservedFish Posted: July 25, 2018 at 08:07 AM (#5715469)
I immediately took my team off the field and walked away. The other coach shouted that we would forfeit if we did that and I was like, so what


Good for you.
   32. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: July 25, 2018 at 08:32 AM (#5715480)
Last weekend, two dads got into some serious fisticuffs at my son's 18 and under tournament. That is one dad's third incident this season. He was banned as a coach after last year and he cannot handle being on the sideline. First incident was with an young umpire in the parking lot. (His kid's team won 15-5). The second incident involved yelling at a player on the team then yelling at the mom when she defended her kid. (He had to write a letter of apology. He did, but concluded the apology with the fact, "But he still overthrew the cut-off man.) The latest incident has been concluded with the powers that be saying they can't do anything with him. Suggestions to suspend the kid (is an acorn to dad's oak) were met with it isn't fair to the boy.


This guy should have his children taken away... What an ass.


   33. Zach Posted: July 25, 2018 at 07:45 PM (#5715970)
He did, but concluded the apology with the fact, "But he still overthrew the cut-off man.)

Her response was "you don't understand, he's doing a poor job",

A theme emerges.

   34. Zach Posted: July 25, 2018 at 07:49 PM (#5715971)
I have some sympathy for professionals or semi-professional amateurs arguing. They have something at stake, and the umpire is getting paid. But a volunteer umpire for a children's league is doing people a favor. I don't care if he gets every single call wrong.
   35. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 25, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5715978)
I refereed and umpired youth league games in my hometown when I was 15-16 years old. It was a pretty thankless job but we did get paid minimum wage at least.

The worst argument I saw was in a girls' basketball league where running a full court press was against the rules. It was a complete blowout (like 30-4), late in the second half, when a girl on the losing team "accidentally" stole a pass (she just instinctively reached for a pass that was thrown in front of her as she was running back after a turnover). We didn't call the illegal press, and the coach on the winning team ran onto the court to argue. This was uncalled for, but the reaction of my co-ref, who was a grown man, was worse--he threw the coach out of the game, cursed at him, and called him a "p*ssy" in front of a bunch of 8-year-old girls. Needless to say, he didn't work for the league again after that.
   36. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 25, 2018 at 08:16 PM (#5715980)
When I was 16-17 years old, I used to referee kid's soccer games (ages 7-10), and I would have parents yelling at me about not calling fouls when two kids would bump into each other going after the ball.

One day, the game after my regular one (14-15 year olds) didn't have their referee show up, so they asked me to do it. I was hesitant to do it because this was a level above house league and the kids were actually as tall (if not taller) than me. They said that if I didn't, they'd have to cancel the game. I agreed, but one provision I had was that the players could NOT yell at me in Italian or Greek (the majority of the players), or attempt to intimidate me physically (by running right up to me and getting in my face). I told the coaches that if ANYONE did that, they'd get a yellow. A second time would get them a red card.

Early on in the game a player took down another player with a good slide tackle (all ball) and one of the fathers lept from his folding chair and charged down the line to yell at me. He was cursing up a storm and saying things that you really shouldn't be saying to a small teenage kid.

Then, suddenly, the coaches started yelling at HIM to sit the **** down and shut up, as did some other fathers watching the game.
It was like all the responsible adults knew that I was doing them a favour and decided to defend me.

None of the kids were disrespectful to me (even when I did call fouls on them) and the game ended pretty much without incident.

   37. SoSH U at work Posted: July 25, 2018 at 08:22 PM (#5715983)
But a volunteer umpire for a children's league is doing people a favor.


I ump and ref, and both are paid. That's pretty universal, I think. But it a) isn't much, and b) this is still very low-level athletics, so there's no reason for some of the nonsense we've all seen (I've been pretty fortunate to never have any kind of the awful experiences, mentioned above, at least not when I've been doing the games).

   38. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 25, 2018 at 09:39 PM (#5716030)

My daughter started travel soccer this year (U9), and I was pleasantly surprised. The worst we heard directed at refs was "Come on, ref!" Or "Hey, they were offsides!" or the like. No cursing of any sort, no charging at the ref, nothing. (Our team's coach got furious at a ref one time in a tournament because the ref had called a rather iffy offsides against us, and then missed a blatant one by the other team, and was dismissive about the whole thing, but our coach just walked away for a few minutes to calm down, rather than saying or doing something inappropriate.) (A few parents occasionally got a little boisterous towards their own kids, but nothing I would characterize as worse than obnoxious.)
   39. Howie Menckel Posted: July 25, 2018 at 09:49 PM (#5716039)
and here I thought David lived in New Jersey!
;)
   40. VCar Posted: July 26, 2018 at 06:17 AM (#5716147)
Was coaching a 13U game years ago, as an assistant coach to a guy who was a morning DJ on the local radio station so he was naturally kinda loud. During the game, he has 2-3 minor arguments with the home plate ump, a war vet who had some issues after he got back. We lose by 2, and after the game these 2 start arguing loudly. While I'm shaking hands with the other team's coaches, I look over and the ump is strangling my coach. So I start to run over to break it up, and in the process I accidentally push the opposing coach out of the way. So then he (an ex-marine) challenges me to a fight and starts telling me he knows 73 ways to kick my a$$. Then his 2 adult sons bring bats onto the field expecting a brawl. All in front of a bunch of 13 y.o. kids.
   41. homerwannabee Posted: July 26, 2018 at 06:58 AM (#5716148)
Match fixing? Wouldn't that imply that there is someone out there that actually gambles on Mexican baseball games?
   42. manchestermets Posted: July 26, 2018 at 08:07 AM (#5716160)
   43. manchestermets Posted: July 26, 2018 at 08:16 AM (#5716161)
Looking through that site, another thing people will gamble on is the Finnish baseball variant, Pesäpallo. It's wild.

Edit: And it had a match-fixing scandal!
   44. Lassus Posted: July 26, 2018 at 08:17 AM (#5716163)
My parents were both gym teachers, and my mom had to stop coming to my sister's soccer games because the parents were so awful. And bad parents is not a new thing, this was in the 80s.

I've mentioned this before but my dad - while coaching our little league team - had to run out to the mound because the opposing coach started to throttle his own son, who was pitching.

The bad apples really leave a mark.
   45. Hysterical & Useless Posted: July 26, 2018 at 08:37 AM (#5716172)
I still remember distinctly calling a strike on a pitch that was literally over the batter's head.


So that was you!!

Actually, you must've umped most of my games. I was a short kid, and I was always getting called strikes on pitches I couldn't have reached from a step ladder.

The leagues I played in always had very strict rules re: no arguing with the umpire. Most you could do was look at them if you thought they'd missed a call, and you couldn't even look very long.

But considering the umps, why would you want to?
   46. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 26, 2018 at 08:37 AM (#5716173)
Looking through that site, another thing people will gamble on is the Finnish baseball variant, Pesäpallo. It's wild.

Edit: And it had a match-fixing scandal!

Not all that surprising. The lower the level of competition, the easier it gets to fix.

Umpires/referees who make nothing or next to nothing. Players who make nothing or next to nothing. All you need to do is find one guy who will take a few grand.

Plus no tv cameras recording everything in HD from 12 angles (maybe the odd spectator recording on their phone). Bad play, and bad calls are pretty commonplace.

The flip side is that betting sites have become very, very good at using data to detect unusual betting patterns, and shut down and refund bets on such games, as well as causing investigations. And the lower the level of competition, the less money it takes to trip their algorithms.
   47. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 26, 2018 at 09:26 AM (#5716189)
I will say that other than the incident in #35, I generally had a good experience umpiring. Parents occasionally argued with us but nothing that we couldn’t handle. Maybe we threw one or two parents out in the 100+ games I worked.
   48. Howie Menckel Posted: July 26, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5716209)
as of a couple of weeks ago, you can go to the Meadowlands Racetrack sportsbook and legally bet on stuff like which obscure men's doubles team in an obscure pro tennis event will win the first set. or try an over/under on a WNBA game. or bet on a tie in a Major League Soccer game.

that you can, doesn't mean you should.
:)
   49. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 26, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5716280)
A friend of mine refs mid-to-high-level youth soccer in Chicago and he sometimes writes about his adventures. A month or so ago he was reffing a game on a broiling day when one of the team moms told him she didn't know how he could ref on days like that and that she was getting hot just looking at him in his black socks. Without missing a beat he said with a wink that wasn't the first time he's heard that. He closed by saying he tried to hear her reaction, but her friend next to her was laughing too hard to hear it.
   50. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 26, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5716288)
or bet on a tie in a Major League Soccer game.
Wouldn't you have like an 80% chance of cashing in on that one?
   51. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 27, 2018 at 09:07 AM (#5716715)
I'm currently coaching a 9 year old team in the New England Regionals. We had last night off as we earned a bye so I went down to help out for one of the quarterfinal games (we are the host team). The game ended on a pretty easy interference call when the base runner collided with the first baseman trying to catch a pop up. Except the coaching staff of the losing team either didn't see the collision or didn't know the rule and they flipped. The. ####. Out.

They did the whole soccer thing where they surrounded the ump and were screaming at him while the kids were trying to line up to do the postgame handshake. Finally the ump had to toss two of them; one for calling him an absolute joke and the other for dropping a few F-bombs.
   52. Batman Posted: July 27, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5716815)
Finally the ump had to toss two of them; one for calling him an absolute joke and the other for dropping a few F-bombs.
Since the game (and maybe the tournament and season) were over, the coaches had nothing to lose except their dignity and their souls.
   53. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 27, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5716822)
Technically if they return for the tournament next year they are supposed to be suspended for the first game but yeah there is no real punishment. It was pretty bad though. The coaches were not exactly setting a great example for the kids.
   54. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 27, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5716849)
I used to coach both my daughters softball teams. There were 2 girls on the team whose fathers had been banned from coaching. I found out why. They used to ride their daughters hard and the umps harder. In one game, they stood behind the screen, arguing balls and strikes. The ump kicked them out from behind and they went down the line, where they were arguing with the base ump, who was probably 15. The plate ump (who was an adult) kicked them out and then told me we were going to forfeit if they didn't leave.

It took a lot of cajoling to make them move. They stood behind the outfield wall for the rest of the game.

I was so embarrassed, as were the daughters of these jerks.

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