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Thursday, May 27, 2010

ESPN1500: Gardenhire steamed about Yankees’ stall, calls on baseball for change

Weren’t the The Steamed Garden Hires on Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 228 (Hackensack: The Ruckus Era)?

Nick Swisher gave the Yankees the lead with a two-out home run in the top of the ninth, leaving Rivera limited time to warm up. So, Girardi sent starting pitcher Andy Pettitte back out for the bottom half, let him go through his warm-up routine and then walked to the mound to summon Rivera as Gardenhire had a verbal exchange with crew chief Brian O’Nora, who was working behind the plate.

...Asked if he ever thought Pettitte actually would throw a pitch in the ninth, Gardenhire said, “No, he wasn’t going to throw a pitch. That was kind of tired, to tell you the truth. You don’t know normally get that long between innings to do all that, but we know what’s going on there.

“That’s a situation major league baseball needs to take care of when stuff like that happens. You don’t have a guy ready in the bullpen, if your starter goes out there, he should have to face a hitter. That’s just the way it should be. If you don’t get a guy up, that’s the way it should be, unless the other team makes a change.”

“But that’s not what lost the game for us. That’s stuff that just gets old right there.”

Repoz Posted: May 27, 2010 at 11:04 AM | 87 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: twins, yankees

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   1. Koot Posted: May 27, 2010 at 11:26 AM (#3544215)
MLB should do something about this.

The Yankees are pretty smart about finding ways to shamelessly do things that are not against the rules to their advantage. I haven't seen this one before, but, I'm very familiar with the "send Posada out to talk to the pitcher, and now Dave Eiland... and now Girardi can come out and take him out, since the bullpen is now ready".

Last year's playoffs, where they only had to use 3 starters, was another good example. Although, the extra days off were really stupid, and I'm glad someone took advantage of it. Maybe someday MLB will actually put some thought into these things before they just let FOX tell them how things are going to be.
   2. AJMcCringleberry Posted: May 27, 2010 at 11:42 AM (#3544216)
I've seen this a bunch of times. It happened recently in a game I was watching and the announcers agreed with Gardenhire that the pitcher should have to face a batter.
   3. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 27, 2010 at 12:06 PM (#3544220)
This happens all the time. And if a team doesn't stall, and sends their closer out there without enough time to get loose, that team's fans rightly complain about their team being too dumb to figure out that they should stall.

I get the general frustration with the pace and length of games, and I certainly understand Gardenhire's frustration after two tough losses in a day. But I'll never understand why people seem to want rules that will prevent teams from putting their best players in positions to play their best. Stalling to give relief pitchers time to get ready has been part of the game since the it first occurred to someone to use a relief pitcher.
   4. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 27, 2010 at 12:26 PM (#3544227)
What is the reasoning behind allowing a pitcher time to warm up on the mound and then not pitch to at least one batter? Just an old rule that never got updated?
   5. Big fan Posted: May 27, 2010 at 12:26 PM (#3544228)
You can't make a guy pitch because he can always fake an injury to get out of the game...at which point the reliever has all the time in the world to warm up.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 27, 2010 at 12:38 PM (#3544234)
What's wrong with giving the fans an opportunity to give Pettitte a well-deserved standing ovation? And those Minnesota fans also got to see future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera at his peak level. At the prices they pay, surely they're entitled to the best baseball has to offer.

No big deal, and I doubt the Yankees employ the tactic any more than other teams.
   7. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: May 27, 2010 at 12:52 PM (#3544244)
I like the idea of changing the rule so that if a pitcher takes the mound he has to pitch to a hitter but this is no biggie. The rule is what the rule is and the Yankees did nothing wrong.
   8. WhoWantsTeixeiraDessert Posted: May 27, 2010 at 12:53 PM (#3544245)
I think my brother was a Garden Department Hire in Hackensack back in the 70s, although it might have been Little Ferry. I enjoy Hackensack references provided Billy Joel isn't doing them.
   9. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: May 27, 2010 at 12:59 PM (#3544249)
This happens all the time.

I don't think I've ever seen a team send a pitcher out at the beginning of an inning to warm up and then remove him before he's faced a batter. Seems pretty ridiculous to me.
   10. JC in DC Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:05 PM (#3544251)
I don't think I've ever seen a team send a pitcher out at the beginning of an inning to warm up and then remove him before he's faced a batter. Seems pretty ridiculous to me.


On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I've seen it more than once, the rules allow it, and if you have a situation like this (insufficient time to warm your closer, you've just taken the lead) WHY WOULDN'T YOU DO THIS?
   11. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:10 PM (#3544255)
I don't think I've ever seen a team send a pitcher out at the beginning of an inning to warm up and then remove him before he's faced a batter.


Well then, get your head out a spreadsheet and watch a game once in a while.
   12. Gamingboy Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:17 PM (#3544257)
I have to admit that while I see nothing wrong with the tactic, I thought that if you send out somebody you have to have them throw at least one pitch in that inning before bringing in another guy, similar to how a starting pitcher needs to throw one pitch even if their team got a 15-run lead in the top of the first inning (unless they get injured, as happened to Robin Yount's brother)
   13. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:21 PM (#3544260)
I don't think I've ever seen a team send a pitcher out at the beginning of an inning to warm up and then remove him before he's faced a batter. Seems pretty ridiculous to me.
Really? I feel like it happens all the time. I'm pretty sure the Yankees did it at least once during last year's playoffs.
   14. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:24 PM (#3544262)
Yeah, I don't get the panties-in-a-bunch response here. Teams do this all the time, sometimes to allow a reliever to warm up and sometimes to force the opposing manager to announce a pinch hitter before switching to a differently-armed pitcher.
   15. The Original SJ Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:27 PM (#3544264)
while "all the time" is strong. I would say, "often" is about right
   16. Boileryard Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:31 PM (#3544267)
Buck Martinez would do this periodically when he was managing. It drove me nuts. If a manager doesn't have his relief pitcher ready, that's his own fault. People shouldn't have to wait around because of a manager's lack of preparedness.
   17. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:31 PM (#3544268)
Occasionally.
   18. Mr Dashwood Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:33 PM (#3544270)
I guess you could argue that the Yankees employed tactics 'palpably designed to delay the game'. In which case, under rule 4.15, the game should be forfeit.
   19. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:33 PM (#3544271)
From time to time.
   20. Boileryard Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:36 PM (#3544273)
Teams do this all the time, sometimes to allow a reliever to warm up and sometimes to force the opposing manager to announce a pinch hitter before switching to a differently-armed pitcher.

For the latter case, just have a rule that pinch hitters must be announced before a pitcher goes to the mound to warm up.
   21. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:37 PM (#3544274)
I guess you could argue that the Yankees employed tactics 'palpably designed to delay the game'. In which case, under rule 4.15, the game should be forfeit.


Don't give Joe West any ideas.
   22. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:44 PM (#3544278)
People shouldn't have to wait around because of a manager's lack of preparedness.
But it isn't that, circumstances do change. Clearly, Girardi wasn't using Rivera in a tie game, and Swisher hit the HR with two outs. Now, if Tex had stayed on first base like his slow ass should have, this probably wouldn't even be an issue.
   23. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:44 PM (#3544279)
Sporadically.
   24. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:44 PM (#3544280)
Hey, I said all the time and I meant all the time. Literally. Right now, somewhere on the planet, a manager is allowing a pitcher to warm up when he has no intention of allowing him to pitch.

<cue dramatic hamster clip>
   25. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:45 PM (#3544282)
It's pretty obvious that the rules allow it. The issue is whether the rule should be changed (e.g., requiring the pitcher to throw at least one pitch before replacing him). I can see both sides of the argument. It's annoying tactic, but the cure might be worse than the disease.
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 27, 2010 at 01:59 PM (#3544290)
just have a rule that pinch hitters must be announced before a pitcher goes to the mound to warm up.

That seems counterproductive. You'd be guessing on whether there was going to be a pitching change at the start of the inning. Besides, it takes time to wake up a pinch hitter and get him ready.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:01 PM (#3544295)
maybe Gardenhire should be steamed that his team is like 3-145 against NY in the past decade.
   28. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:03 PM (#3544298)
I've seen teams do this often enough to be surprised that Gardenhire b*tched about it.
   29. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:05 PM (#3544301)
Itermittently.
   30. John Northey Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:08 PM (#3544307)
I remember in 1998 in the final game of the season the Jays did something similar. At the top of each inning they had one of the regulars go out to his position, wave his cap to the crowd then go back to the dugout for a replacement. Of course, they would live to regret it as Halladay was throwing a perfect game throughout until the replacement at second base (who was a very poor fielder) booted a ball. He would get to 2 out in the 9th before giving up a solo home run. Without that error the perfect game might have happened.

However, with pitchers, I say force anyone brought into the game (including at the start of the inning) to throw to one batter (not one pitch, one full plate appearance) and if he doesn't he automatically goes on the 15 day DL - that'll stop most of this type of stuff. If he is really hurt then a 15 day DL stint makes sense. If not then the manager won't do it as he won't want to lose his pitcher for 2 weeks.

After all, what is to stop a manager from bringing in his starter from 2 days ago, get him to warm up, then pull him as well to give his closer more time? Mix in a few time limits too in order to cut back on the silliness that managers do for delays.
   31. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:09 PM (#3544310)
It's pretty obvious that the rules allow it. The issue is whether the rule should be changed (e.g., requiring the pitcher to throw at least one pitch before replacing him). I can see both sides of the argument. It's annoying tactic, but the cure might be worse than the disease.

I don't see how it would be worse. If a player reports to the field of play, then require that they be present for at least one batter. That is not very dissimiliar to existing replacement rules.

You can still have an exemption for injury. If players are then faking injuries to circumvent the intent of the rule, you can create a new rule that deals with that situation. (IMHO, if you start getting into fradulent tactics like faking injuries to get the benefit of a rule, its beyond gamesmanship and its time to start fining people).

Girardi figured out a way to game the rules. We can pat him on the back for this, but its probably now time to change things. I don't think anyone is arguing this is a scenario that people want, just that its one that is not expressly against a subset of the rules.
   32. DL from MN Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:10 PM (#3544313)
A fine from the league office would be sufficient in this case. The league has been telling teams to speed up play and the Yankees are one of the slowest teams in baseball.
   33. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:10 PM (#3544314)
I've seen teams do this often enough to be surprised that Gardenhire b*tched about it.

Some teams (some managers) do it more often than others. I don't see it very often, but I don't watch many Yankee games.

Oftentimes, I've seen teams warm up both their closer (in case they take the lead) and another pitcher (in case they don't). Obviously the Yankees didn't want to dry-hump Rivera, so they pulled these shenanigans.

I'd be fine with a rules change that forced a pitcher that goes out to warm up to start an inning to face at least one batter, unless the opposing team announced a pinch-hitter.
   34. Craig in MN Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:14 PM (#3544320)
Gardy should have delayed the game a few minutes later by calling for a pinch hitter for Delmon Young.

To be fair to Gardy, this doesn't seem to be an Elia/Guillen rant. It just bugged him and he mentioned it. It's clearly legal, and most managers would do the same thing in the same situation. But there are plenty of rules designed to keep the pace of the game moving (whether they work or not) that lend themselves to suboptimal performance and maneuvering....there's no reason there couldn't be a rule for this situation to do the same thing. Anything to keep the game moving, I say. If Petitte is ok to pitch in a tie game, let him pitch to a batter with a one run lead.
   35. Randy Jones Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:17 PM (#3544324)
A fine from the league office would be sufficient in this case. The league has been telling teams to speed up play and the Yankees are one of the slowest teams in baseball.


Would have zero effect as the Yankees would just pay the fine and tell Girardi to keep doing what he needs to do to win games.
   36. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:18 PM (#3544328)
After all, what is to stop a manager from bringing in his starter from 2 days ago, get him to warm up, then pull him as well to give his closer more time

Rule 3.05(b) which states:

a) The pitcher named in the batting order handed the umpire-inchief, as provided in Rules 4.01 (a) and 4.01 (b), shall pitch to the first batter or any substitute batter until such batter is put out or reaches first base, unless the pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the judgment of the umpire-in-chief, incapacitates him from pitching.
(b) If the pitcher is replaced, the substitute pitcher shall pitch to the batter then at bat, or any substitute batter, until such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire-in-chief’s judgment, incapacitates him for further play as a pitcher.


That is the issue, the pitcher returning to warm up is a "loophole".

Also, it is incorrect that a pitcher has all the time in the world when he enters due to an injury of the current pitcher. The pitcher has as much time as the umpire deems necessary.
   37. zack Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:19 PM (#3544330)
Pitchers who touch the mound must complete at least one plate apperance. If they are unable to complete the plate appearance, the opposing manager can accept first base, or allow the injured team to replace it's pitcher and resume the at-bat, at his discretion.

Works, no? Any unintended consequences?
   38. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:26 PM (#3544340)
No big deal, and I doubt the Yankees employ the tactic any more than other teams.

I'm surprised that nobody's pointed out that the Yankees themselves were the victim of a similar tactic just last Tuesday, when Josh Beckett was suddenly removed from the game in the middle of an inning without any prior indication of injury, giving the incoming relief pitcher unlimited time to warm up. The Yanks played the game under protest, and the protest was disallowed.
   39. Randy Jones Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:27 PM (#3544341)
Works, no? Any unintended consequences?


No way in hell the MLBPA lets this happen. It would force an injured pitcher to decide between pitching with an injury or allowing a batter to reach base.
   40. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:27 PM (#3544342)
Pitchers who touch the mound must complete at least one plate apperance. If they are unable to complete the plate appearance, the opposing manager can accept first base, or allow the injured team to replace it's pitcher and resume the at-bat, at his discretion.

Works, no? Any unintended consequences?


I'm sure Arod could find some unintended consequence.
   41. Boileryard Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:27 PM (#3544344)
That seems counterproductive. You'd be guessing on whether there was going to be a pitching change at the start of the inning.

Not at all. It would be just like pinch-hitting mid-inning. The poster I was replying to stated that a manager might use the pitcher warm-up tactic to see if the other team will pinch-hit against the pitcher currently in the game, and then that manager will make the appropriate pitching change to get a better match-up against the pinch-hitter. If you announce the pinch-hitter before anyone goes to the mound to warm up, a manager can then make a pitching change at the start of the inning without having to warm up two pitchers before anyone throws an actual pitch.
   42. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:34 PM (#3544354)
However, with pitchers, I say force anyone brought into the game (including at the start of the inning) to throw to one batter (not one pitch, one full plate appearance) and if he doesn't he automatically goes on the 15 day DL - that'll stop most of this type of stuff.

In this case, the pitcher in question had already thrown 94 pitches. Anyone "brought into the game" would have had to face one batter unless injured.

Girardi figured out a way to game the rules.

Girardi didn't figure anything out. You can play all the word games you want with synonyms for frequent or rare, but this was surely not among the first several hundred (possibly thousand) instances of the use of this tactic in MLB history.

the Yankees are one of the slowest teams in baseball

Right. That would explain why the Twins have played 3+ hour 9-inning games against the Angels, Indians, Tigers and Royals this season. Yesterday's games were 2:39 and 2:41. The earlier Yanks-Twins series were all longer games because there were more runs being scored and more pitching changes.

But it's all on the Yankees. Cervelli must have gone out to talk to Pettitte a dozen times an inning, but Butera never visited the mound once.
   43. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:38 PM (#3544357)
I'm surprised that nobody's pointed out that the Yankees themselves were the victim of a similar tactic just last Tuesday, when Josh Beckett was suddenly removed from the game in the middle of an inning without any prior indication of injury, giving the incoming relief pitcher unlimited time to warm up. The Yanks played the game under protest, and the protest was disallowed.


Different situation, Beckett was lifted for an injury, Pettitte was lifted for tactical reasons. Also, no one is saying the Yankees did anything wrong here.

However, with pitchers, I say force anyone brought into the game (including at the start of the inning) to throw to one batter (not one pitch, one full plate appearance) and if he doesn't he automatically goes on the 15 day DL - that'll stop most of this type of stuff. If he is really hurt then a 15 day DL stint makes sense. If not then the manager won't do it as he won't want to lose his pitcher for 2 weeks.


I don't think I would be that harsh. There are plenty of injuries that warrant removal from a game but don't require a DL trip that I wouldn't want to see someone injured pitching through. I would suggest a 6 day ineligibility for the pitcher removed. He doesn't go on the DL but he cannot pitch for 6 days (maybe a 4 day period for relievers). This would set up a scenario where there would be a tactical issue at hand but at the same time not so limiting as to cause someone to pitch with a minor, though potentially significant injury.
   44. Randy Jones Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:42 PM (#3544363)
I don't think I would be that harsh. There are plenty of injuries that warrant removal from a game but don't require a DL trip that I wouldn't want to see someone injured pitching through. I would suggest a 6 day ineligibility for the pitcher removed. He doesn't go on the DL but he cannot pitch for 6 days (maybe a 4 day period for relievers). This would set up a scenario where there would be a tactical issue at hand but at the same time not so limiting as to cause someone to pitch with a minor, though potentially significant injury.


I'll say it again. MLB is never, ever going to implement a rule where a player is penalized for leaving a game with an injury. It just isn't going to happen.
   45. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:48 PM (#3544369)
Different situation, Beckett was lifted for an injury, Pettitte was lifted for tactical reasons. Also, no one is saying the Yankees did anything wrong here.

And in retrospect, it's clear that the Red Sox did nothing wrong, either. I realize the slight difference of the two claims, and that's why I said "similar" rather than "identical." But as I noted before, there was no prior evidence of any injury to Beckett, which is why the Yanks immediately filed a protest. Turns out that Beckett's injury was real, but if it hadn't been, how could anyone at the time have told the difference?
   46. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2010 at 02:58 PM (#3544375)
And in retrospect, it's clear that the Red Sox did nothing wrong, either. I realize the slight difference of the two claims, and that's why I said "similar" rather than "identical." But as I noted before, there was no prior evidence of any injury to Beckett, which is why the Yanks immediately filed a protest. Turns out that Beckett's injury was real, but if it hadn't been, how could anyone have then told the difference?

It would be difficult, but the reason the Yanks lost the protest, IMHO, is not determinative of whether Beckett had an injury or did not have an injury. The issue is the rules leave that determination to the umpire's discretion, and you cannot appeal the judgment of the umpire. (See Rule 3.05 above)

If the umpire ruled that Beckett did not have an injury and then allowed the new pitcher to have more than 8 warm up pitches, then the Yanks have a protest. If the umpire determines that the pitcher has been incapicitated then the umpire chooses how many warm up pitches to allow to the new player.

Its the difference between awarding first base on ball 3 and whether a pitch was a ball or a strike.
   47. Gaelan Posted: May 27, 2010 at 03:03 PM (#3544380)
On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I've seen it more than once, the rules allow it, and if you have a situation like this (insufficient time to warm your closer, you've just taken the lead) WHY WOULDN'T YOU DO THIS?


Because it is unmanly. The pace of the game is already a catastrophe. Managers should not be allowed to intentionally delay the game to bring in a reliever. Girardi is the worst for this. Catcher, comes out, pitching coach comes out, Jeter walks over, finally Girardi crawls out to the mound. All of this bullshit should be banned. My rule proposal would be to ban anyone from talking to the pitcher in the middle of the inning.
   48. tocom Posted: May 27, 2010 at 03:04 PM (#3544383)
And in retrospect, it's clear that the Red Sox did nothing wrong, either. I realize the slight difference of the two claims, and that's why I said "similar" rather than "identical." But as I noted before, there was no prior evidence of any injury to Beckett, which is why the Yanks immediately filed a protest. Turns out that Beckett's injury was real, but if it hadn't been, how could anyone at the time have told the difference?


Just to clarify, the Yankees did not protest because there was no prior evidence of injury to Beckett. They protested because the coach called for a reliever prior to informing the umpire of the injury. So, in the Boston-Yankees game, there was an actual violation of a technical rule. I'm presuming the repeal was rejected on the basis that the violation of the rule didn't prejudice the Yankees.

In this case, there was no violation of a procedural rule. Therefore, the debate is whether there should be such a rule for situations like last night's game.
   49. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: May 27, 2010 at 03:06 PM (#3544384)
My rule proposal would be to ban anyone from talking to the pitcher in the middle of the inning.
Which reminds me, why don't pitching coaches hold meetings standing on one side of the foul line with the pitcher on the other? Isn't it not considered a "visit" until that line is breached?
   50. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2010 at 03:14 PM (#3544389)
Which reminds me, why don't pitching coaches hold meetings standing on one side of the foul line with the pitcher on the other? Isn't it not considered a "visit" until that line is breached?

The rule does not define that as being a visit. It only indicates that once the manager leaves the 18 foot circle that it ends the visit (so if he goes back, its a second visit.) It also prohibits the manager from going to a another player who then goes to the pitcher. I would imagine that this tactic woudl be considered a visit.

Moreover if not a visit, it would also appear to be a balk pursuant to 8.05(h) for intentionally delaying the game.
   51. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: May 27, 2010 at 03:15 PM (#3544390)
Which reminds me, why don't pitching coaches hold meetings standing on one side of the foul line with the pitcher on the other? Isn't it not considered a "visit" until that line is breached?


I'm guessing that the first time a team pulled this stunt would be the last time an ump would grant their request for time when they're in the field for weeks and weeks. By the time they're done with their next foul line conference, two batters would have been granted walks and that would be the end of that strategy.
   52. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: May 27, 2010 at 03:19 PM (#3544393)
Pitchers who touch the mound must complete at least one plate apperance.

Does that mean A-Rod has to pitch to one batter?
   53. kthejoker Posted: May 27, 2010 at 03:19 PM (#3544394)
#49: From 8.06(d):

"Any attempt to evade or circumvent [the mound visit rule] by the manager or coach going to the catcher or an infielder and then that player going to the mound to confer with the pitcher shall constitute a trip to the mound."

So by the same logic, trying to circumvent the rule by not actually physically "visiting" the mound would probably still constitute a visit.

And to clarify on Backlasher's post, a coach must request (and be granted) "Time" in order to even leave the dugout. And there the "visit" begins.
   54. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: May 27, 2010 at 03:23 PM (#3544396)
I was kidding around, I do know that even if there weren't a real rule against my "plan" the umpires would never allow it.

I'm surprised by the rule Backlasher quotes, I seem to remember past incidents where a manager has left the dugout but the pitcher stops them before they reach the foul line for what would otherwise be the second visit because they want to stay in the game.
   55. DL from MN Posted: May 27, 2010 at 03:30 PM (#3544402)
> Would have zero effect

It would siphon off Yankee money into the league office. I'm fine with that. Small penalty for a small infraction.
   56. Mr Dashwood Posted: May 27, 2010 at 03:30 PM (#3544403)
There seems to be a Primer consensus/groupthink that all this time-wasting by the Yankees and others is 'clearly' permitted by the rules.

I say, on the contrary, custom and practice has allowed these palpable delays of game to become second nature to the managers. It's up to the leagues, through the umpires, to enforce things. There are ample tools to do so, as in rule 4.15, which I cited, and others that have been brought up by other posters.

There is nothing 'clear' about it at all. It's all a matter of interpretation.
   57. tocom Posted: May 27, 2010 at 03:44 PM (#3544416)
There seems to be a Primer consensus/groupthink that all this time-wasting by the Yankees and others is 'clearly' permitted by the rules.

I say, on the contrary, custom and practice has allowed these palpable delays of game to become second nature to the managers. It's up to the leagues, through the umpires, to enforce things. There are ample tools to do so, as in rule 4.15, which I cited, and others that have been brought up by other posters.

There is nothing 'clear' about it at all. It's all a matter of interpretation.


I think what you are referring to as "group-think" is that most people are arguing is that there was no violation of a hard-and-fast rule.

I agree that "custom and practice" have permitted this and that 4.15 could be invoked, but this seems like one of those situations where the umpires would never, ever invoke 4.15 because it requires a forfeit and it has been allowed, so it's not worth discussing as a tool that could have been used last night.

Given the permissiveness of the prior custom and practice, I'd also have to assume that the league and/or umpires would feel the need to announce that they were explicitly enforcing 4.15 in this situation rather than enforcing it without warning at some point in the future and causing a forfeit. Alternatively, the league would have to promulgate a new rule for this situation. In either case, we're simply cutting to the chase by asking if the new rule should cover this situation.
   58. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: May 27, 2010 at 03:53 PM (#3544423)
Oft.
   59. Mr Dashwood Posted: May 27, 2010 at 04:00 PM (#3544427)
tocom, I don't disagree with you that the rule couldn't just be enforced on an umpire's whim today. But we don't need a new rule, we just need to decide what 'delay of game' means, and act accordingly. Girardi 'cheated', but it's not seen as 'cheating'. I've no idea when this cheating started, but if the leagues are serious about speeding up the games, it would be very easy for them to announce that this rule would be enforced more rigorously.
   60. JMPH Posted: May 27, 2010 at 04:05 PM (#3544430)
#52 is excellent.
   61. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2010 at 04:43 PM (#3544449)
But we don't need a new rule, we just need to decide what 'delay of game' means, and act accordingly

First and foremost, rule 4.15b is a relic from days prior to artificial lighting, when pace delays had more serious consequences. In the history of baseball, there have only been 139 forfeits, the majority of which came before 1900 with only five in the last 40 years. If you really think that the sanction for Girardi's conduct is a forfeit, then there is not much else for me to discuss. I would vehemently disagree. If you don't think the sanction is a forfeit, then you need a new rule.

Second, this has not been used for this type of situation in over a hundred years. This is reserved for conduct of reprobates like Earl Weaver that pull his team from the field b/c he doesn't get his way. See http://www.retrosheet.org/forfeits.htm for forfeit information.
   62. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 27, 2010 at 04:50 PM (#3544454)
Girardi 'cheated', but it's not seen as 'cheating'. I've no idea when this cheating started, but if the leagues are serious about speeding up the games, it would be very easy for them to announce that this rule would be enforced more rigorously.


Wait, why is it 'cheating'? Isn't it just using a loop-hole in the rules? There is nothing stating a pitcher that has previously pitched to a batter cannot have his pre-inning warm-up throws before being taken out of the game. If there is no rule to break there is no cheating.

Giardia could make the argument that he was expecting a pinch-hitter, and when one was not announced only then decided to go to Rivera. No explicit delay of game rules breaking.
   63. Backlasher Posted: May 27, 2010 at 04:59 PM (#3544461)
Giardia could make the argument that he was expecting a pinch-hitter, and when one was not announced only then decided to go to Rivera.

If the Yanks have to resort to Giardia, its going to be tough to prevent the runs.
   64. sunnyday2 Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:05 PM (#3544467)
Of course Gardy is steamed. Every single bit of schtick he throws out there against the Yankees blows up in his face, and every stupid ass little trick of the Yankees is totally golden. But let's be honest, this reminds of the time some Yankee ran across the pitcher's mound on his way... Oh, wait, it was A-Rod? Why that was the dirty rottenest trick, the sonofabitch ought get plunked and funked and sodomized and... Oh never mind.
   65. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:07 PM (#3544468)
This isn't the first time that this issue has come up. I suspect the reason why MLB hasn't amended the rule is that this practice, while rare, often gives TV and radio stations an extra commercial break at a (usually) critical point in the game. It wouldn't surprise me if at one point or another, a memo of ideas to quicken the pace of the game has circulated and ESPN, FOX, or representatives of the local stations have requested that they leave that little loophole in place.

MLB is willing to sacrifice the integrity of the game if they (or one of their partners) can profit from it.
   66. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:13 PM (#3544472)
Now and then.

One thing that I haven't seen- that seems like it's right up this alley- would be bringing in a reliever to throw his warmups, and then simply replacing him after he's done warming up. This would give the second reliever that much more time to warm up. Basically the same stunt as in this game but instead of sending out Pettite, you send out a scrub reliever first.

Is there a rule that forces a guy to pitch to a hitter if he takes warm-ups after a pitching change?
   67. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:20 PM (#3544482)
Is there a rule that forces a guy to pitch to a hitter if he takes warm-ups after a pitching change?

Yes. Any pitcher must face at least one batter.
   68. McCoy Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:25 PM (#3544486)
Manager X steamed at Yankees, news at 11.

This happens about has often as Tony LaRussa, his players, or his team gets disrespected.
   69. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:26 PM (#3544489)
Yes. Any pitcher must face at least one batter.

So we've already got a rule that forces pitchers to pitch in certain situations. It wouldn't seem that extending that rule to cover this situation is that much of a reach.
   70. Davo Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:28 PM (#3544490)
"Any attempt to evade or circumvent the mound visit rule
Yeah...the old reach-around.
   71. Scott Lange Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:34 PM (#3544494)
I'll say it again. MLB is never, ever going to implement a rule where a player is penalized for leaving a game with an injury. It just isn't going to happen.


Isn't there already the standard rule that a new relief pitcher must face a hitter? Doesn't that "penalize a player for leaving with an injury"?
   72. Nasty Nate Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:37 PM (#3544498)

Isn't there already the standard rule that a new relief pitcher must face a hitter? Doesn't that "penalize a player for leaving with an injury"?


Do you mean a situation where the relief pitcher gets injured during his 8 warm-up pitches?
   73. Randy Jones Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:39 PM (#3544500)
Isn't there already the standard rule that a new relief pitcher must face a hitter? Doesn't that "penalize a player for leaving with an injury"?


I have no idea what you are getting at here. Pitcher leaves game with injury, reliever comes in and has to pitch to at least one batter, sure. I don't see how that is penalizing the player that left the game with an injury. Obviously they are unavailable for the rest of that game, but that is unavoidable.
   74. Srul Itza Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:41 PM (#3544502)
First of all, stalling while a reliever gets ready has been happening for decades. Everyone recognizes it when it happens, and the umpires almost always give them a little rope before forcing the change. Hell, I can recall seeing umpires walk to the mound, talk to the manager, and make the signal to the bullpen themselves. No manager ever makes a big deal about that tactic, because they know they are going to have to use it themselves at some point.

The tactic of having the prior pitcher come out and warm up, and then pulling him for a reliever before he pitches, is a variation on that theme. And while I have seen it done, it really is not so common place as to be a blight on the game. In the modern game, with 7 inning guys, set up men and closers, the pitchers know their role and are ready.

What you had here was a confluence of circumstances, which included finishing an earlier game. Because Mo (and other relievers) had pitched a few hours earlier, Girardi was in a position where he had used Mo and other relievers, he did not want to get Mo up again, or any reliever, really, unless absolutely necessary. Given that the game was tied before the 2 out homer in the 8th, Girardi was also probably concerned about extra innings, and Pettitte may well have pitched the 9th if Swisher doesn't homer with 2 outs. He did, the situation changed, and Girardi reacted on the fly.

The practice then, while not unheard, is also not that common. I don't agree with tinkering with the rules for what is only an occasional act which is merely a variation on the time-honored "stall while the reliever gets ready" gambit.

I am not opposed to rule changes per se, but they should be made for real problems, not small crap like this.
   75. Mr Dashwood Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:56 PM (#3544520)
Wait, why is it 'cheating'?

Because Girardi has intentionally delayed the game, which is against rule 4.15.

Everybody here is justifying custom and practice to ignore intentional delays of the game. I've got no problem with this custom and practice, but to pretend that what Girardi is not covered by the rulebook is misleading. Gardenhire would be perfectly entitled to protest, under the rules, and claim a forfeit.
   76. DL from MN Posted: May 27, 2010 at 05:59 PM (#3544524)
How about just awarding ball one to the batter if a pitcher warms up and doesn't pitch? It puts an appropriate cost on the stall tactic.
   77. Good cripple hitter Posted: May 27, 2010 at 06:00 PM (#3544525)
Do you mean a situation where the relief pitcher gets injured during his 8 warm-up pitches?


Judging by the Larry Yount precedent, if a reliever is injured while throwing their warm-up pitches, they can be removed from the game.
   78. ASmitty Posted: May 27, 2010 at 06:00 PM (#3544527)
It would just move the problem a single step. Instead of warming up the starter, having him face nobody, and replacing him, teams would just warm up a scrub, have him face one batter, then replace him.

The number of pitching changes would remain the same.
   79. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 27, 2010 at 06:03 PM (#3544530)
I am not opposed to rule changes per se, but they should be made for real problems, not small crap like this.


The MLB rule book is not exactly the Constitution - why is it so bad to add a clause "...if a pitcher warms up at the start of the inning he shall, and here-ever after, be expected, and required, to throw baseballs to, at the minimum of, one batter, so as to proceed with said earlier described baseball 'game' and perform the action of 'pitching' to at least, but not limited to, one at-batsman..."
   80. Nasty Nate Posted: May 27, 2010 at 06:15 PM (#3544543)
It would just move the problem a single step. Instead of warming up the starter, having him face nobody, and replacing him, teams would just warm up a scrub, have him face one batter, then replace him.

The number of pitching changes would remain the same.


but then teams would have to suffer the consequence of using a scrub pitcher who is not fully warmed up in an important situation. They would probably avoid this, and just leave in the old pitcher - thereby having 1 less pitching change.
   81. ASmitty Posted: May 27, 2010 at 06:20 PM (#3544547)
but then teams would have to suffer the consequence of using a scrub pitcher who is not fully warmed up in an important situation. They would probably avoid this, and just leave in the old pitcher - thereby having 1 less pitching change.


Meh. The problem in this situation isn't that you have NO reliever ready, it's that you don't have your CLOSER ready. Pettite wouldn't have pitched in that inning no matter what, it's just that the fact that the Yankees suddenly took the lead made Giarardi want to go to Rivera instead of whatever else he had.

Certainly there would be situations where the manager would just leave the starter in and thus reduce pitching changes by one, but how many pitching changes would that save over the course of the year? How many minutes would it shave off in a season?

Changing the rule seems logical enough, but I don't think the effect would be all the great.
   82. bads85 Posted: May 27, 2010 at 06:34 PM (#3544557)
Why couldn't Gardenhire handle this like a man and just challenge Girardi to a fight in the parking lot after the game? Oh wait, maybe its becasue Gardenhire is build like an alcoholic, dimunitive Santa Claus, so his only recourse is whining.
   83. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: May 27, 2010 at 07:31 PM (#3544606)
Changing the rule seems logical enough, but I don't think the effect would be all the great.

It would have the effect of eliminating (this particular variety of) the manager's ability to subvert the spirit of the rules of the game in order to gain an advantage. That's not great enough for you?

I don't object to this behavior because it's technically against the rules or not, I object because it's bullshit, and I'm actually somewhat surprised that that isn't the 'BBTF groupthink'-approved POV. It's obviously and clearly bullshit; anyone who knows anything about baseball has to look at the stalling tactics in question and conclude that it's all a bunch of bullshit. Girardi sent Pettitte out to warm up knowing without a doubt that he wouldn't pitch to any Twins, then once he was 'warm' he had Cervelli go and pretend to talk to Pettitte about something. Then he did his own slow walk. The ESPN announcers were predicting this would go on as Teixeira was getting thrown out at second to end the previous half-inning. It's bullshit and we know it's bullshit, Girardi knows it's bullshit, Rivera knows it's bullshit, and Gardenhire is saying it's bullshit. He's right. Baseball should endeavor to keep itself bullshit-free. So.
   84. Replacement-Level Primate Posted: May 27, 2010 at 07:32 PM (#3544608)
I think Gardenhire was frustrated for quite a few reasons. His team lost two 1-run games in one day, the second in particularly heartbreaking fashion, to a team that the Twins have notoriously had poor luck/results against. But mostly, I think Gardenhire was frustrated because it was a tactic that I really can't remember or imagine him using. And here are the big, bad Yankees using this loophole that was obviously going to work, and there was nothing he could do about it. And as someone else mentioned, he didn't blow up about it after the game. He was just frustrated and he said so.

I was sitting 4 seats away from the Yankee bullpen and I watched Rivera warmup for both games. It was apparent that he wouldn't be ready for the start of the inning in the second game. I was pretty certain Girardi was going to stall, but I wondered if that might not be enough. Leaving Pettitte in to face Morneau wouldn't have been the worst strategy. He had thrown ~95-100 pitches and had to be about as effective at that point as any lefty the Yankees would normally have brought in to face him.

I'd be in favor of a rule change that says that if a pitcher warms up to start an inning they need to complete a plate appearance. If you want to fake an injury at that point, I guess there's nothing that can be done to stop you, but at least the rule would be a step in the right direction. That said, the rule isn't in place now and it was something of a unique situation with Rivera pitching for the second time that day. Frustrating, yes. Cheating, no.
   85. DL from MN Posted: May 27, 2010 at 07:40 PM (#3544611)
I don't necessaritly agree with about completing a plate appearance. I think they should at least have to throw one pitch, otherwise award ball one to the batter. This allows for a small penalty that won't turn a game around if an injury actually occurs.
   86. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: May 27, 2010 at 08:00 PM (#3544629)
Once in a blue moon.

EDIT: also, what Petooter said.
   87. Brian Posted: May 27, 2010 at 10:55 PM (#3544738)
Those rotten Yankees, prolonging the game just to get a win! Joe West (That fat prick) was right.
   88. Srul Itza Posted: May 27, 2010 at 11:11 PM (#3544747)
Because Girardi has intentionally delayed the game, which is against rule 4.15.


So every time the batter steps out of the box to throw off the pitcher's timing, or any time the pitcher just holds the ball to discomfit the batter, the game is forfeit?

That is not what 4.15 intends.


The MLB rule book is not exactly the Constitution - why is it so bad to add a clause


Every change has unintended and unexpected consequences. You make changes to deal with real problems.

More simply, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This ain't broke.

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