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Thursday, April 29, 2021

MLB umpire Marty Foster stands by ‘terrible’ obstruction call in Brewers-Marlins game

The Milwaukee Brewers hosted the Miami Marlins on Wednesday (MIA-MIL GameTracker), and it didn’t take for controversy to descend upon the baseball festivities. Take a look at first base umpire Marty Foster making a call against the Brewers that may charitably be described as “baffling”:

So Isan Diaz grounded a Zack Godley sinker to the right side, and Godley was able to make the play and toss to Daniel Vogelbach for the apparent second out of the inning. However, Foster apparently ruled that Godley obstructed Diaz’s path to the bag even though it wasn’t a close play. Godley was charged with an error on the play because the rules say that’s how obstruction calls are to be scored.

Speaking of which, obstruction is the call when, in the umpire’s judgment, a fielder impeded a baserunner while said fielder was neither in possession of the bar nor in the act of fielding the ball. In Fosters’ judgement, Godley wasn’t in the act of fielding the ball (the toss had already been made to first base), which means that Diaz had the “right of way.” Presumably, Foster perceived that Godley affected Diaz’s path the bag. If you squint, you can maybe say Diaz slowed up just a bit as Godley moved in front of him to make the toss, but it seems a reach to suggest he would’ve been safe at first if not impeded by Godley.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 29, 2021 at 08:44 AM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: umpiring

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   1. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: April 29, 2021 at 09:11 AM (#6016081)
I can absolutely see why Foster called it the way he did. Godley WAS in the way and while there may have been contact though as noted that's not necessary. Godley needs to get his ass out of the way there after he throws the ball. If his first step after releasing the ball was to the left this wouldn't have been an issue. I'm not sure if the rule requires the runner would have been safe. Frankly every base runner in baseball is taught that if there is someone in your way not making a play on the ball (which Godley wasn't at that point) then you run into him and get the call.

I found a lot of the Twittering about the call comical. "He wasn't in the running lane!" He doesn't have to be. "The pitcher made a play." Yup he did, he was no longer making a play. Now he's gotta get his ass out of the way. I think the issue at hand is did it impact the play. I don't think it did. I think even if Godley gets out of the way he's still out comfortably. But that's the pitcher equivalent of a hitter not running hard out of the box. Godley had a very simple way of avoiding the issue but he didn't feel like moving.
   2. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 29, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6016084)
I dunno. Godley's momentum was carrying him towards the line and Dickerson was going to be out anyways. Seems like an easy non-call to me.

Frankly every base runner in baseball is taught that if there is someone in your way not making a play on the ball (which Godley wasn't at that point) then you run into him and get the call.

If that's true, that is some James Harden-level foul hunting. I would hate it if that was common practice in baseball.
   3. salvomania Posted: April 29, 2021 at 09:29 AM (#6016086)
To me, if nobody anywhere would have noticed if the "foul" had NOT been called---not the players, on either side, nor the fans, nor anyone watching on TV---and if the "foul" has zero material affect on the outcome of any game action, then there's no good reason to call the foul.
   4. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: April 29, 2021 at 09:31 AM (#6016087)

If that's true, that is some James Harden-level foul hunting. I would hate it if that was common practice in baseball.


It is. Watch a rundown sometime, if a player lingers in the baseline at all players will go after him. For just that reason players peel off. I agree with salvo though, no one would have blinked if it wasn't called but I get why it was. I'm not saying it's the right call, just that I understand it.
   5. John DiFool2 Posted: April 29, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6016090)
Huh, I must have watched a different clip-the pitcher DID "peel off" towards the middle of the infield after tossing the ball.
   6. Charles S. is not doing chainsaw bears any more Posted: April 29, 2021 at 09:45 AM (#6016092)
As Jose says, the call was defensible by the letter of the law, but make no mistake, the entire purpose of that call was "You may have replay to over-rule us. You may be talking about robot umps for balls and strikes, but for now, we're still in charge, and if we need to remind you of that every so often, we won't hesitate to do so." That was a contemptible call.

And if you're wondering whether my fandom of one of the teams influences this opinion, I can tell you that I watched the highlight 6 or 7 times on MLB Network last night, and I couldn't honestly tell you which two teams were involved in the play.
   7. Brian C Posted: April 29, 2021 at 10:36 AM (#6016098)
“Contemptible call” is a good way to put it. The only way to justify that call is with the most pedantic letter-of-the-law nonsense possible, and even then you really have to strain to make it work.
   8. bunyon Posted: April 29, 2021 at 11:17 AM (#6016103)
Runners are absolutely taught to run at fielders if they're dead to rights.

Umpires are taught that runners do this and that they should only call it if the fielder is occupying space that he both doesn't have to and that the runner does.

Neither of those were true in this play and it was an awful call. The fielder got close to the base path in the normal effort of making the play and then ran away from the basepath. The runner left a direct line to the base to go after the fielder and, anyway, barely touched the fielder. Just a terrible, terrible call.
   9. Cooper Teenoh Posted: April 29, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#6016104)
I thought the point of the chalk lane which extends to the right of the base line was that the runner was supposed to be in that lane, not running to the left of the base line. I think I remember runners being called out for running to the left of the line instead of running in the lane on the right. Dickerson is clearly running to the left of the baseline, and (as John noted above) Godley does arc away from the baseline in the steps following the throw.

If the chalk lane isn't for the runner to avoid contact on a ball in that area, then what is is for?
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: April 29, 2021 at 11:38 AM (#6016105)
Frankly every base runner in baseball is taught that if there is someone in your way not making a play on the ball (which Godley wasn't at that point) then you run into him and get the call.
But in this play he got the call because he didn't run into him! He got the call because he changed his path slightly, according to the umpire.
   11. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: April 29, 2021 at 11:40 AM (#6016106)
The player has to be in that lane to not be guilty of interference at any time. However, the player is NOT required to run in that lane. In fact the "baseline" is chosen by the runner. The runner can go anywhere he wants going base to base. In this situation had the fielder been behind the runner and his throw had hit the runner, then yes the runner would be out for interference (or obstruction I never remember which is which). However, in this case because he was not impeding the fielder and running in a straight line toward the base he was fine. Had he veered off course to run into the fielder or A-Rodded him then he'd have been out.

Skunk in the outfield!
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: April 29, 2021 at 11:45 AM (#6016108)
I can absolutely see why Foster called it the way he did. Godley WAS in the way and while there may have been contact though as noted that's not necessary. Godley needs to get his ass out of the way there after he throws the ball. If his first step after releasing the ball was to the left this wouldn't have been an issue. I'm not sure if the rule requires the runner would have been safe. Frankly every base runner in baseball is taught that if there is someone in your way not making a play on the ball (which Godley wasn't at that point) then you run into him and get the call.
Just because the runner chose to change his path doesn't mean Godley was in the way. He wasn't. They were feet apart from each other. The runner's imagination about potential future obstruction shouldn't be enough to get a call.
   13. A triple short of the cycle Posted: April 29, 2021 at 12:01 PM (#6016109)
@9
Just a week or so ago I saw a runner get called out for running inside of the baseline, and in that case he was running right on top of the line, not even inside of it. (Bad call IMO.) Here, the runner is clearly inside of the baseline. The pitcher never crossed the runners legal path. IMO.
   14. A triple short of the cycle Posted: April 29, 2021 at 12:03 PM (#6016110)
@11
That is news to me. I thought the point of the two lines between home and first was for the runner to stay in that lane.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: April 29, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6016111)
@9
Just a week or so ago I saw a runner get called out for running inside of the baseline, and in that case he was running right on top of the line, not even inside of it. (Bad call IMO.) Here, the runner is clearly inside of the baseline.
Was that a batter or a runner coming home from third?
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: April 29, 2021 at 12:25 PM (#6016116)
the runner would be out for interference (or obstruction I never remember which is which).


The offense is guilty of interference. The defense is charged with obstruction.
   17. JRVJ Posted: April 29, 2021 at 01:08 PM (#6016123)
The speaker implies, the listener infers.
   18. Dolf Lucky Posted: April 29, 2021 at 01:09 PM (#6016124)
I think Jomboy nailed it when he described the call as the most unnecessary one he could remember.
   19. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: April 29, 2021 at 01:40 PM (#6016127)
The offense is guilty of interference. The defense is charged with obstruction.


Thank you. I can guarantee I will have forgotten this by the time I leave the office today.
   20. Perry Posted: April 29, 2021 at 01:54 PM (#6016128)
That is news to me. I thought the point of the two lines between home and first was for the runner to stay in that lane.


Only if a throw is coming from behind him. If it is, and he's in the lane, he's protected from an interference call. Otherwise he can be wherever he pleases.
   21. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 29, 2021 at 01:58 PM (#6016130)
bad enforcement of the rules.
   22. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 29, 2021 at 01:59 PM (#6016131)
Huh, I must have watched a different clip-the pitcher DID "peel off" towards the middle of the infield after tossing the ball.

Yeah, you definitely did. He walks off the line after the runner had passed him.
   23. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: April 29, 2021 at 02:06 PM (#6016132)
Was that a batter or a runner coming home from third?


If he's referring to the event I'm thinking of, it was in the Angels-Astros game last week. Jared Walsh of the Angels hit a dribbler 30 feet or so in front of the plate, probably halfway on the angle between the pitcher's mound and first base. Greinke, pitching for the Astros, fielded it, stepped towards the first base line, and then deliberately threw the ball at Walsh's back. Walsh was running on the line. To be more specific, his body was mostly inside the line, but his right foot was bringing up chalk as he ran, which is a legal path in the rulebook, as far as I know. Also, Greinke very clearly moved unnecessarily toward the line so that his throwing angle would be more directly behind the runner. It was a savvy play by Greinke that drew the call he was looking for, but it was a crappy call given the circumstances.
   24. Scott Lange Posted: April 29, 2021 at 02:41 PM (#6016137)
Huh, I must have watched a different clip-the pitcher DID "peel off" towards the middle of the infield after tossing the ball.


Yeah, you definitely did. He walks off the line after the runner had passed him.


What on earth are you talking about? Here's a screenshot. The pitcher is stepping forward with his left foot headed toward the middle of the infield, away from the baseline. The runner is behind him. You can stretch to defend the call if you want, but don't just lie about what happened.

   25. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: April 29, 2021 at 03:43 PM (#6016161)
What on earth are you talking about? Here's a screenshot. The pitcher is stepping forward with his left foot headed toward the middle of the infield, away from the baseline. The runner is behind him. You can stretch to defend the call if you want, but don't just lie about what happened.


This is parsing beyond what this play deserves, but his next step with his right foot goes straight forward and does not continue toward the middle of the infield. And even the step you're referring to is not much of a change in direction. I think this was a bad call, but the pitcher could have avoided it by doing a lot more to move out of the way. He barely budged in that direction to the point where I see why the umpire made the call he did.
   26. TJ Posted: April 29, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#6016165)
The only way an umpire makes a call like this is if they are looking to make this call, and if an umpire goes into a game looking to make a call like this then they should not be an umpire any longer.
   27. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 29, 2021 at 05:03 PM (#6016194)
he offense is guilty of interference. The defense is charged with obstruction.


Also, interference is an immediate dead ball. Obstruction is delayed.

I didn’t watch the play. But based on the commentary, many people don’t seem to understand the rule. It is not meant to be a strict penalty on the defense. It is intended to make the offense whole. If, in the umpires judgement, the runner would have been safe had the obstruction not occurred, he should award the runner the base. If not, it’s no play. It’s not intended to be applied simply because a fielder improperly impeded a runner under every circumstance. This isn’t football where a penalty is issued simply because a 12th player, hauling ass to the sideline, has one foot inbounds when the ball is snapped. If the runner would have been out regardless, no penalty should attach.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: April 29, 2021 at 05:11 PM (#6016197)
I didn’t watch the play.


Here's the play.


If, in the umpires judgement, the runner would have been safe had the obstruction not occurred, he should award the runner the base. If not, it’s no play.


There is no way on earth he would have been safe without the obstruction.
   29. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 29, 2021 at 05:17 PM (#6016199)
Horrible call. The umpire seemed to be applying a strict liability standard, which is not the rule. Would one apply the rule if the catcher accidentally tripped the batter after he hit a routine pop up to short? No. Same for this play.
   30. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 29, 2021 at 05:18 PM (#6016200)
.
   31. bunyon Posted: April 29, 2021 at 05:47 PM (#6016209)
Using this umpires thinking every batter should run straight at the pitcher anytime they put the ball in play.
   32. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 29, 2021 at 05:51 PM (#6016210)
Imagine an umpire awarding second base to a batter who hit a towering fly to right that was eventually caught because the first baseman impeded him while rounding the bag. This call is almost as stupid.
   33. Perry Posted: April 29, 2021 at 05:51 PM (#6016212)
Also, interference is an immediate dead ball. Obstruction is delayed.


I think that's true in high school, but not MLB. It's delayed if the obstructed runner is not being played on; if he is, it's an immediate dead ball.
   34. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 29, 2021 at 05:58 PM (#6016213)
Well, in this play, the runner was being played on, and the ump signaled delayed dead ball.
   35. Perry Posted: April 29, 2021 at 07:10 PM (#6016219)
Well, in this play, the runner was being played on, and the ump signaled delayed dead ball.


Yes he did. So he screwed that up too, then. [Shrug.]

MLB rule says "If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the
batter-runner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ball is dead...." And "Rule 6.01(h )(1) Comment: When a play is being made on an
obstructed runner, the umpire shall signal obstruction in the same manner that he calls “Time,” with both hands overhead. The ball is immediately dead when this signal is given...."
   36. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 29, 2021 at 07:16 PM (#6016221)
Good to know
   37. The Duke Posted: April 29, 2021 at 10:20 PM (#6016233)
I’d say #6 got this right.

The real issue now is whether the rest of the league just got this memo about faking obstruction. I bet they did. I think the MLB should come out and say that while it’s a judgment call, and that you can technically get there, it is not the spirit of the rule and don’t expect these types of things to be called in the future.
   38. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 29, 2021 at 11:41 PM (#6016236)
The headline makes it seem like he himself called the call "terrible," but stood by it anyway. Which, somehow, isn't at all implausible for an umpire to do.
   39. Howie Menckel Posted: April 29, 2021 at 11:59 PM (#6016239)
I don't dispute the many arguments here against, but for me a rule of thumb has always been "never put yourself in a position to give an official a chance to make a questionable or inaccurate call."
   40. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 30, 2021 at 12:50 AM (#6016241)
That’s just a variant on the “ if you lost because an ump blew a call, it’s still your fault for not scoring more runs” BS.
   41. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: April 30, 2021 at 08:10 AM (#6016249)
I don't dispute the many arguments here against, but for me a rule of thumb has always been "never put yourself in a position to give an official a chance to make a questionable or inaccurate call."


Concur.
   42. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 30, 2021 at 08:23 AM (#6016250)
"never put yourself in a position to give an official a chance to make a questionable or inaccurate call"

Does that work when you consider the story of "Eric Gregg and the Enormous Strike Zone"?
Is there anything the Braves could have done to avoid that?
   43. SoSH U at work Posted: April 30, 2021 at 08:26 AM (#6016252)
Does that work when you consider the story of "Eric Gregg and the Enormous Strike Zone"?


Thrown it to the same place as Livan was.
   44. Charles S. is not doing chainsaw bears any more Posted: April 30, 2021 at 09:46 AM (#6016257)
I don't dispute the many arguments here against, but for me a rule of thumb has always been "never put yourself in a position to give an official a chance to make a questionable or inaccurate call."
I don't like this "rule of thumb". It's hard to win a big league baseball game, or any top level sporting event. Now we have to take the extra step of being so much better than the competition that even an egregious call combined with the best efforts of the other team can't beat you. That seems like an awfully high bar.
   45. RoyalFlush Posted: April 30, 2021 at 09:47 AM (#6016259)
I’d say #6 got this right.

The real issue now is whether the rest of the league just got this memo about faking obstruction. I bet they did.


It was on Twitter, so you know one guy got the message...

https://www.reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/n1iqds/bauer_gets_as_far_as_he_can_from_1st_base_so_he/
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: April 30, 2021 at 09:55 AM (#6016261)
I don't dispute the many arguments here against, but for me a rule of thumb has always been "never put yourself in a position to give an official a chance to make a questionable or inaccurate call."

I don't like this "rule of thumb". It's hard to win a big league baseball game, or any top level sporting event. Now we have to take the extra step of being so much better than the competition that even an egregious call combined with the best efforts of the other team can't beat you. That seems like an awfully high bar.
I agree. Also, if this play crosses the threshold of putting yourself in a position to give an ump a chance to make a bad call, then the threshold is so low to be meaningless and it is crossed dozens of times per game.
That’s just a variant on the “ if you lost because an ump blew a call, it’s still your fault for not scoring more runs” BS.
Yup
   47. Howie Menckel Posted: April 30, 2021 at 10:29 AM (#6016264)
That’s just a variant on the “if you lost because an ump blew a call, it’s still your fault for not scoring more runs” BS.

it's a widely prevalent sentiment among professional athletes and coaches for a reason.

sure, it's a "high bar" - a high bar well worth chasing, as a million game results have shown. hurdle the bar, win the game. it's a lot more satisfying than getting to kvetch about a controversial call because that's the position you left yourself with.
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: April 30, 2021 at 10:36 AM (#6016265)
because that's the position you left yourself with.
This is the BS part. Being in a very close game is not some scorn-worthy position to be in. Getting boned on a call is not a position you put yourself in.
   49. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 30, 2021 at 10:38 AM (#6016266)
it's a widely prevalent sentiment among professional athletes and coaches for a reason.
Right, because they want to feel like they are in control, and also probably because pro sports self-select for the kind of guys who go for the "rugged, self-reliant machismo" that it represents. But it's still BS.
   50. Howie Menckel Posted: April 30, 2021 at 10:41 AM (#6016267)
Getting boned on a call is not a position you put yourself in.

you put yourself in position to get "boned on a call."
not really a wise goal.

there are players, coaches, and teams that never figure this out - and it tends not to end well.
   51. SoSH U at work Posted: April 30, 2021 at 10:42 AM (#6016268)
Right, because they want to feel like they are in control, and also probably because pro sports self-select for the kind of guys who go for the "rugged, self-reliant machismo" that it represents. But it's still BS.


I think there's more to it than that. I don't think it's particularly healthy to continue to believe you got screwed every time you lost a close game.

I think it's silly when outsiders apply it (and monumentally ridiculous in this particular case), but I think shrugging off shitty calls is probably better for your long-term performance than harping on them.
   52. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 30, 2021 at 10:44 AM (#6016269)
I don't think it's particularly healthy to continue to believe you got screwed every time you lost a close game.
Not every time, of course. Only when the loss is directly the result of a blown call. There are tons of ways to lose 5-4 without that.
   53. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 30, 2021 at 10:47 AM (#6016270)
you put yourself in position to get "boned on a call."
This is just absurd. So it was Armando Galarraga's fault for not striking the last batter out instead of "letting him" hit a grounder? But if the home plate umpire would have blown a ball 4 call, that *also* would have been Galarraga's fault, and he should have induced the batter to hit it to someone instead?
   54. Nasty Nate Posted: April 30, 2021 at 10:47 AM (#6016271)
Getting boned on a call is not a position you put yourself in.

you put yourself in position to get "boned on a call."
not really a wise goal.
By being in a very close game?

Yes, a team's goal should be to win by a healthy margin every time. Thanks for the helpful advice.
   55. SoSH U at work Posted: April 30, 2021 at 10:49 AM (#6016272)
Only when the loss is directly the result of a blown call.


I still think you're better off focusing on the things you could have done better than harping on something that was truly out of your control. It just seems healthier to me, for the teams themselves, to see bad call as just any other form of bad luck (bad bounces, fluke hits, etc.) that happens every day in baseball.
   56. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 30, 2021 at 10:54 AM (#6016274)
I still think you're better off focusing on the things you could have done better than harping on something that was truly out of your control.
You don't have to harp on it. But it seems healthier to at least acknowledge the reality of it rather than blaming yourself because you're a tough guy or whatever.
   57. SoSH U at work Posted: April 30, 2021 at 11:07 AM (#6016278)
You don't have to harp on it. But it seems healthier to at least acknowledge the reality of it rather than blaming yourself because you're a tough guy or whatever.


And you are assuming it's about being a tough guy, because that's kind of what you do.

Even if you lose 5-4 on a game that ends in a shitty call on the final play in the 10th, it's not the only reason you lost. There are still dozens of reasons.

I think the guy who says, "hey, if I had just put the ball in play with the runner on third and no outs in the seventh, we wouldn't have been in that position," and moves on has a much better outlook, which should be better for future performance. For some bizarre reason, you think otherwise.
   58. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 30, 2021 at 11:10 AM (#6016281)
And you are assuming it's about being a tough guy, because that's kind of what you do.
What else is it, then?

Even if you lose 5-4 on a game that ends in a shitty call on the final play in the 10th, it's not the only reason you lost. There are still dozens of reasons.
Of course there are. But you can still acknowledge the blown call and its relative importance. Why is it somehow mandatory to pretend that it didn't exist?
   59. SoSH U at work Posted: April 30, 2021 at 11:18 AM (#6016285)
Why is it somehow mandatory to pretend that it didn't exist?


It's not mandatory. Nor is mandatory to pretend it's the only thing that mattered, as you're insisting.

Nor is the choice not to focus on the areas of bad luck that are inherent to sports necessarily some tough-guy facade, but I can understand why you'd see it that way.
   60. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 30, 2021 at 11:36 AM (#6016290)
If you’re so sure it’s not machismo, then what is the driving force? Where does it come from?

Also - I’m not saying it’s the only thing that existed. I literally just agreed that “of course there are” dozens of other reasons in my last post.
   61. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: April 30, 2021 at 11:46 AM (#6016293)
If you’re so sure it’s not machismo, then what is the driving force? Where does it come from?


It comes from a desire for betterment, and that betterment comes from focusing on the things you (or the team) can do better. It helps avoid a persecution complex or a players beginning to blame things, even things within their control, on curses or bad luck or bugaboos. I agree with SOSH that it's a healthy exercise to acknowledge the bad call, but to move on from it quickly to things the team can improve upon. There might be some machismo in attributing more outcomes to yourself than is warranted, but I don't see it as a main factor in this mindset.
   62. SoSH U at work Posted: April 30, 2021 at 11:48 AM (#6016294)
If you’re so sure it’s not machismo, then what is the driving force? Where does it come from?


Just a general sense of accountability that helps one's focus. From my own experience (sparked by an embarrassing incident), I made a point to stop worrying about officials' calls when I played sports, and I found it helped me immensely.

If a guy finds himself harping on shitty calls, or bad breaks, and sees that it has a carryover effect on his performance, then taking a new approach may suit him well.

I just think there are a lot of reasons why a pro athlete, someone inside the game, may opt to only focus on those things that are at least somewhat in his control that don't have to do with tough-guy nonsense.

But athletes taking that approach about their own games is not a really an excuse for the, "If you don't want bad calls, don't put yourself in that position," attitude from outsiders. That I don't agree with.

I literally just agreed that “of course there are” dozens of other reasons in my last post.


And you previously literally said, "Only when the loss is the direct result of a blown call."

   63. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 30, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6016297)
Fair enough. Just to clarify, though, this

There might be some machismo in attributing more outcomes to yourself than is warranted, but I don't see it as a main factor in this mindset.
isn’t really what I was thinking of. More along the lines of “only a whiny loser says that it was anything but his own fault, so man up and take the blame yourself” or something like that.
   64. SoSH U at work Posted: April 30, 2021 at 11:54 AM (#6016300)
isn’t really what I was thinking of. More along the lines of “only a whiny loser says that it was anything but his own fault, so man up and take the blame yourself” or something like that.


And that kind of mindset is folly, for sure.
   65. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: April 30, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6016301)
isn’t really what I was thinking of. More along the lines of “only a whiny loser says that it was anything but his own fault, so man up and take the blame yourself” or something like that.


Ah, I see. Yeah, I'm sure there are some coaches and players who take that mindset. But I can tell you as someone who coaches 11- and 12-year-olds, we go through this exercise constantly since our umpiring quality is somewhat short of MLBs. The message is 1. Don't hang your head because that wasn't your fault. 2. Let's focus and try to improve upon _____ so we can get back in the game.

If we lose, after the game we might acknowledge it again, particularly if there's way to learn from it and help avoid that situation in the future, but we quickly move on to things we could have done better. I do want players to learn to take responsibility for their actions, but that's not a machismo thing. The messaging is important. MLBers are (hopefully) more mentally secure and stable than middle schoolers, but the concept is probably similar in a healthy organization.

The opposite side of this coin is out there, as well. I'm not sure how many there are at the top levels, but there are plenty of overly protective coaches who coddle their players (and themselves) by blaming everything on outside factors. I tend to be more bothered by that approach than I am by the machismo, not that I condone either. I'm sure that says something about me.
   66. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 30, 2021 at 12:09 PM (#6016303)
MLBers are (hopefully) more mentally secure and stable than middle schoolers,
Ehhhh.... ;)
   67. Howie Menckel Posted: April 30, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6016320)
athletes taking that approach about their own games is not a really an excuse for the, "If you don't want bad calls, don't put yourself in that position," attitude from outsiders. That I don't agree with.


the best example of a "two-fer" - where both the athletes and manager as well as the fan base lost all sense of proportion is, of course, the 1985 World Series.

Cardinals lead the Series, 3-2, and have a 1-run lead entering the 9th inning.
the Royals' leadoff batter is out at first, but a bungled call makes him safe.

this is Game SIX not Game SEVEN.

realistically, there's nothing close to fatal about this mistake. you still have the lead, and with your closer on the mound. but MGR Herzog goes all apespit, and the players immediately lose their composure and kick away the game.

Herzog is still apoplectic entering Game 7, and SP Andujar follows suit. it's a laugher (for the Royals).

to this day, many Cardinals fans erroneously believe that the call belongs near the top of a blown-calls list, when of course it merits no such place. but Herzog led his team, and his fan base, down a dark path.

there's something oddly primal about sort of not hating the opportunity to piss and moan.
but it does athletes, managers, and coaches no good - and it doesn't nothing healthy for the fans, either.

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