The last time I paid any attention to the Kansas City Royals, Chris Chambliss was barreling his way around the bases, Freddie Patek (or was it Cookie Rojas?) was crying in the dugout, George Brett was seething about something, and the Yankees were winning the series. About the time the Royals finally won one, my obsession with baseball was turning into merely fanaticism. Over the next looong bunch of years, I became a casual fan at best. Giving my Met-fan friends a hard time and listening to Mike and The Dog kept me connected, but I probably didn’t watch a complete baseball game for a full 20 year stretch. Since I started umpiring a few years back, I’ve re-discovered my enjoyment of the game. I love having the best seat in the house for over 100 games a year, but still don’t stay with a pro game for more than a batter or two. I honestly couldn’t tell you who won last year’s World Series. But now, after all of these years – here come the Kansas City Royals!
In the 2013 draft, Livingston’s own Frank Schwindel was drafted out of St. John’s by the Royals. He’s played the last two years in Idaho Falls, Lexington, KY and Wilmington, DE, moving up to AA at the end of this season. I know Frank’s family, and it’s been exciting to follow his progress. But, most of all – it gives me a horse in the race!
Let’s go Royals! When’s the 1st game?
Here’s a video I just came across from the NJSAB July 4th clinic (that I was NOT able to attend). It talks about a change in the approach to taking the steal at 2nd from B. I always find that I am screened on a close steal, and I tried this technique my last couple of games. I definitly got better looks, but I found myself moving when I was making the call. I will practice and that will make prefect
So my spring/summer 2014 ended (probably) on a high note – a 12 minute, 1 inning continuation game. As those of use who umpire know, it all evens out in the end. For every 1 hour 20 minute 1-0 gem, there is an 18-9 2:35 stinker. For every time we call a game for torrential rain after an inning, there is a game where we sit around and wait out thunder. This one was great – a 1-2-3 top of 7 followed by a reached-on-error, steal of 2nd, steal of 3rd, score on a ground ball. Long walk across the lot, a few minutes of chatting with my partner, and in the car 16 minutes after first pitch. Hopefully, I’ve already had the extra inning marathon that this one matches up with!
This is from last night’s Brewers-Nationals game. Original call was R1 safe and BR out. Changed to R1 out and BR safe. This article on cbssports.com covers it pretty well and it really goes to show how many different variations of the same play can happen. I think I think, at least with the benefit of seeing it a few times, that there is no interference on the play. and safe/out should have stood. I haven’t visited ump-emp yet today, but I’m sure there will be a dozen opinions and no definitive conclusion.
Oakland was playing Toronto the other day. The Blue Jays had the bases loaded with one out and hit a ground ball to the 1st baseman (F3), who attempted to tag the runner (R1) going from 1st to 2nd. Umpire Vic Carapazza ruled there was no tag. F3 then threw home and the catcher received the throw on the bag for the easy force out.
What do you think happened next? Toronto manager John Gibbons came out to protest that his R1 was tagged and, therefore, the play at home was a tag play and not a force out and that the run should count. And after a 4+ minute review, they overturned the call, and counted the run.
So the catcher acted on the information that he had (a big safe sign from Carapazza) and made no attempt to tag the runner (who would have been out by 10 feet). Obviously, that’s a hole in the replay rule that has to be fixed. The A’s played the game under protest, but won the game so it was moot.
Here’s the play. You really do see something new every darn day out there.