FanDuel - WFBC

September 30, 2013

Rays, Rangers Meet in One-Game Playoff for Wild Card Spot: The Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians all finished the regular season on a high note, with the Indians winning 10 in a row, the Rangers seven and the Rays eight out of 10. The Indians earned the AL's top wild card spot, one game ahead of the Rangers and Rays, who play tonight in a one-game playoff for the other. Nelson Cruz returns from suspension after 50 games and is eligible to play.

posted by rcade to baseball at 11:20 AM - 13 comments

People will only remember this playoff, but it's amazing what it took to get here with all three teams winning so many of their final games. They're going into the postseason so hot that the one team of these three to emerge will be big trouble for its ALDS opponent.

posted by rcade at 11:22 AM on September 30

They're going into the postseason so hot that the one team of these three to emerge will be big trouble for its ALDS opponent.

It's Boston. There is no longer any requirement that the wild-card team not play against it's own division winner in the ALDS. When they added the wild-card play-in game they removed that part of the scheduling process since it would be hard to schedule TV/travel for the "bottom" two teams that late.

posted by grum@work at 12:32 PM on September 30

I'm just hoping the Rangers can take that streak to 9 games. Never should have come to this though.

posted by Mothball at 05:06 PM on September 30

That's... not looking very likely for the Rangers at this point (but hey, anything can happen in baseball!).

I'm hoping the Indians trash the Rays, because I'd rather Cleveland face Boston than Tampa.

posted by hincandenza at 11:15 PM on September 30

I'm trying to figure out how to search for this information, but Kevin Kiermaier may have pulled off the rarest of feats:

His major league debut was during the 163rd game of the season.

Edit: Confirmed. He's the only player to ever debut in a one-game playoff (or, 3-game playoff, as the NL used to hold).

posted by grum@work at 11:35 PM on September 30

That is a pretty cool bit of trivia there. Sad to see my Rangers flame out, but probably better for my digestion over the next few weeks.

posted by Mothball at 11:54 PM on September 30

Go Rays!!!!!!!!!!!!! Paraphrasing Buzz Lightyear: To Cleveland, and beyond!!!

posted by billinnagoya at 08:36 AM on October 01

I can't believe Leonys Martin got away with that trap in the seventh, which could have been huge but sadly wasn't. His flourish at the end sold six umps!

posted by rcade at 08:46 AM on October 01

I can't believe Leonys Martin got away with that trap in the seventh, which could have been huge but sadly wasn't. His flourish at the end sold six umps!

I soooooooooooo understand your feelings, Rcade. But what is the alternative? Having the umps go to the video on every questionable call? Already I get annoyed with those catchers who appeal to the first- or third-base ump almost every time the batter flinches. The umpires' misses are part of the human element of the game, like it or not.

posted by billinnagoya at 09:37 AM on October 01

Having the umps go to the video on every questionable call?

Give the managers a challenge flag or put an extra ump in a TV booth with the authority to signal down that a play is being reviewed.

Instant replay is coming and will include traps.

Umpire misses are a part of the game that becomes spectacularly obvious with great televisions and instant replay. Every sport is losing the battle to keep video review out.

posted by rcade at 11:33 AM on October 01

Already I get annoyed with those catchers who appeal to the first- or third-base ump almost every time the batter flinches.

If the plate umpire calls swing, don't even think of having the base umpire overrule the call, justified or not. You just don't make another umpire look bad. Some youth baseball umpires I know had a little code. On a checked swing called a ball at the plate and appealed, the plate umpire would gesture with his left hand palm down if he was pretty sure there was no swing and palm up if he wanted the base umpire's opinion. Working a 2-man system meant that appeals by a left-handed batter were useless, and with men on base, appeals in general could not be seen well. The thing is that if you appear to be giving the pitcher or batter every opportunity for fairness, you get fewer arguments.

posted by Howard_T at 01:56 PM on October 01

If the plate umpire calls swing, don't even think of having the base umpire overrule the call, justified or not.

You've got me curious, Howard. Can a batter appeal a check swing call? I've never seen it.

posted by billinnagoya at 05:47 PM on October 01

They... can, but why would they? Howard_T can correct me, but it was my understanding that if the home ump signals a swing, he can't be overruled, period. However, if he signals a non-swing, the catcher can and often will point down to the 1st/3rd base umpire (as appropriate) to see if they saw the bat break the plane.

I suppose a hitter could appeal the non-check swing call, but since he'd be turning a ball into a strike, he'd have to be batshit fucking crazy to do that.

Or... Adrian Beltre.

To be fair, when he checks his own swing, Adrian technically appeals to the first base umpire before the call even is made by the home ump, as he feels the 1st base umpire should be the only one making a check swing/full swing call since the home ump is presumably focused on judging the strike of the ball.

I kind of agree with his logic here and think the rules should change as he wants: the 1st base ump will have a much better view, and should be the one calling it a swing if there's any possible question. So the home ump should just consider anything less than a full or obvious swing as a non-swing; the catcher will always do the appeal anyway if he thinks it was a swing since he'll have an interest to do so.

However, Beltre's Quixotic quest to get the rules changed is currently pointless as he gains no benefit in-game, and I believe in his time with the Mariners even resulted in him appealing what the home umpire was about to call a ball, and the 1st base ump ended up ruling he swinged.

posted by hincandenza at 04:06 AM on October 02

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