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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

WaPo: In Comedy of Errors, Nats Aren’t Laughing (RR)

[Umpire Tim] Tschida’s was the biggest mistake of all, because it determined how all the other mistakes would be viewed. It was the biggest mistake, because Soriano was safe. “It’s unfortunate,” said Rick Reed, chief of Monday’s umpiring crew, speaking on Tschida’s behalf after the game and accepting the blame. “We don’t like missing anything.”
....
Only later, after the third different replay angle was shown on television, did anyone seem to realize Lo Duca, the sly veteran, had actually dropped the ball—then recovered it quickly and held it up for the umpire’s inspection. “I dropped it,” Lo Duca admitted later. “It just trickled down my arm.”
....
And what about that bat, laying wickedly up the base line, perhaps 10 feet from the plate—forcing Soriano, normally a feet-first slider when he goes into home plate, to switch to a head-first slide? Traditionally, it is the duty of the on-deck hitter to clear it away, unless the catcher or umpire does it for him—neither of which is likely. “He [messed] up,” one of [on-deck hitter Royce] Clayton’s teammates said later. “That’s his job, and he didn’t do it.”

See, Lo Duca’s heart and grittiness already won the Mets a game!

NTNgod Posted: April 04, 2006 at 03:06 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, nationals

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   1. Sam M. Posted: April 04, 2006 at 03:28 AM (#1936025)
Sorry, but despite the bad call, here's my view. Soriano didn't hustle from the get-go on Zimmerman's double. You don't hustle, you don't complain. Vidro shouldn't have been trying for second on the last out. You make a bonehead play like that, you kind of deserve to lose.

Easy for me to say, of course. I'm not a Nats' fan.
   2. Chris Needham Posted: April 04, 2006 at 03:42 AM (#1936076)
The mistake was sending Soriano in the first place. With no outs, there was no reason for it.

Vidro's play, to me, was a little more defensible. Beltran had been throwing the ball all over the park earlier in the game, and it's not like the Nats were going to get three or four straight hits to beat Wagner. They forced Beltran to make a strong, accurate throw. And he did, for once.
   3. Cooper Teenoh Posted: April 04, 2006 at 04:13 AM (#1936143)
I can see how Lo Duca's intentionally decieving the umpire is not cheating, and is a noble act, and how players taking performance enhancing drugs is cheating, and is a despicable act, akin to baby-eating.

Yes, Paul LoDuca is a hero.
   4. The Artist Posted: April 04, 2006 at 04:49 AM (#1936267)

I can see how Lo Duca's intentionally decieving the umpire is not cheating, and is a noble act, and how players taking performance enhancing drugs is cheating, and is a despicable act, akin to baby-eating.

Yes, Paul LoDuca is a hero.


Because this is knowing how to win! Veteran prescence !
   5. RichRifkin Posted: April 04, 2006 at 06:15 AM (#1936431)
Baseball needs instant replay. That call was inexcusable, and it probably changed the outcome of the game. I don't understand why anyone would object to having a replay system, where a manager could challenge up to two calls in a game, calls on plays just like that one. Beside overturning blown calls, one advantage of using replays would be to diffuse arguments between the agrieved manager and the umpires whenever there is a call that seems to be a mistake. It would take less time to just have a special umpire in a replay booth determine if there is overwhelming visual evidence to overrule the call.
   6. Mr Dashwood Posted: April 04, 2006 at 09:14 AM (#1936520)
I don't understand why anyone would object to having a replay system,

Here's my objection, based on observations from cricket.

In cricket, the umpire can on certain plays call for instant replay review by the third umpire. The idea was that a questionable call would be referred, while anything clearly out or in would be decided by the umpires on the field. However, my empirical observation leads me to conclude that ALL such plays are now referred. And it has even gotten to the stage where captains will demand a replay, even though under the rules they have no right to, and the umpires very gently, but forthrightly, remind them of this.

Now, yesterday, in the Test match between South Africa and Australia, two wickets fell in quick succession when the batsmen swung at the ball and just brushed it with the bat, and creating catching chances for the fielders that were taken. The effect of this on the match was electric, and changed the whole dynamic of the game, which was tending toward the batting side. Had either of these decisions been a run out, which would have been referred for replay review, the effect on the game would not have been the same. Whereas without the review, my pre-replay memory tells me, there would still have been the dynamic shift had a run out occurred. Umpire calls out, next batsmen comes in, and game resumes in two or three minutes. Replay easily adds five minutes.

Instant replay review slows down the inherent pace of the game, and consequently favours the side already leading in situations where the losing side is rallying. We saw in the WBC how skilfully the Cubans took the crowd out of the game by slowing play down, and killing momentum. Why make it official?
   7. BDC Posted: April 04, 2006 at 11:45 AM (#1936528)
I don't understand why anyone would object to having a replay system, where a manager could challenge up to two calls in a game

Man, you are clearly not an NFL fan. That, or the gripping drama of watching a zebra take in a peepshow is your idea of fun :)
   8. Chris Needham Posted: April 04, 2006 at 01:10 PM (#1936570)
The problem in this case, is that the only one on the field who knew that LoDuca didn't have the ball was LoDuca. Soriano didn't know until after the game -- he didn't argue the call. And Frank Robinson, who never met an ump he wouldn't swear at, didn't say a word either.

It really wasn't until the 14th replay that anyone saw what really happened.
   9. FrankM Posted: April 04, 2006 at 01:30 PM (#1936598)
I agree with Rich above; limit it to one or two challenges a game by each manager. The time spent on review would just replace time currently spent arguing the original call. It might even save time overall.
   10. ECBucs Posted: April 04, 2006 at 04:19 PM (#1936904)
Just a fluke loss on a bad call.

Just shows how important experience is.

Not removing the bat from the baseline shows that Royce Clayton just doesn't have enough experience.

I knew that replacing Guzman with Clayton would be a disaster. Guzman knows how to play the game, he would never have left the bat there and he would have been all over the ump for not seeing that LoDuca dropped the ball (isn't he too small to be a catcher anyway?)
   11. Steve Treder Posted: April 04, 2006 at 04:26 PM (#1936918)
Man, you are clearly not an NFL fan. That, or the gripping drama of watching a zebra take in a peepshow is your idea of fun :)

Not as much fun as watching managers storm onto the field and routinely argue calls to no purpose, nor as much fun as routinely allowing obviously blown calls to stand because "that's the call he made." That's gripping drama!
   12. covelli chris p Posted: April 04, 2006 at 04:52 PM (#1936964)
That's gripping drama!

it is though!
   13. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: April 04, 2006 at 04:59 PM (#1936978)
To add on what Steve said in response to this...

Man, you are clearly not an NFL fan. That, or the gripping drama of watching a zebra take in a peepshow is your idea of fun :)

I can sacrifice 2 minutes of my time to make sure the damn call is right. I'll forget the waiting eventually, but never forgot the blown call.
   14. Steve Treder Posted: April 04, 2006 at 05:03 PM (#1936988)
I can sacrifice 2 minutes of my time to make sure the damn call is right.

And, in baseball, we already sacrifice the 2 minutes, because as in no other sport anywhere in the world, baseball allows managers to routinely rush out onto the field of play and exhibit a pointless hissy fit after every questionable call anyway.

The delay of game argument against instant replay in baseball is a total non-starter.
   15. Adam S Posted: April 04, 2006 at 05:10 PM (#1937002)
Take the Usa/Japan game. Checking a replay would not have taken any longer than both Showalter and then Oh cominng out and arguing the toss. And it would have had the added benefit of getting the call right.

Clearly the nationals wouldn't have used an appeal yesterday though. As Chris N says, no-one saw it until ESPN showed the replay in the next half inning.


Now, yesterday, in the Test match between South Africa and Australia, two wickets fell in quick succession when the batsmen swung at the ball and just brushed it with the bat, and creating catching chances for the fielders that were taken. The effect of this on the match was electric, and changed the whole dynamic of the game, which was tending toward the batting side. Had either of these decisions been a run out, which would have been referred for replay review, the effect on the game would not have been the same. Whereas without the review, my pre-replay memory tells me, there would still have been the dynamic shift had a run out occurred. Umpire calls out, next batsmen comes in, and game resumes in two or three minutes. Replay easily adds five minutes.

This is clearly subjective but I disagree. I have never seen a cricket replay take as long as five additional minutes. And the tension that builds up inside the ground as the verdict is awaited on a close call is palpable. In my experience giving everyone the chance to reflect on the consequences of which way the call goes can, if anything increase the possibility of a dramatic dynamic shift.

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