Friday, October 30, 2009

On The Spartans, Umpires And Red Wings

I believe Michigan State will win at Minnesota Saturday night. I wouldn't have felt that way if Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker were healthy, but he is out for the season because of a foot injury.
Decker is a great player - the best receiver in the Big Ten. State's secondary is an obvious weakness. The Spartans caught a break.

- Me? I think the Pistons will win 40 games this season and squeak into the playoffs.

- First base umpire Brian Gorman blew two important calls in Game 2 of the World Series. Ryan Howard didn't catch that line drive. It was one hop. Chase Utley was safe at first on a double play ball. It did alter the course of the game.
Home plate umpire Jeff Nelson's strike zone was horribly inconsistent. He'd sometimes call hitters out with the Dennis Eckersley strike - way outside. Other times, he'd call it a ball. It was almost as if on a whim. Umpires are supposed to be arbitrators - not arbitrary.
They have been brutal. And, honestly, I have no reason to give why there has been such an obvious decline in umpiring.
It is something Major League Baseball must examine closely.

- The Red Wings displayed the heart of champions by rallying the last two games at Vancouver and Edmonton. However, bit by bit, that heart is being cut out by injuries. Valtteri Filppula joining Johan Franzen out of the lineup for an extended period does hurt badly. The good news: Darren Helm, Todd Bertuzzi and Patrick Eaves are playing much better. And Jimmy Howard has shown signs he might finally being living up to that promise we've been hearing about for so long.

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Book - I sure don't see what's wrong about having balls & strikes called electronically - we have the technology.

I get sick of each different umpire having their own zone, or letting their emotions enter into how they call a game. Hard for anybody to argue or get frustrated over balls and strikes when there is a consistent call, pitch after pitch.

The home base ump would still be there for calls at the plate, time out calls, all the other calls that go along with home plate.

What are your thoughts, outside of the "tradition of the game" issue?

Allan

4:04 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am impressed ... your recalling the Dennis Eckersley slider (impressive) that was called outside a lot.

Just a recollection, I saw the no-hitter that Eck threw on May 30, 1977 vs. the Angels in Cleveland ..

The interesting thing about that no-hitter was that he was pitching vs. Frank Tanana and they both had a no-hitter through 7 innings ...

When Cleveland scored a run in the eighth and when they passed each other from the pitching mound Eckersley said something to Tanana and got a brisk bird in reply.

5:24 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh forgot to finish ..

Agree, this umpiring is atrocious .. they have the best 6 umpires falling all over themselves in the playoff and make several bad calls .. it makes one wonder whether they're always this bad!

It has all of us baseball nuts talking about replays and that's a sad commentary on the umpires, who don't call a foul ball that's 2 feet outside the foul line, miss a tag on third base, miss a tag up on third on a fly ball and an obvious safe runner on first.

5:35 PM 
Blogger Core Contrarian said...

I saw an interview where retired umpire, Bruce froemming said the Ryan Howard play was "impossible" for that crew to make because of the positioning of the first base umpire and because the home plate umpire is concentrating on the pitch. I don't know if I buy it.

If I am head of the umpire's union, I would make a courtesy call to Froemming and remind him that if there are some calls that are "impossible" for a 6 man crew to make, then major league baseball may begin to look for an alternative way to call games.

10:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pat, its gonna be hard for the pistons to win 40 games with stuckey playing the point the guy just refuses to pass the ball at times I think he thinks he is lebron the way he selfishly attacks the basket regardless of who is open I think he needs to read the point gaurd handbook if not were in big trouble

11:02 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Allan,
I just don't know how they'd implement automatic balls and stikes. But inconsistency of strike zone during playoffs was disturbing.
Caputo

12:28 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
The Eck was a pretty good starter before he became reliever.
Caputo

12:29 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
It's not like showing detailed replays during the postseason is anything new. There were just more mess ups by the umps than I can recall.
Caputo

12:31 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Core Contrarian,
Couldn't agree with you more. That exact play is called right probably nine times out of ten - maybe more.
Caputo

12:32 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
For some reason, Stuckey plays his best basketball when Rip is out of the lineup. That's when he had most of his best games last season.
Caputo

12:33 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I didn't state my comment clearly about how we are talking about replays ... we're NOT talking about the bad calls, we're talking about HOW the replays could be instituted into the system because these umpires seem to be inept in some rather easy calls!!

4:16 PM 

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