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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Praise Be To Vin
2006-08-23 21:40
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Vin Scully and his crew on Fox Sports Net covered tonight's ejections of Dodgers Julio Lugo, Grady Little and Brad Penny exceptionally, remaining professional throughout, offering measured but pointed commentary and yet never resting on an initial impression. Vin never acted superior or like he had all the answers (though if anyone had the right to, he did).

With Vin's analysis and the production team's replays from every angle, they went out of their way to report the story as calmly, clearly and thoroughly as possible, without histrionics or homerism, and I really think that needs to be noticed. In what was otherwise a dog of a game for the Dodgers, they provided a role model for any sports broadcasting team.

Comments (62)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-08-23 21:49:35
1.   capdodger
Such a pity to be stuck with Tony Gwynn and the guy with Tony Gwynn...

Though the were rather even handed, they were slow to figure it out. They also failed commect their at-the-time observation that the ump shouldn't be barking at Little while he's talking to his pitcher to their after-the-fact realization of the nature of the two visits.

2006-08-23 21:54:43
2.   Eric Enders
Agreed, Jon. Vinny was a complete pro -- he was able to calmly describe the situation, and was able to point out what the umps were doing wrong without letting emotion get in the way.

I, however, cannot take the high road like Vin did. It was all I could do to not throw things around the room. I'm glad the umpire supervisor was in attendance to witness the shameful display, and I hope, although I doubt, that the two umps will be disciplined appropriately.

I haven't read the game chat thread yet; I'm sure I'll enjoy browsing it over my coffee tomorrow morning though. I'm sure it was quite the adventure.

2006-08-23 21:55:59
3.   Bob Timmermann
2

It's sometimes veered into "Deadwood" territory.

2006-08-23 22:01:12
4.   Eric Enders
Starring Wally Bell as Hearst and Chris Guccione as as Cy Tolliver?
2006-08-23 22:05:28
5.   Bob Timmermann
Grady Little was definitely Al Swearingen. Some of the posters were, to steal a line from a friend, looking in the phonebook for guys named "Wu".
2006-08-23 22:07:42
6.   Xeifrank
2. Three DT posters got kicked out of the game too. :) vr, Xei
2006-08-23 22:09:29
7.   Eric Enders
Brad Penny=Bullock, obviously.
2006-08-23 22:15:36
8.   thinkingblue
Great job by Vin.

But:

1) Why do we suck against the Padres?

2) I'm sorry, but did we just get killed by Josh Bard, Geoff Blum, and Mark Bellhorn?

3) Did we just get shut down by Tim Staffer and Woddy Williams?

4) Why is Penny going Josh Beckett on us now?

2006-08-23 22:16:08
9.   Bob Timmermann
I liked to think of myself as Blasanov.

Either him or Leon.

2006-08-23 22:20:07
10.   Scanman33
2-There definitely need to be consequences and whatever they are need to be made public. Umpires will complain because they think it will undermine them to be publicly held accountable. I think baseball has to in order to retain whatever credibility it has.
2006-08-23 22:25:25
11.   Scanman33
11-In addition, if this had happened to the Yankees or Red Sox, we wouldn't hear the end of it for weeks.
2006-08-23 22:26:20
12.   Bob Timmermann
Weeks??? Just weeks???
2006-08-23 22:28:26
13.   Disabled List
I fancy myself as Dan. But that's 'cause that's my name.

Also, it was cool when Deadwood Dan gouged that guy's eye out a couple of weeks back.

2006-08-23 22:29:01
14.   Eric Enders
10 Sure, that's what needs to happen, but you're deluding yourself if you think it's going to. Umpires are very, very rarely disciplined and even when they are it's almost never made public.

Up until about 10 years ago the umpires had pretty much the strongest union in the world (even stronger than MLPBA) and it was basically impossible to discipline an umpire even if he got caught molesting children or something. That's changed since MLB broke the union, but the umps have gotten back a lot of that clout pretty quickly.

2006-08-23 22:31:08
15.   Jon Weisman
6 - Not true. No DT commenters got ejected.
2006-08-23 22:31:30
16.   Scanman33
14- I know it's not going to happen. Just venting what I think should happen. Somehow, the umpires union has a hold on baseball like Jason Phillips had a hold on Tracy.
2006-08-23 22:33:16
17.   Scanman33
15-A few warnings were issued and cooler heads prevailed. Make a note of it in your incident report.
2006-08-23 22:36:56
18.   JJ42
Watching Dodgers Live on Prime Ticket, they were interviewing Penny and he said it all started because Reed used an expletive toward Kent after hearing Kent and Martin talk about his strike zone. That's when Little left the mound to talk to Reed.
2006-08-23 22:37:28
19.   JJ42
And yes, we're very lucky to be able to listen to Vinny
2006-08-23 23:21:01
20.   bhsportsguy
If I told you 4 weeks ago that the Dodgers would go 19-6 and gain 8 1/2 games to be in first place, would you take it?

Sure, its never fun losing but the way this season has gone, the Padres are just as likely to lose 4 of 6 on their next road trip to Colorado and Arizona.

So we have pennant race, that means that every day and night, we will be watching the scoreboard and be hyper sensitive to every pitch and every swing of the bat. I'm glad we have Vin for most of the games (10 game East Coast road trip notwithstanding) but it will be fun, can I predict where we will be 4 weeks from now aside from in the middle of a 3 game set against Jim Tracy (oh the irony) but I hope that this board will be place of laughter and good times regardless of what happens.

This team may be streakiest but perhaps being a little annoyed (was going to use another phrase) is good thing, last time (4 weeks ago) all they did was go 17-1.

Peace out.

2006-08-23 23:26:52
21.   Andrew Shimmin
Revisiting Bob's post of the rules in the last thread, there's another layer of spice to the doings tonight. The call may still have been wrong, since, presumably, the umpire did not warn Grits against returning to the mound.

"In a case where a manager has made his first trip to the mound and then returns the second time to the mound in the same inning with the same pitcher in the game and the same batter at bat, after being warned by the umpire that he cannot return to the mound, the manager shall be removed from the game and the pitcher required to pitch to the batter until he is retired or gets on base. After the batter is retired, or becomes a base runner, then this pitcher must be removed from the game."

At any rate, it looks like Brad Penny would have been allowed to pitch to Bard (the batter immediately following the disputed two for one mound visit) if he hadn't been thrown out.

2006-08-23 23:40:22
22.   dzzrtRatt
Forget it, Jake. It's the Gaslight District.
2006-08-23 23:52:44
23.   the OZ
Odds on whether Plaschke has a piece about how much Brad Penny sucks in tomorrow's Times?

5:4?

2006-08-23 23:58:02
24.   Uncle Miltie
Introducing your new umpires (with a set of rules, stolen from a certain movie)

1. A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

2006-08-24 00:03:05
25.   fanerman
I'm still not entirely sure what happened. So, is this the consensus?

Little had already visited Penny because of the foot injury incident, so Little thought he could visit Penny again without having to pull him out? So he did, but Bochy complained. Then, the refs conferred and made the wrong decision to force Penny to leave? And after that, Little got mad, and then ejected. And same with Penny?

Is the consensus that Little was allowed to have two visits since one was medical?

2006-08-24 00:09:41
26.   skybluestoday
http://tinyurl.com/jgm5l

From the LATimes -- I thought this was pretty hysterical. Especially:

"As long as the Dodgers were getting booted left and right, which player would you have liked seeing join the early shower brigade? There are a lot of Dodgers that would be interesting candidates for a variety of reasons...

Mark Hendrickson, because he could put his hand on the ump's head, extend those long wings, and teasingly keep the guy away while he frantically flails about."

2006-08-24 00:39:18
27.   Andrew Shimmin
25- I'm not sure there is a consensus. The explanation you present was the initial impression, but Vin later gave a second, more probable (to me, anyway) explanation that the visit after Penny was hit didn't count. The two visits, requiring that Penny be pulled, both came during what was, ostensibly, the second visit. Grittle came out to the mound; visit one. While on the mound, home plate ump yelled something, which prompted Grittle to leave the mound and talk to the ump. Then he returned to the mound; visit two.

So, even though the medical visit didn't count, he still was ruled to have made an impermissible second visit.

2006-08-24 00:51:32
28.   Bob Timmermann
After reading all the stories, I think I'm going to go ask the Japanese woodcutter who's standing off to the side with a baby. But he doesn't know who the baby belongs to.
2006-08-24 00:57:16
29.   Eric Enders
The Times this morning doesn't even really try to explain things. I'll give it my best shot.

The first visit was medical. I think we've cleared that up beyond doubt.

The second visit was a regular visit, the first one of the inning. According to Penny, it was interrupted when home plate umpire Rick Reed overheard Russell Martin and Jeff Kent discussing the strike zone among themselves, and Reed proceeded to shout an expletive at Kent. This is when Little turned and left the mound, walking toward home plate to respond to Reed. Once his cleats left the dirt of the mound and touched the grass, however, his mound visit was officially over. Vinny read his lips at this point: "I'm just trying to protect my pitcher. You got a problem with that?"

Grady returns to mound from arguing with Reed. This is visit #2 in the inning and Bochy successfully argues that Penny must be removed. This also results in the automatic ejection of Grady Little. This is an important point: Grady was not ejected for anything he said. A manager is ejected automatically when he makes two visits to the mound with the same batter at the plate.

Penny would have been allowed to finish pitching to that batter. In fact, under rule 8.06 he would have been required to finish pitching to that batter, whether the Dodgers liked it or not:

"In a case where a manager has made his first trip to the mound and then returns the second time to the mound in the same inning with the same pitcher in the game and the same batter at bat, after being warned by the umpire that he cannot return to the mound, the manager shall be removed from the game and the pitcher required to pitch to the batter until he is retired or gets on base."

This rule is presumably in place to prevent a team from making two consecutive mound visits as a tactic to get more warmup time for a reliever. This is why the pitcher is required to finish pitching to the batter.

That is what happened as best I can interpret.

----------

In my opinion the umpires committed five distinct and egregious instances of misconduct in this game. (Aside from disputed calls, of course, which are neither here nor there.) All five of these instances went against the Dodgers. Three different umpires acted inappropriately at various times, leaving Laz Diaz as the last trustworthy man standing.

1) Guccione's trigger-happy tossing of Lugo despite having his back turned to the play the entire time. If you look at the replay, there is no way he could have seen what Lugo did. Guccione turned around and saw Lugo's helmet bouncing on the ground and tossed him. Clearly, Lugo was not disputing the call. This is simply a matter of an umpire being extremely oversensitive, and incidentally, not the first time we have seen this quality in Mr. Guccione. It's also worth noting that in the previous night's game, Mike Cameron had a helmet-throwing tantrum that put Lugo's to shame, yet this same umpiring crew chose not to eject him.

2) On the steal attempt that immediately preceded the ejection of Little, home plate ump Rick Reed made no call on the pitch from Penny. The pitch, which appeared to be in the strike zone, turned out to be ball four, negating the steal attempt. However, the lack of a call forced Russell Martin to make an unnecessary throw to second base and risk throwing the ball into the outfield. This could be construed as a deliberate attempt on Reed's part to "get back" at Penny, or it could be construed as simple incompetence. We'll never know which -- but it was certainly one of the two. Presumably this problem was what Martin and Kent were discussing when Reed called Kent a dirty word.

3) Rick Reed, as best I can tell, violated rule 8.06 (quoted above) when he failed to warn Grady Little that by returning to the mound after arguing, he would be charged with another mound visit and automatically ejected. Now, I can't say with 100% certainty that Reed failed to warn him, but it does seem pretty obvious looking at the incident. The greatest part about this whole thing is that it's clear Reed doesn't even know rule 8.06. If he had, he would have immediately ejected Little and told Penny this would be his last batter. Instead, he needed Bruce Bochy to read the rulebook for him. Reed's further ignorance of rule 8.06 was displayed when he ejected Little despite the fact that the rulebook says this can only be done if the manager is warned before returning to the mound when making a second visit with the same batter up.

4) Several of the umpires followed Penny around looking for trouble after he'd already been ejected.

5) Umpire Ted Barrett initiated physical contact with Julio Lugo, who had only been arguing verbally. If it had been Lugo initiating contact with the ump, he'd get suspended for the next two weeks or so. But an ump initiates contact with a player, and you can bet your bottom dollar not a thing will happen to him, or even be said about it.

2006-08-24 01:25:44
30.   Andrew Shimmin
In the times, today: "Additional help will come from triple-A Las Vegas when rosters expand Sept. 1. Colletti said that only players able to contribute right away will be called up and that no one from double-A Jacksonville will be promoted."

Does that rule out appearances from AAers altogether, or only on the first day of roster expansion?

http://tinyurl.com/az5bu

2006-08-24 02:31:35
31.   Suffering Bruin
And the insomniac checks in. I TiVo'd the game and man, talk about frustrating. Eric's post above is in great detail and deserves a thoughtful response, I think. I'll take it point-by-point.

1) I agree wholeheartedly with this.

2) I disagree with the premise. On the TiVo replay, Reed is heard calling the pitch a ball. One could argue it was a late call but he did make a call. Further, Penny said after the game that Martin and Kent were complaining that the pitch was a strike, not that the call was late.

3) This, in my opinion, is the kind of conduct that should get an umpire in trouble. I played back the replay a few timse and it's evident that Reed barked an obscenity at one of the Dodgers (presumably Kent), Penny asked if Reed was talking to him, Reed responded which got Little's attention and that's when Little stepped off the dirt to confront Reed for the disputed second visit. Reed messed up here in a number of ways.

4) I didn't get the sense that the umps were looking for trouble.

5) I've seen that done a few times but I never knew why. I assume that the ump is protecting both colleague and player. I don't think Barret was aggressive with Lugo but I only saw the play once.

Along with Eric's salient points, I was very frustrated with the strike zone in the first inning with Penny on the mound. I'm sure it was mentioned a few times in the game thread but Penny had his A+ fastball and it was ruined tonight not so much by the Padres but, in my opinion, by Umpire Reed.

2006-08-24 03:56:39
32.   bluetahoe
Odds on whether Plaschke has a piece about how much Brad Penny sucks in tomorrow's Times?

He should write an article on the sucktitude of Brad Penny. The title should be, "Our ace lays another egg." or "Can we schedule Colorado 81 times a year for Brad's sake?" or "Penny, could a last name be more fitting?" When players come thru in the clutch they sometimes are given the term 'money'. Isn't it fitting that Brad's last name deals with a monetary instrument. Of course that monetary instrument being the most pathetic of all coinage. The penny.

2006-08-24 05:07:28
33.   bluetahoe
If you exclude Penny's starts against perennial powerhouse Colorado here's the stats you're looking at.....

Record (9-7)
ERA (4.58)

Penny was fortunate enough to miss the Mets, so here's his numbers against 3 other best teams in the league (SD, Cin, St.L)

Record (1-4)
Games (6)
IP (32.2 ....hey, at least its over 5 IP per start for our workhorse)
ER (25)
ERA (6.88)

BAD NEWS ALERT - If the 5 man rotation stays in order, our ace in the hole, Brad Penny, won't face the potent bats of the Rockies the weekend of 9/1-9/3.

2006-08-24 05:11:04
34.   capdodger
BT - You've written another post here, like you did in the game thread, in which you ignore the oddities of the game played because to do would weaken your argument.

Again, Penny was getting hosed on his zone, and he wasn't removed for incompetence, (though could have been soon) but rather for the combined incompetence of his manager and the umpire. While he was nothing special tonight (101 pitches in 4+ ?!?) the umpires should have given him the chance to pitch his way out. They also should have given grittle the chance to allow penny to sink or swim.

If need tp be indignant about something, you might want to direct that ire at the four men who ruined the game.

2006-08-24 07:52:18
35.   Eric Enders
One mistake I do think Grady made -- though it's certainly debatable -- is having Penny out there on the mound that inning in the first place. Here you have a pitcher who's wild all over the place, gotten into trouble almost every inning, and who you know is injured to boot. I would have pinch hit for him in the bottom of the 4th. You're behind 4-2 and you desperately need runs against a team you can't seem to score against. Your hurt pitcher has clearly been unnerved by the home plate umpire, plus he's thrown 90 pitches already so you'll get one more inning out of him at most, and that's if you're lucky. As it turned out, Penny never retired a batter after striking out to end the fourth.
2006-08-24 08:05:19
36.   DXMachina
34 Much as I think BT is blinded by his dislike for Penny, I don't think trying to make make excuses for Penny's performance last night based on "the ump was squeezing him" is a valid argument either. Penny has been wild on occasion, and run up some big early pitch counts. Was every one of them because an ump was squeezing him? I don't doubt for a minute that the ump exacerbated the situation, but I don't think you can use his strike calling prior to that as an excuse.

35 The thing about Penny is that he is the best hitter among the pitchers, so it's not like sending up someone who's completely defenseless.

2006-08-24 08:19:46
37.   dsfan
36--

Excellent points.

The same umpire who riled up Penny was also judging the pitches of Penny's counterpart Williams, who issued no walks in seven innings.

Penny also got a potentially big favor in the first inning from the plate umpire when the errant first pitch to Blum was ruled a strike. At the time, the game was scoreless and there were two outs. True, later in the at-bat, the ump appear to cost Penny a strikeout.

But the inning and at-bat were still in the balance when Penny made a terrible pitch to Blum with two strikes. Blum hit it for a two-run single.

2006-08-24 08:21:29
38.   regfairfield
35 Eric, is it all right if I use your explination of last nights events on True Blue L.A.?
2006-08-24 08:35:52
39.   Eric Enders
38 You bet.
2006-08-24 08:42:45
40.   Eric Enders
By the way, Boras obviously gave Gagne a lecture yesterday. Allison Ann Otto in today's P-E:

"A day after saying that he would accept a discount to re-sign with the Dodgers, Eric Gagne backed off that statement.

"All I'm looking for is fairness," the 2003 Cy Young winner said. "Hopefully I'll get that. I want to be a Dodger. I've been here. I know everyone. I've been treated with respect."

As for a discount, he said, "I don't think that's the right word.""

2006-08-24 08:48:37
41.   Nagman
I was at Petco last night, I think it was better to have watched this debacle in person than on television because for the most part, I had no clue what was going on (we figured out the Lugo incident, but assumed that the trainer's visit must've been counted as a coach's visit, which at the time seemed bogus). Regardless, that's not what lost the game.

Who would've thunk Lowe wouldn't be the most emotionally unstable part of this rotation. Geez.

My biggest concern right now is Jeff Kent. He looks like an old man out there now, especially in the field.

Anyway, its a sprint to the finish line now. Can the Dodgers put this behind them and outplay the rest of the NL West for the next 35 games? I hope so.

2006-08-24 08:56:52
42.   King of the Hobos
30 No player from AA is even on the 40 man roster, so that really isn't a surprise. Jumbo Diaz is the only player not in the majors, AAA, or the disabled list, and he's in Vero currently.

Also, a few days ago, there was a brief discussion on Hall's and Lugo's lack of homers as Dodgers, and whether playing for Tampa Bay gave some advantage. Reading Dave Studeman's Ten Things I Didn't Know Last Week column, I came upon this and thought it gave some extra insight to the discussion:
Lugo: http://tinyurl.com/s74hj
Hall: http://tinyurl.com/o7rzv
Kemp: http://tinyurl.com/p269y
Nomar: http://tinyurl.com/epwqa

2006-08-24 08:57:09
43.   capdodger
36 - {angrily}Don't put words in my text that aren't there. I never said that evey ump was squeezing him. Even Williams and the Pads TV crew complained about a rotating zone.
{/angrily}

You're right that he has been wild now and again, and tends to run up high pitch counts. It's somewhat frustrating, because when he actually pitches instead of throwing, he's very, very good. It almost seems like he suffers from ten-cent headism. When he fells a pinch, he lets loose with the ball and on the ump.

Uh... and Beimel balked bigtime.

2006-08-24 08:57:24
44.   Jon Weisman
40 - That's why I can't afford to wait until 9 a.m. to do my posts.
2006-08-24 08:59:08
45.   MJW101
Why are we so bad against the Padres? Is this a sign that we can only beat fair-poor teams, but choke when we play decent-good teams?

What does this portend for the playoffs (if we actually do make the playoffs that is)?

2006-08-24 09:02:11
46.   Jon Weisman
45 - It portends the Dodgers may have trouble in the playoffs if the Dodgers actually do make the playoffs.

I need a macro that says, "Every team in baseball has a disappointing record against some other team."

2006-08-24 09:02:31
47.   capdodger
Cry not for Pluto...

http://tinyurl.com/hm3ho

2006-08-24 09:05:50
48.   BlueMamma
I'm glad to hear that Scully was professional about it all (though, of course, not surprised) because I was listening on the radio to Rick and Charlie, and Charlie was trying to remain professional, but Rick was displaying as much emotion as all the players and umps on the field combined. It made me much angrier at the situation than I think I would have been otherwise - I found myself praying to hear that Penny was taking a couple of swings at Reed.

Anyway, after it was over, they coudln't stop talking about it, so I ended up turning it off and going to bed.

2006-08-24 09:18:26
49.   D4P
As for a discount, he said, "I don't think that's the right word."

Now that is funny

2006-08-24 09:35:13
50.   Andrew Shimmin
48- I was listening to Vin, but, by the end of the fiasco, was shouting at my t.v., "Go ahead and hit him!" But I'm more ill-tempered than most.

Unrelated: Is the definitive argument against Penny that he sometimes has bad games?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-08-24 09:39:34
51.   D4P
50
Penny has given up 6 earned runs in 3 of his last 7 starts.
2006-08-24 09:50:19
52.   BlueMamma
50 - When he has them, he seems to find someone else to blame.
2006-08-24 09:54:07
53.   bagg4
Since I live out of market(NE Iowa...2.5 hours from Twins,5.5 hrs from Chicago,4 hours from Selig-town(Milwaukee), 7.5 hrs from StLouis/KC), I haven't had the chance to enjoy Vin for way too long, and I can't comment on last nights rulings. For a guy with a company relationship that goes back to before I was born, Vin is refreshingly not a homer.

All that said, I understand the economics of major league sports programming, but I would still rather listen to Vin than the chuckleheads and generic voices (Ken Harrelson excluded) that MLB has chosen to protect. In a perfect world you could watch any game anytime if you live outside a specific market. I called DISH Network to inquire about the MLB Extra Innings package. There are blackouts...why buy it then? The technology exists for ala carte vieweing and market protection...It's totally ridiculous.

2006-08-24 09:58:17
54.   capdodger
52 - Yep, ten-cent-headism at it's finest. Or perhaps one-cent-headism.

Har, Har.

2006-08-24 10:02:52
55.   JJoeScott
29 - Terrific recap. Just to add an opinion to point #3 ...

Having watched it live (and the many replays), I did not get the impression that Reed didn't know the rule, but rather that he wasn't going to invoke it (since he was the one who called/cursed out Kent/Little). Bochy calling it out left him no choice, and I thought by Reed's epxressions that it was not his "choice" to do so. There were quite a few "I know"'s from Reed in his discussion with Grady before the ejection. Grady's comments after the game seemed to echo that, IMO.

2006-08-24 10:12:21
56.   Blu2
OK, I'm a pessimist, always have been, always will be. Here's my gloomy prediction for the last weekend of the season:
Best case scenario: We go into Battery-Chucker Park needing to win*at least* two games to make the playoffs.
Worst case scenario: We go in there needing to win at least two games to keep the hated ones from making the playoffs, thereby helping "our other friends" either the Pads or the Snakes make the playoffs.
What a heckuva choice!
2006-08-24 10:13:32
57.   DXMachina
43 I was sloppy in the way I presented what I thought you were saying, but in my mind the words "Penny was getting hosed on his zone" pretty much equal "The ump was squeezing him." I should've been more careful in writing it. If you are angry because I misquoted you, or misinterpreted you, I apologize. Apart from that, though, I think what you say in 43 is pretty close to what I said.
2006-08-24 10:34:47
58.   Greg S
56 Predictions don't normally have a best case and a worst case. In reality, the best case is that in the last weekend of the season we will have already clinched. The worse case is that we will have been eliminated. Instead of admitting your pessimism and then predicting the worst, why not just keep an open mind and enjoy the next month? At the very least, if you admit that you can't do so, why let others know?
2006-08-24 11:10:35
59.   Brad Bogner
I love how San Diego writers are praising Bochy for pointing out the rule. They must be too young to remember that the only reason Bochy knows the rule is because he went to the mound twice for the same pitcher to maximize Trevor Hoffman's warm up pitches in a late inning contest against the Dodgers a few years back. Davey Johnson immediately protested the game, and the Dodgers ended up winning.

Anyone else remember that?

2006-08-24 11:38:05
60.   Eric Enders
55 "Having watched it live (and the many replays), I did not get the impression that Reed didn't know the rule, but rather that he wasn't going to invoke it (since he was the one who called/cursed out Kent/Little). Bochy calling it out left him no choice, and I thought by Reed's epxressions that it was not his "choice" to do so."

That's a good point and may very well be true. However, if it is true, then Reed knowingly violated Rule 8.06 by ejecting Little even though the rule specifies that the manager must be warned by the umpire before making his second "trip" to the mound.

The way I read the rule, the second trip only counts as a trip if the umpire warns the manager beforehand.

2006-08-24 13:34:12
61.   gibsonhobbs88
60- It is more apparant to me that under Selig, Umpires have gotten more incompetent because there is no accountability or discipline for umpires misdeeds or are drinking Selig's Kool-Aid. Umpire Competence and Umpire Integrity are becoming Oxymoronic statements on its face!!
Such things no longer exist!!! It truly was 9 v. 13 last night!! BTW, Yes I do have an Anti-Selig bias ever since I read this book from a writer that had inside information as to the behind the scenes reasons and events leading to O'Malley selling his team and Selig is factor 1A just behind the LA city political leaders who discouraged Peter from going forth on his football in Chavez plans. Selig led his small market cronies to push Peter out of the committees with any power, didn't listen to his warnings prior to the 94 strike and Selig has made it clear by his actions over the years to punish the Dodgers for their success in this city including approving McCourt to buy the team when he was so leveraged at the time. SELIG IS A SNEAKY, BACK-STABBING, LA-HATING CREEP WHO MUST BE ELIMINATED FROM THE BASEBALL UNIVERSE!!!
2006-08-24 13:50:35
62.   Michael Green
As for last night's debacle ....

Vinnie was great as always. His worst is better than anyone else's best.

Monday blowing up (I didn't hear it--I don't listen to radiocasts as a protest against the horrible treatment Ross Porter received) reminds me of the night Steve Rippley threw out a Dodger pitcher for throwing too close and Drysdale went nuts on the air. Hard to believe Drysdale would have been emotional on that issue, I know ....

As to the umpires, I'm usually very sympathetic. Not that time, but let me offer a couple of thoughts.

The one possible defense of Guccione's ejection of Lugo is that Lugo yelled something as he threw his helmet and it was directed at the umpire. From what I could see, that didn't happen. Guccione is a younger umpire and they sometimes want to show that they are tough--as opposed to Bruce Froemming, for example, who has a reputation so the players know how far they can go with him.

As to Reed, it's simple logic. First, he should not have responded to Kent because unless it is directed right at him, the best thing for an umpire to do is to ignore any such comments. Players and umpires both blow off steam. If he hadn't responded to Kent, Little probably doesn't leave the mound and go back.

That brings us to the next bit of logic. It has happened before that a manager has been in a similar situation and the umpire has stopped him and said, no, you're about to make a second trip to the mound, don't go. Reed didn't. Why? I don't think there's a need for sinister implications. He probably wasn't even thinking about it. Bear in mind that he's the crew chief (not just the plate umpire), with 25 years in the bigs. Often, the younger guys in the crew are the rulebook experts; in the old days, supervisors even told them they needed to know the rulebook better because the crew chief was less likely to be as current as a newcomer on that.

Reed had a bad night. Most umpires, with the exception of the retired Doug Harvey, do now and then (yes, some more than others). But he also reflects what gibsonhobbs88 referred to as Selig's lack of control and allowing politics to enter into things. Also, remember that Reed had been an American League guy first and in the AL, umpires tended to incite more and argue more, partly because they weren't so well supervised and partly because they had crazies like Weaver and Martin to deal with.

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