Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, June 26, 2023

Astros reliever goes berserk after balk call brings in winning run vs. Dodgers

There are a lot of ways to lose a baseball game, but the Houston Astros managed to lose to the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-7 on Saturday night in one of the most annoying ways possible: a balk.

Let’s set the scene. It’s the bottom of the eighth inning, the score tied 7-7. Astros reliever Ryne Stanek is pitching to Miguel Rojas with runners on second and third with two outs. The game hangs in the balance. Then, the home plate umpire calls a balk, which brings in the go-ahead run for the Dodgers. Stanek is not pleased.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 26, 2023 at 11:59 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, dodgers

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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. It's Spelled With a CFBF, But Not Where You Think Posted: June 27, 2023 at 09:59 AM (#6135067)
To Stanek's "credit," I suppose, he waited until after he retired the final batter of the inning to truly lose his ####.
   2. Perry Posted: June 27, 2023 at 10:35 AM (#6135069)
Boy, TFA is all kinds of wrong. It was the 2nd base ump who called it first, not the plate ump, although the plate ump quickly joined in.

Also, she correctly cites 6.02a, but then completely misinterprets what it says. She says "When a pitcher comes set and then steps off, that's a balk." That's just wrong. The balk wasn't because he stepped off, it's because he double-clutched with his right knee in the process.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: June 27, 2023 at 11:13 AM (#6135071)
Stanek is not pleased.


Then he shouldn't have balked.
   4. Astroenteritis Posted: June 27, 2023 at 01:24 PM (#6135084)
Well, it was a balk. I guess if you're going to have a fit you might as well make it a good one, though.
   5. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: June 27, 2023 at 01:35 PM (#6135088)
Yeah, that was clearly a balk. Also, I agree with 2, the article linked is all sorts of wrong about the reason for the balk call. You can't break your back knee when you're engaged with the rubber.
   6. Tony S Posted: June 27, 2023 at 01:38 PM (#6135089)
This is like blaming Buckner for Game 6.

The Astros had a 7-3 lead in the seventh. Their own bullpen contributed heavily to getting them into a position where they could lose on a balk.

Which it was.

They tried to give away the Sunday game, too, but the Dodgers graciously declined.
   7. Zach Posted: June 27, 2023 at 05:21 PM (#6135123)
I guess the pitcher's entitled to complain a bit, but it was an obvious balk.
   8. Addie Joss Posted: June 27, 2023 at 09:03 PM (#6135144)
Stanek struck me as very animated but hardly berserk
   9. The Duke Posted: June 28, 2023 at 09:47 AM (#6135195)
Why can't they re-write the balk rules to provide more clarity. One of the great things about the balk is that the announcers almost never know what happened - even the color guys.

"It looks they've called a balk!!!! Did you see what it was color guy?"
"Well, he might not have come set ?"

Replay

" I don't really see it there, do you color guy?"
" it looks like he may have twitched his nose like the witch in bewitched "
" well at any rate there now a runner in scoring position!"
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: June 28, 2023 at 09:51 AM (#6135198)
Why can't they re-write the balk rules to provide more clarity. One of the great things about the balk is that the announcers almost never know what happened - even the color guys.


There should have been no mystery on this one, as our resident Astros fans have pointed out.
   11. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 28, 2023 at 11:09 AM (#6135205)
I'm getting tired of athletes thinking they can just go crazy and act like crazed ######## for no reason. Then mouth breathers think they can act the same way at McDonalds.
   12. Cris E Posted: June 28, 2023 at 11:52 AM (#6135214)
I think it would be awesome to have a retired ump as the color guy some day. When you get a hitter you often get the perspective of the hitter and fielder, and old pitchers often talk from a spot on the mound, but an ump could be lots of fun with the right two teams playing. I'd even take a one inning drop-in from someone funny and removed from the on-field relationships.
   13. Bob T Posted: June 28, 2023 at 12:04 PM (#6135216)
Ron Luciano was an analyst for a few years after he retired, but he mostly just told jokes.

Fox has an umpire on call for rules interpretation like they do with NFL games (and the other networks have them on call for other sports), but baseball doesn't generally get as confusing calls as other sports.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: June 28, 2023 at 12:17 PM (#6135218)
Fox has an umpire on call for rules interpretation like they do with NFL games (and the other networks have them on call for other sports), but baseball doesn't generally get as confusing calls as other sports.


Also, those other sports have been really overusing the official in the booth. They don't need to go to them every time there's a close call if it doesn't involve some interpretation of the rule the average fan isn't familiar with.

   15. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: June 28, 2023 at 12:45 PM (#6135219)
I'm getting tired of athletes thinking they can just go crazy and act like crazed ######## for no reason. Then mouth breathers think they can act the same way at McDonalds.
I'm so sick of all these ballplayers like Ryne Stanek, Chris Truby and Albert Belle with all their going berzerk over balk calls and such.
   16. stanmvp48 Posted: June 28, 2023 at 12:58 PM (#6135221)
I agree with #14. In fact I see little point in the whole business. Aren't the play-by-play guy and the color guy supposed to know the rules?
   17. JJ1986 Posted: June 28, 2023 at 01:02 PM (#6135222)
One of the football networks used to use Mike Carey who was wrong at least 75% of the time. I think they mostly have more competent guys now.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: June 28, 2023 at 02:08 PM (#6135228)
Stanek struck me as very animated but hardly berserk

he was animated when the call was made.

he didn't go berserk until after the third out was made, hence the ejection at that point.
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 28, 2023 at 04:42 PM (#6135246)
Why can't they re-write the balk rules to provide more clarity. One of the great things about the balk is that the announcers almost never know what happened - even the color guys.

Here's one of the weirder stats I know of: In 1988 an average of 0.22 balks per game were called, which was more than twice the rate for any other season.

In other balk news, Dave Stewart had 16 balks in 1986, and in 1963 Milwaukee's Bob Shaw had 5 balks in 4.1 innings of a single game. He got the boot from the game after protesting the last balk call. That game's umpiring crew wound up calling 11 balks in the three game Braves-Cubs series.
   20. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 28, 2023 at 04:46 PM (#6135247)
In 1988 an average of 0.22 balks per game were called, which was more than twice the rate for any other season.


Surely you are not unaware of the reason. And that was 1988 for Stew, not 86. Same season.
   21. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 28, 2023 at 04:51 PM (#6135248)
Those 16 balks were 70% of his career total. He pitched over 250 innings every year from 1987-1990, and his balk totals were 0, 16, 0, 0.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: June 28, 2023 at 05:10 PM (#6135254)
Surely you are not unaware of the reason. And that was 1988 for Stew, not 86. Same season.


Yes, that stat is not weird at all. In fact, if you break it down further, you'll see that 11 of his 16 balks came in April (he was the Ken Reitz of balks that year), as the offseason-directed crackdown on balks had largely run its course by the all-star break.
   23. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 28, 2023 at 05:10 PM (#6135255)
Robin Roberts, Gaylord Perry, and Warren Spahn combined for 15,280 IP and 14 balks in their careers. Roberts and Spahn were exact contemporaries, but Perry pitched until 1983, and had only one more balk than Spahn in about the same number of innings. So it wasn't just the era. Perry's near contemporary Steve Carlton was a balk machine with 90. From 1974-1983, Carlton pitched 300 more innings than Perry and out balked him 68-4.
   24. BDC Posted: June 28, 2023 at 05:33 PM (#6135260)
Steve Carlton pitched as if he'd been awarded a grant to test the limits of the balk rule. He'd try to point his front foot exactly at the 45° angle between home and first base that would theoretically allow him to throw the ball to either.
   25. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 28, 2023 at 05:44 PM (#6135264)
Makes sense. Other contemporary peers of Perry with long careers and their balks:

Seaver - 8
Jenkins - 18
John - 16
Blyleven - 19
Palmer - 11 (in 1400 fewer innings)
Ryan - 33
Kaat - 6
Sutton - 21

So, kind of all over the place. But throwing out the outliers, mid-to high teens.
   26. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 29, 2023 at 04:33 AM (#6135317)
...but baseball doesn't generally get as confusing calls as other sports.


I dont know about that. YOu used the qualifier "generally" and I guess you dont see as many crazy ruling on a per game basis. Football of course the rule book is about 1000 pages and you probably see more weird calls on a weekly basis. But baseball calls are occasionally so arcane we do need former umpires to go through the rule word by word with us.

Like the "fourth out" game that PIT/BAL (IIRC) got into last year. Literally the announcers had no idea what was going on. Or the rare but still occasional: infield fly rule isn't that a dead ball? (No it isnt.) Those are hilarious. Then we had the runner interference yes or no thing in BAL last week. It seems we usually have one of those every two years in the playoffs (I usually have a check box for that). Those are never consistent, you might as well flip a coin. And the runner out of the basepath we had the other day with Keibert Ruiz. And the home plate block/no block thing.

Those seem pretty arcane. The rule books come out a lot.

So while you can argue that footballs' weekly litany of: was that a football move? was that interference? was that holding? is more often, is it more arcane?

Basketball, hockey and tennis I dont think I've ever seen a call that was hard to understand or really arcane.

Now Golf.... They might take the cake for arcane. Those are rulings that even hardened golf veterans often have no idea.

Like is a peanut shell a natural impediment? Didnt Nicklaus have a thing where his ball landed in a wrapper and he wanted to use a match to burn the wrapper? Or the TV camera is a movable obstruction in the 1981 US Open? People calling in perceived violations they see on TV cause Craig Stadler knelt on a towel to make a shot.

Or signing the wrong score card (Roberto Divecenzo). That was a good one. They should have that in baseball. The manager has to sign off on the score sheet after the game is over and if he doesnt total up the hits, errors, LOB correctly THEY LOSE THE GAME!

Really esoteric sheet
   27. Cris E Posted: June 29, 2023 at 11:15 AM (#6135352)
Football is hard because they keep changing the rules. Baseball is hard because there's some odd stuff that gets calcified into law that doesn't exactly match the rule book (eg strikezone, area plays at 2B, staying in the batter's box, etc) and you honestly do need to go to ump school to learn the "real" rules. The balk rules are super-closely watched but coaches can be 20 feet from their spot on the field, so knowing when to enforce rules more or less tightly involves a very good feel for the game.
   28. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 29, 2023 at 11:30 AM (#6135356)
Like the "fourth out" game that PIT/BAL (IIRC) got into last year. Literally the announcers had no idea what was going on.


That's inexcusable. It's not that complicated, and it has happened enough in recent history, and every one has been highly publicized, that for any announcer to not be aware of it is negligence.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: June 29, 2023 at 11:53 AM (#6135362)
That's inexcusable. It's not that complicated, and it has happened enough in recent history, and every one has been highly publicized, that for any announcer to not be aware of it is negligence.


Agreed.
   30. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 29, 2023 at 01:01 PM (#6135367)
Especially for the color guy, who is almost always an ex-player. Which by definition, he has at least 2 decades of playing experience. And for this to never come up in all that time?
   31. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: June 29, 2023 at 01:47 PM (#6135374)
"BALK RULES! IMPORTANT!
1. You can’t just be up there and just doin’ a balk like that.
1a. A balk is when you
1b. Okay well listen. A balk is when you balk the
1c. Let me start over
1c-a. The pitcher is not allowed to do a motion to the, uh, batter, that prohibits the batter from doing, you know, just trying to hit the ball. You can’t do that."
Jon Bois
   32. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 29, 2023 at 09:37 PM (#6135470)
Baseball is hard because there's some odd stuff that gets calcified into law that doesn't exactly match the rule book...


Calcified is a great word. I remember Bill James talking about the tagging up rule and how it might have evolved because of the way the game was being played 150 years ago or whatever. thinking about it some more, I guess the weird: appeal play after the ball is dead thing kind of makes sense because whats the alternative? Does the umpire call the guy out immediately as soon as he leaves the bag? then the guy would just return to the bag to tag up. So in that case umpire has to act more or less like a traffic cop telling runners when they can or cant leave. I guess that's how it evolved.

Another example is the Merkle play and why does it matter if you dont run to the next base? It is interesting that at the time umpire Bill Klem said that the original rule was only supposed to apply to ground balls (I guess Klem thought Merkle should not have been out). Which is weird, but I dunno Klem was very well respected and had many years of experience so maybe he knew that. Or maybe that was just his take on it.

   33. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 29, 2023 at 09:48 PM (#6135475)
I guess the weird: appeal play after the ball is dead thing kind of makes sense because whats the alternative? Does the umpire call the guy out immediately as soon as he leaves the bag? then the guy would just return to the bag to tag up. So in that case umpire has to act more or less like a traffic cop telling runners when they can or cant leave. I guess that's how it evolved.


This is pretty much correct. About the dead ball appeal. It's functionally the same as a runner being caught off the base on a line drive. The ball is thrown to the fielder, he tags the base, and the runner is out. That guy is not automatically called out. He has two be put out. Same as the dead ball appeal. After the play is over, you throw over to the base and the fielder steps on it.
   34. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 29, 2023 at 09:51 PM (#6135476)
Another example is the Merkle play and why does it matter if you dont run to the next base? It is interesting that at the time umpire Bill Klem said that the original rule was only supposed to apply to ground balls (I guess Klem thought Merkle should not have been out). Which is weird, but I dunno Klem was very well respected and had many years of experience so maybe he knew that. Or maybe that was just his take on it.


It doesn't make any sense that it only applied to ground balls. A blooper into CF with a runner on first. The runner can't light out for second in case it's caught, but if it drops in, it's a force and he can be put out at second. Why would that not be a forceout back in the day? How would that work? The runner on first automatically gets second?
   35. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 29, 2023 at 10:25 PM (#6135483)
It doesn't make any sense that it only applied to ground balls. A blooper into CF with a runner on first. The runner can't light out for second in case it's caught, but if it drops in, it's a force and he can be put out at second. Why would that not be a forceout back in the day? How would that work? The runner on first automatically gets second?


Yeah I dunnno. Maybe Klem is thinking back to some game in the 1880s with fans crowding into the outfield as the game heads into the late innings and the sun starts setting. Its a tie game, ninth inning with runners on and someone bloops one into crowd in Lf, the runner on third comes home, the other runner and batter head for the dugout and everyone high tails it off the field and the umpires just shrug it off, games over!

Maybe I dunno.
   36. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 29, 2023 at 10:30 PM (#6135486)
OK, I could see that.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Harry Balsagne
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogForbes: For MLB, Las Vegas, And Oakland, The A’s Name And Brand Should Stay Put
(41 - 6:04am, Dec 04)
Last: Jose Canusee

NewsblogLeyland, postseason manager extraordinaire, elected to Hall
(11 - 5:54am, Dec 04)
Last: MuttsIdolCochrane

NewsblogHot Stove Omnichatter
(64 - 1:27am, Dec 04)
Last: NaOH

NewsblogWho is on the 2024 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot and what’s the induction process?
(344 - 12:28am, Dec 04)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogOT - November* 2023 College Football thread
(298 - 11:57pm, Dec 03)
Last: Mayor Blomberg

NewsblogOT - 2023 NFL thread
(73 - 11:43pm, Dec 03)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogOT - NBA Redux Thread for the End of 2023
(126 - 11:31pm, Dec 03)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

Hall of MeritMock Hall of Fame 2024 Contemporary Baseball Ballot - Managers, Executives and Umpires
(28 - 10:54pm, Dec 03)
Last: cardsfanboy

Hall of Merit2024 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(170 - 7:45pm, Dec 03)
Last: Chris Cobb

NewsblogOT - College Football Bowl Spectacular (December 2023 - January 2024)
(2 - 7:18pm, Dec 03)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogOT Soccer - World Cup Final/European Leagues Start
(301 - 6:22pm, Dec 03)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)

NewsblogZack Britton details analytics ‘rift’ that’s plaguing Yankees
(9 - 8:43am, Dec 03)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogUpdate on Yankees’ Juan Soto trade talks: Teams talking players, but not close on agreement
(30 - 8:20pm, Dec 02)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Hall of MeritHall of Merit Book Club
(16 - 6:06pm, Dec 01)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogJackson Chourio extension: Brewers closing in on historic deal with MLB's No. 7 prospect, per report
(19 - 4:54pm, Dec 01)
Last: Rally

Page rendered in 0.2958 seconds
48 querie(s) executed