FanDuel - WFBC

May 31, 2007

A-Rod calls for the pop-up... as he's running to third.: Bush league or genius? The Cheater's Guide to Baseball take: "It's a nice play if you can get away with it." SportsFilter columnist Wfrazerjr's: "Rodriguez attempted to hinder the fielder, he succeeded and he should have been called out."

posted by justgary to baseball at 12:15 AM - 178 comments

Video while it's up.

posted by justgary at 12:43 AM on May 31

I have to admit, watching the game live my first instinct was to laugh at the play. I knew immediately what happened, and I thought it was funny. Admittedly, I definitely wouldn't have thought so if I was rooting for the Jays (or any team but the Yankees). But there are two points that I think make A-Rod's actions defensible (and anyone who knows me knows I am no apologist for A-Rod). 1. The only reason this plays out the way it did is because McDonald didn't take command of the play. With runners circling, the third baseman should be released to cover the bag (yes, even with two outs). If McDonald got involved in the play immediately, as he should have, then Clark (who was clearly anticipating the likelihood of being called off or he wouldn't have budged from the pop up) would have already been out of the scene. McDonald wouldn't have been scared off by A-Rod (if he's any kind of professional) because nobody on his team trumps him on that pop up. 2. Given the opportunity, every team rattles the opposing defense on pop ups and ground balls. Runners hesitate to shield fielders from ground balls, bench jockeys yell at catchers and corner fielders when they approach the dugout on pop ups. A-Rod himself said that he gets the same treatment several times a week on pop ups. I think it's a hard sell to say that it's more bush league to use the trick than it is to fall for it given how often players resort to that sort of tactic generally speaking. A-Rod's had a few of these eyebrow-raisers since coming over to the Yanks. It's evident that he wants to be known as somebody who plays to win regardless of the personal cost of professionalism. It's not the way I play the game, but I respect the motive even if I think the means are of dubious honor. It's definitely not the "Yankee Way" (if such a thing exists) and it was pretty apparent that Torre and many of the players interviewed afterwards were a little embarrassed by it. In summary, if choosing between bush league or genius, I'll go with bush league, but I think letting the ball drop was equivalent on that scale -- A-Rod's not the only one who let professionalism slip. Yes, it exposed the Yankees for what they are -- a desperate team looking for sparks to get them going. However, the way Mariano looked in the ninth, I don't think the play factored at all into the final outcome of the game. I do think it pushed A-Rod one more foot out the Yankee door he was already exiting. And in a vacuum, the play is very funny.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:08 AM on May 31

I've read quite a few yankee blogs and it's running about 20-1 genius. If this had been schilling or manny they'd be calling for his head. And I readily agree, you'd have the same differential among sox fans if the situation was reversed. My point, I guess, is that popular opinion is going to be split pretty evenly along party/team lines (duh). There's two things about A-Rod that stand out to me. One is a comment I read from the baseball think factory that I think describes A-Rod's play perfectly (this was actually after the Pedroia slide): “What striking to me here isn’t that ARod is a dirty player – what he does isn’t much worse than what others do – but that he doesn’t seem able to play dirty the way everyone else does. He has to do it in a way that sticks out, that looks unnatural, that looks sort of silly, and that gets him in trouble. He plays baseball like he’s profoundly uncomfortable out there, which is really weird for the guy who’s like the best player alive.” The second is A-Rod's comments after these type events. They're just bizarre, as if he doesn't realize how silly he sounds: Rodriguez said he yelled, “Ha!” because, “I was excited running around third base. I don’t know what my intention was.” What? He's almost child like in his answers. A-Rod himself said that he gets the same treatment several times a week on pop ups. Well, he's stretching the truth. A-Rod also said "sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't", which is bull because that play is simply not done. As long as I've played I've never seen that play. Players, managers, etc. have said the same thing. Yes, it may be no different than many things done in baseball, faking a runner out, shielding a ground ball, and A-Rod can certainly use that as a defense. But he's talking about yelling from the dugout, which happens all the time and is easy to distinguish from your own player. I'm sure A-rod yelling as he runs by is not. For the record, I thought it was kind of funny also. I'm sure I'd feel different if it was against the Red Sox. That said, it doesn't matter how many fans say "it's not illegal so it's ok", the jays were obviously angry, and I'm sure they'll remember it in July. Should be interesting. As for the "yankee way", I don't think they're any different than any other team, just less hair. That said, I refuse to believe Jeter wasn't secretly embarrassed by the play.

posted by justgary at 01:59 AM on May 31

As a dyed-in-the-wool Met fan, any negative publicity the Yankees receive is welcome news. That being said, I agree with the Sousepaw. Anyone who has played even Little League knows that the shortstop should've taken control of the pop-up, either calling off the third baseman immediately, or at the very least, going over and covering 3B. Hey, these guys are the elite of the elite and earning money I can only dream about. Just because someone yells out "your mother wears army boots", doesn't make him the antichrist. Barreling into a catcher on a play at the plate is no more sportman-like, yet you don't hear anyone complaining about that.

posted by FishingDr at 04:23 AM on May 31

I am a huge Red Sox fan and I thought it was funny. Not nearly as much fun as watching that guy steal home on Pettite the other day but I definately give A-Rod credit he can be pretty entertaining sometimes

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 05:11 AM on May 31

If indeed A-Rod tried to distract the fielder by yelling "I got it", or anything else for that matter, he has committed interference. In that case the runner could be called out (since it would have been the 3rd out of the inning) and all runners returned to the bases occupied. A-Rod has done this too many times to consider it as "genius" or just run-of-the-mill hard play. Remember the "purse slap" at Bronson Arroyo in the 2004 ALCS? He got caught on that one, and had the umpires been paying attention, he would have been caught on this evening's play. One of these days he will piss someone off to the point that he is wearing a baseball in his ear or a set of spikes in his legs.

posted by Howard_T at 05:14 AM on May 31

I'm still irritated about him pushing Pedroia last week.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:59 AM on May 31

If indeed A-Rod tried to distract the fielder by yelling "I got it", or anything else for that matter, he has committed interference. It's baseball, where we celebrate all things nefarious, outfielders pretending a ball is catchable to freeze the runner, infielders faking a tag to get a runner to slide while the ball's still a ways away, managers stealing signs, etc. Do we need Sarbanes-Oxley in baseball?

posted by yerfatma at 06:04 AM on May 31

Pshaw. Call it bush or genius, it can go either way, largely dependent on who you root for. I personally think it's tinged with bush, but what the hell? The biggest problem A-Rod's got is the perception (not just among fans) that he's that kid who's trying too hard. As evidenced in the quote justgary posted above: "...he doesn’t seem able to play dirty the way everyone else does. He has to do it in a way that sticks out, that looks unnatural, that looks sort of silly, and that gets him in trouble. He plays baseball like he’s profoundly uncomfortable out there, which is really weird for the guy who’s like the best player alive.” Could it be that A-Rod's just a massive geek, ostracized all his life, who wants desperately to be one of the cool kids, and will do anything he can to break into the right clique? 'Cause, you just know that Posada, Rivera, and that hunky Derek Jeter aren't letting him sit at their table. Poor guy probably has to sit with Giambi, Matsui, and all the other misfits and exchange students.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:33 AM on May 31

Great play by A-Rod. Poor Blue Jays, stop the whining, it's pathetic. As Sousepaw pointed out (and he's absolutely correct), if McDonald took command of the play and Clark covered 3rd, none of this would have happened. McDonald would've known that it was his play to make and no one would've been able to call him off. Bush league or genius, either way it worked and the Yanks finally won a game. I'm no Yankee supporter by any stretch but A-Rod is showing that he'll do anything to win and he just doesn't give a damn who likes what he does in order to get that win. Funny stuff.

posted by BornIcon at 06:48 AM on May 31

A-Rod is showing that he'll do anything to win and he just doesn't give a damn who likes what he does in order to get that win. I wonder... Would your opinion will change if ARod does that against whatever team you root for, BI.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:05 AM on May 31

I agree that the fact Toronto is making such a big deal about it makes them look like little T-ball players. I'm embarrassed for them. The idea the thing actually worked only points to the inexperience of the players involved. That it happended in their own ballpark is ridiculous, also. Lets face it, at this point the Yankees need to pull out every trick in the book to start winning some games. I doubt the same thing would fake out someone such as Eric Chavez, for example.

posted by dyams at 07:08 AM on May 31

I wonder... Would your opinion will change if ARod does that against whatever team you root for, BI. Not at all JG, if ANY team (Including my Mets), were to fall for that, then they get what they deserve. ...the fact Toronto is making such a big deal about it makes them look like little T-ball players. I'm embarrassed for them. The idea the thing actually worked only points to the inexperience of the players involved. That it happened in their own ballpark is ridiculous, also. Ditto.

posted by BornIcon at 07:36 AM on May 31

People pull moves like this in every sport all the time. I played hockey, and players will always tap their stick or call for passes from the opposing team if the guy isn't looking or if they're trailing the play into the zone. It works once in a blue moon, which is why people still do it. In baseball, something like this is a lot less likely to work for many reasons, which is why we don't really see it that often. But in this case, a rookie who doesn't know his teammate's voice well, a shortstop not doing his job properly, and a baserunner who has played both positions in a 10+ year career all came together to make a really silly play. I'd be willing to bet that if someone spent time reviewing tape of baserunners (a fun task to be sure) they'd find several instances of runners doing the same thing. It just doesn't work because the infielders don't usually fall for it. Sure, it's a little bit on the side of bush league, but it was also a pretty heads-up play to process the situation and time it right like that. He'll get drilled in July, and he'll deserve it, and that'll be the end of it. Just like when Phelps bowled over Johjima earlier this month. What I thought was BS wasn't the actual play, but his lame ass explanation afterwards about saying "ha!" Look, it's obvious what he did, why not just own up to it? Most people already hate him, he might as well just be honest and embrace it.

posted by Bernreuther at 07:42 AM on May 31

It's no different than in hockey when an opposing player is skating behind an attacking player carrying the puck and the opposing player taps his stick on the ice looking for the attacking player to drop the puck back to him. Or, stealing signs in baseball, whatever it takes to win. I especially liked the play because it allowed Matsui to score who happens to be one of my fantasy players. Way to go A-Rod!!

posted by MGDADDYO at 08:03 AM on May 31

Good idea on A-Rod's part. Not one if his fans but you play to win the game. The part about it's not if you win or lose but how you play the game is bogus. If that were so why do we keep score. Reminds me of playing LL and yelling watch out for the tricylce to an outfielder who practiced with me alot in my yard and there were always tricycles and wagons around. Yeah, he looked for the tricycle and missed my fly ball. Nobody beat me up for it and I heard it alot through out the years at second base. It is part of the game. Live with it and move on.

posted by coach at 08:06 AM on May 31

Good idea on A-Rod's part. Not one if his fans but you play to win the game. Herm Edwards? Is that you??

posted by BornIcon at 08:12 AM on May 31

It's a chump move. Like his weird slap at Arroyo, Rodriguez has once again put himself in the category of the obvious cheat. There's an art to unproven cheats that give you an edge in sport -- I grew up idolizing Gaylord Perry and love football players who play dirty to get the fumble in a pileup -- but doing something that gets you caught in 10 seconds degrades the game and makes you look foolish. He couldn't even pull off an enigmatic response after the game, resorting instead to a dumb lie. Lovable scamp he ain't.

posted by rcade at 08:27 AM on May 31

Clearly, this is how ARod is going to play. He's going to make cheap chump moves to get an advantage from trying to slap the ball out of Arroyo's hand, to pushing Pedroia to interfering with a extraordinarily routine infield play. He's too good of a ballplayer to be doing this. I don't buy he said "Ha!" either. "Mine!" was more likely. He said he was rounding third when he said it, and he clearly wasn't. Bad sportsmanship and bad lying on top of it.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:48 AM on May 31

interfering with a extraordinarily routine infield play. He didn't interfere. Yelling "mine" or "ha" or anything is perfectly fine. Like MGDADDYO points out, it's gamesmanship. The problem was that Clark is a rookie (his first game) and isn't sure of who was saying what on the field. In about 2 months, he would have recognized McDonald's voice (or Clayton's, the other SS on the Jays) and known that he wasn't the one calling him off. It's not bush league. It's not interference. It's taking advantage of a rookie. I'd say it's about the same level as getting someone out with the "hidden ball" trick. There are three opinions about this play I'll probably ignore: - rabid Yankee fans - rabid Jays fans - rabid Red Sox fans No impartiality can be expected from those groups in this matter.

posted by grum@work at 09:00 AM on May 31

I think it's acceptable gamesmanship but that one quote about him seeming uncomfortable seems right on. I said this back when the slap happened too - any player who says he doesn't make an attempt to dislodge the ball there is a liar, but most do it in a way that isn't so obvious (and wuss-like). You shoulder him, or just make it seem like a part of the motion of running. When you slide hard into second, you shade your whole body to the side of the bag to take the guy out, you don't just wave an elbow. Do it properly and it's good hard-nosed baseball that gets you praise. Do it like an idiot and you get called out on it. Lie about it later and you get attacked even more. I swear, sometimes I think that parts of his mental development stalled in 3rd grade. edit: grum, you could probably include just about everyone in the media in your list too. They're going to take a side because they want to make a story of it and pretend to take the high road and criticize him.

posted by Bernreuther at 09:04 AM on May 31

It's a chump move. So what else in baseball would be considered a "chump move?" When a runner intentionally stands in the way of a ground ball until the last second in an effort to distract the fielder? When a player sliding into home plate tries to kick the ball away from the catchers glove? When, after a pickoff attempt, a first baseman doesn't throw the ball back to the pitcher, but instead fakes the throw and attempts another quick tag of the runner? It's almost like all the kids of a little league team yelling "SWING" when a pitch is coming at a batter, the batter swinging, and the coach arguing the player only swung at the pitch because the opposing players distracted him into doing so. Good players don't fall for these things. Players who do are often selling insurance a year or two down the road.

posted by dyams at 09:06 AM on May 31

- rabid Jays fans So you're ignoring yourself?

posted by jerseygirl at 09:07 AM on May 31

It's a chump move. Like his weird slap at Arroyo, Rodriguez has once again put himself in the category of the obvious cheat. how is it cheating if it's not against the rules? it's not like he's the first player in the game to ever do this. it just happened to work in this instance. if the roles were reversed and A-Rod is the one who got fooled, let the pop up go and then complained about it everyone would be calling him a whiny little bitch. and personally i'd be pissed off that a Yankee fell for one of the oldest tricks in the book. i've seen comments on blogs calling for Alex to get beaned in the head next time they play Toronto. seriously? for this shit? if he didn't get hit the day after the Pedroia play (which i will readily admit was a bullshit play on A-Rod's part) there's no way to justify him getting hit for distracting a fielder. that would be bush league. It's definitely not the "Yankee Way" (if such a thing exists) i don't think it exists. it's like the myth of new players having to "earn their pinstripes". i think there's a "Torre Way" however, and that's where people get confused. like his refusal to brushback opposing batters while his superstars continually get plunked. or not having the team bunt in game 6 of the 2004 ALCS to test schilling's frakenankle on the wet grass.

posted by goddam at 09:09 AM on May 31

Yes, and I would agree that every mom and dad would like there children growing up in the same manner, sore losers and cheats. "PROFESSIONAL" athletes are some of the people that children look up to and want to grow up to be like them. So, is it too much to ask them to act "PROFESSIONAL?" A-Rod is exactly what he is and nothing more.

posted by Harry01854 at 09:11 AM on May 31

It may have been borderline bush league, but he should have embraced it. He should have taken grum's stance and just admitted that he was trying to take advantage of a rookie. Then, maybe everyone would have laughed it off. If A-Rod thinks it is something worthy of lying about, then it makes it more suspect.

posted by bperk at 09:13 AM on May 31

- rabid Yankee fans Geez. I thought my response was pretty measured and even-handed. I do think it was McDonald's fault, though.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:32 AM on May 31

Shouldn't you know the voice of your teammates and not fall for such a play to begin with?

posted by dbt302 at 09:33 AM on May 31

So what else in baseball would be considered a "chump move?" What Rodriguez did was outside the expected norms of the game, like his attempt to knock the glove of a player fielding a throw. The rookie playing third base -- who has 16 years in the minors -- said it's never happened to him before. Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus, out with a sore hamstring, said he'd have "choice words" for a teammate who pulled the same stunt.

"Not since I think 'Major League 2,' the movie [have I seen something like that]," he added with a laugh. "I've never heard of someone doing it and I've never seen anybody do it. I've never had it happen to me. It's disappointing. That's not proper."
Maybe A Rod has pioneered a new trick that runners will pull on rooks to get over on them. But I think it's more likely that this stunt is too obvious, and it makes you look silly in the unforgiving light of super slo-mo replays, like a soccer player falling to the ground in agony when he hasn't been hit. Why does A Rod need to win stupid? He's one of the most gifted athletes in the game.

posted by rcade at 09:35 AM on May 31

Come on. I thought the play itself was pretty funny. Can we all admit that at least? Also, I thought his comments made him sound like a complete fool. Just own up to what you did. Finally, having watched the video, I love the section from like 2:30-3:00 where ARod has this little smirk on his face, as though he's thinking about how everyone in the clubhouse will give him mad props after the game. (Does anyone still use "mad props?")

posted by edub1321 at 09:41 AM on May 31

The problem was that Clark is a rookie (his first game) and isn't sure of who was saying what on the field. In about 2 months, he would have recognized McDonald's voice (or Clayton's, the other SS on the Jays) and known that he wasn't the one calling him off. It was Howie Clark's 111th major league game. He's been in professional baseball 16 years. He's 33. He's played in parts of 4 major league seasons. That being said, it was his first game with the Blue Jays this year.

posted by tommytrump at 09:42 AM on May 31

It may have been borderline bush league, but he should have embraced it. Agreed. I have no idea why he doesn't just own up to it. He half does it. "We need a win any way possible" And then backs off. "I have no idea of my intentions" I agree word for word with rcade, and grum two in that it's difficult to comment without bias. That said, I disagree with grum that this isn't bush league. It's the very definition of bush league. If you refuse to call this bush league, then the phrase is useless. That doesn't mean you have to think it was wrong, or that A-Rod should be embarrassed. But it is what it is. I love the section from like 2:30-3:00 where ARod has this little smirk on his face I thought that was hilarious also. Without it, I agree with goddam, no need to throw at the guy. With it, if it was my team, he'd be eating dirt. The rookie playing third base -- who has 16 years in the minors -- said it's never happened to him before. Yeah, I'm not quite getting the "it happens all the time" angle. It doesn't. Things happen like it, but not that.

posted by justgary at 09:43 AM on May 31

ARod is who he is? It is what it is? Oh come on people, we're supposed to be able to converse without resorting to the cliches so popular with the athletes.

posted by Bernreuther at 09:49 AM on May 31

Why does A Rod need to win stupid? He's one of the most gifted athletes in the game. You are correct to state that Alex is "one of the most gifted athletes in the game" but regardless, the Yanks were on a 5-game skid and were desperate for a win and did not want to get swept by the Blue Jays. I honestly can not believe that I'm actually defending the Yankees on this but the bottom line is, the played worked and the Yanks picked up the W which is all that matters. Finally, having watched the video, I love the section from like 2:30-3:00 where ARod has this little smirk on his face, as though he's thinking about how everyone in the clubhouse will give him mad props after the game. (Does anyone still use "mad props?") I thought that was pretty funny too. He does in fact get 'mad props' in my book.

posted by BornIcon at 09:49 AM on May 31

It REALLY would have caused some controversy if A-Rod was injecting steroids while he was yelling I got it! By the way, I laughed my ass off when BornIcon asked if coach was Herm Edwards. Being a Jet fan, I DO miss having Herm Edward around. In order to get my "Herm fix", I just watch episodes of Sienfeld when Cramer's lawyer Jackie is on. Herm and Jackie are technically the same guy.

posted by MGDADDYO at 09:52 AM on May 31

I bet this happens almost every game but most players are smart enough not to fall for it. hey batter batter batter batter batter swing batter.

posted by Debo270 at 09:55 AM on May 31

Another thing I thought about. How often is there an "infield single" (like Posada's) where a runner scores from second? And shouldn't we be lauding ARod's skill to go from first to third on such a short ball? I think that is one of the most underrated skills in the game. I always hear that Jeff Bagwell was the best at it in his prime. Maybe ARod will take over that title?

posted by edub1321 at 09:56 AM on May 31

(If he can pull this off a couple more times that is...)

posted by edub1321 at 09:57 AM on May 31

In order to get my "Herm fix", I just watch episodes of Sienfeld when Cramer's lawyer Jackie is on. Herm and Jackie are technically the same guy. Funny you said that, I never really thought about it like that but now that you mentioned it, Kramer's lawyer, Jackie Childs (supposed to be like Johnny Cochrane) from Sienfeld does look a lot like Herm.

posted by BornIcon at 10:04 AM on May 31

I bet this happens almost every game but most players are smart enough not to fall for it. Well debo270, I can believe you or others that have, you know, actually played the game. (I don't get this. How do you read about players saying they've never heard of this, managers, announcers, etc. and then say "I bet it happens almost every game". Do you actually read the thread or the links?) And shouldn't we be lauding ARod's skill to go from first to third on such a short ball? Two outs, hitters going on contact, high pop fly, nothing unusual, run-of-the-mill play, nothing to laud.

posted by justgary at 10:05 AM on May 31

The rookie playing third base -- who has 16 years in the minors -- said it's never happened to him before. Bear in mind that for a play like this to even occur, you need: 1) two outs 2) a runner on first 3) a pop up high enough (and/or a runner on first fast enough) that the runner has time to get behind the third baseman before he catches the ball 4) the ball has to land a) in fair territory; b) within the shortstop's reasonable domain; c) far enough in that the baseline is behind the third baseman; but d) far enough back that the third baseman is still in earshot of the runner -- close enough that it seems the runner is in position to catch the ball. How many times in 16 years will a situation like this even develop? Honestly, I don't have an answer for that, but I don't take it's never having happened to him as meaning that nobody but A-Rod would do it. Still, agreed, bush play.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:20 AM on May 31

Gary, I for one don't really believe the opposing manager or an announcer with an axe to grind when he says he has never seen anything like this. And as a former athlete, I did see stuff like that. This is not noteworthy because it was the first time someone has yelled something, it's noteworthy because it's the first time anyone can remember someone yelling something and actually having it work. And because it's ARod. While we're on the subject, what would Jackie Chiles say? "That's deplorable, unfathomable, improbable!" "It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous!"

posted by Bernreuther at 10:25 AM on May 31

How do you read about players saying they've never heard of this, managers, announcers, etc. and then say "I bet it happens almost every game". Because I think they are full of shit. How many times do they tell us "One game at a time" and all that other crap? A-Rod actually said he didn't know what his intentions were. Am I supposed to believe that? If not, why do I have to take Troy Glaus' comments at face value? If grum's ignoring all rabid fan opinions, I think it's ok to discount the actual aggrieved parties' opinions a bit regardless of whether they've played the game.

posted by yerfatma at 10:28 AM on May 31

I'd take what Bowa says with a grain of salt, but from the Times: Rodriguez singled in the ninth to make it 7-5, and his verbal interference with Clark allowed the Yankees to pile on. The third base coach, Larry Bowa, said that Rodriguez did not cross a line of good sportsmanship. “If you say, ‘I got it,’ I think that’s very unacceptable,” Bowa said. “He didn’t say, ‘I got it.’ He said, ‘Hey, hey.’ They parted like the Red Sea.” Gibbons said he told Rodriguez he thought it was a bush league play, which Bowa also heard. But Rodriguez claimed not to hear anything that Gibbons or McDonald said, and not to care, either." It's not that hard to find someone who can read lips to refute that. It looked an awful lot like "mine" to me. Still, the Jays shouldn't have been parting like the red sea.

posted by Bernreuther at 10:34 AM on May 31

I'm kind of amazed that Jim Caple doesn't have an anti-ARod/Yankee "article" up on ESPN yet. Very unlike him.

posted by Bernreuther at 10:39 AM on May 31

I think it's ok to discount the actual aggrieved parties' opinions a bit regardless of whether they've played the game. Some Yankees comments then. Johnny Damon said he didn't think that was allowed. Joe Torre said he didn't know what to think of the play. No inkling in those comments that it was a common occurrence.

posted by bperk at 10:41 AM on May 31

I'm kind of amazed that Jim Caple doesn't have an anti-ARod/Yankee "article" up on ESPN yet. Very unlike him. What is this ''ESPN'' you speak of?

posted by tommytrump at 10:55 AM on May 31

Here's an angle for ya': "There's no cryin' in baseball." And I'm no Rodriguez fan.

posted by THX-1138 at 10:56 AM on May 31

And as a former athlete, I did see stuff like that. posted by Bernreuther "like that" being the key words. Because I think they are full of shit. posted by yerfatma You don't believe A-Rod, who seems to have a track record of not owning up to anything, so your'e going to throw out the opinion of 3 or 4 others? Is this some kind of conspiracy? They all got on the same page? Damon didn't even know it was allowed? He must be deaf if it happens all the time. I've never seen a replay, in a day and age when almost every game is recorded in HD, where a runner mouthed anything. It happens all the time, but this is the first time it ever worked? I played from 4 to 19 as a middle infielder and not a single time did a runner on the field ever yell "mine". Players from the dugout, yes. People in the stands, yes. Runners? No. But "I think they are full of shit" is a pretty convincing argument, so I guess I could be wrong.

posted by justgary at 11:00 AM on May 31

We're not allowed to be skeptical of Blue Jays and talking heads now? Neither one of us is trying to claim anything as a fact. You could be wrong, and we could be wrong too. It's likely the latter. I'm just not going to automatically take the word of the guy who was duped or his teammates.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:09 AM on May 31

We're not allowed to be skeptical of Blue Jays and talking heads now? I gave you much more than that bernreuther. Either you're ignoring what I said or not reading it.

posted by justgary at 11:11 AM on May 31

And yerfatma gave you more than just "I think they're full of shit." The rest of what you said wasn't relevant to what I was saying. I was mostly conceding the point anyway.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:19 AM on May 31

I played from 4 to 19 as a middle infielder and not a single time did a runner on the field ever yell "mine". that's because there are rules about verbal obstruction (both by fielders and runners) at the little league and high school levels. not so at the major league level.

posted by goddam at 11:19 AM on May 31

Well I guess then it is a question of ethics in baseball and we all know how ethical the MLB is. I need to go take my HGH and some greenies and when I come back from placing a bet on the dugout phone, we can talk about how etical the sport is. If it worked, good, try it again. I hate the Yankees but I think i t was a great move. Kind of like the barking dog play in football

posted by Debo270 at 11:27 AM on May 31

- rabid Jays fans So you're ignoring yourself? posted by jerseygirl at 9:07 AM CDT on May 31 I don't think many people would call me a "rabid" Blue Jays fan. I'm a big fan, and the Blue Jays are the "local" team for me, but I'm not one to defend-without-reason anything and everything the Jays do. Shouldn't you know the voice of your teammates and not fall for such a play to begin with? It's the very first game he's ever played with McDonald. The last time he was in the majors was 2004, and McDonald wasn't with the team at that time. So what else in baseball would be considered a "chump move?" When a runner intentionally stands in the way of a ground ball until the last second in an effort to distract the fielder? Actually, that is against the rules. You cannot deliberately impede the fielder in his ability to properly field a batted ball. That means you can't stand in his way as the ball approaches him, you cannot run up to him and start waving your hands in front of his face on a pop fly. However, if during the course of running to the next base you have to jump over the ball, that is allowed. You just can't alter your normal pace in order to impede the fielder.

posted by grum@work at 11:31 AM on May 31

I hate the Yankees but I think i t was a great move. Kind of like the barking dog play in football I think that was in the high school basketball game.

posted by grum@work at 11:32 AM on May 31

Am I the only one that finds it odd that a runner can round third and bowl over the catcher with the full intent of dislodging the ball or that a runner can slide into second while his pinky touches the far outside edge of the bag while trying to break up a double play and it's all considered hard-nosed baseball? But if the doofus A-Rod yells boo at an out of position 3rd baseman who subsequently lets it fall, he's an evil cheater. Something just don't add up.

posted by THX-1138 at 11:36 AM on May 31

What is the argument here? That not everybody does it? I think that's a given. That only A-Rod does it? That is totally ridiculous. I still play. Up until two years ago, I played in a 30+ league made up primarily of former minor league and semi-pro players. On pop ups, everybody's screaming -- runners, base coaches, benches. It's a matter of course. As a shortstop, I would play against some teams that would yell "cut four" when I went out for a relay to keep me from throwing their guy out at second base. And sometimes it worked. It's bush league, but guys do it. Not all guys, but enough that you need to keep your guard up against it. That's why I blame McDonald -- he's got to be communicating with his third baseman and not just standing there like a statue watching the play develop. Again, I don't subscribe to A-Rod's practices, but he is far, far from the only guy in the league who would attempt this. You just can't alter your normal pace in order to impede the fielder. And yet you see it done routinely in ballgames. Almost every game. I saw that very play last night. Here's another one -- the Dodger move. Baserunners attempting to steal are taught to watch the front heel of a right-handed pitcher. If you see that heel, you go, because a pitcher can't lift that leg and come to first. Well, the Dodgers, quite a while back, figured out that the best way to pick off a runner was to break your front knee slightly, show the heel very briefly, then make your pickoff move. It's a balk move, but if you make it look like one fluid motion it's rare that an umpire will call the balk. More often than not you will catch the runner leaning and have a greatly improved chance of picking him off.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:40 AM on May 31

I played from 4 to 19 as a middle infielder and not a single time did a runner on the field ever yell "mine". Players from the dugout, yes. People in the stands, yes. Runners? No. I've played baseball competitively until I hurt my knee. I played from 4 - 23 years of age and I can honestly tell you that this does happen a lot. It may not get a lot of coverage but when it does happen, the opposition makes a big deal out of it. Call it bush league, call it cheap, call it whatever you want but the simple fact is, if a player gets distracted from someone yelling (at whatever is yelled), then they weren't really focused. A player should should be able to distinguish his teammates voice from someone else's and if they don't and commit to letting someone else make the play, then the blame falls on the distracted player or the player that should have took command of the play. Since Alex is the 'culprit' behind this, it has become something more than what it really is: A great and perfectly timed play by A-Rod that's not against the rules.

posted by BornIcon at 11:53 AM on May 31

You just can't alter your normal pace in order to impede the fielder. And yet you see it done routinely in ballgames. Almost every game. I saw that very play last night. What game was that? Did the runner stop running and just stand in the way of the fielder?

posted by grum@work at 12:15 PM on May 31

Does anyone else see the connection between A-Rod & Kobe Bryant? They are both phenomenal athletes, and likely the best at their respective sports, yet so many people dislike them. Why is that? I think it is what someone mentioned above about owning your deviousness. A-Rod and Kobe do sketchy things, so that they can have credibility, but don't want to lose the "aw shucks, i'm really just a good guy" facade. You can't have it both ways. Be a goody-two-shoes or be a villian, but make up your mind. Americans can handle either one, but not both (Not trying to exculde anyone, particularly our neighbors up north, but i frankly don't know what you guys think about these things.)

posted by brainofdtrain at 12:16 PM on May 31

Theo Epstein: "I'm not sure it's easy to explain ... what's acceptable and what's not acceptable probably goes way back to the early 1900s," Epstein said. "I guess you just want to be on the right side of that and not on the wrong side of that ... certain things certainly get the ire of the opposition."

posted by YukonGold at 12:27 PM on May 31

Did the runner stop running and just stand in the way of the fielder? Nothing as blatant as that. You can see in almost any game, though, runners set their pace so that the ball crosses right behind them, or sprint to where the ball will cross the path and stop to "get out of the way." Same thing with popups -- runners set their pace to ensure the infielder hears their footsteps (and in some instances, their call for the ball). It's hedging if not outright breaking the rules. The other day Doug Mientkievicz faked his way to first base by hopping up and down after a pitch in the dirt landed near his foot. He was briefly lauded for successfully convincing the umpire he had been hit, chuckles all around, and the game resumed without incident. I don't think the Yankees are a unique bunch of cheaters. If they are, they aren't good at it. They're 22 and 29.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:34 PM on May 31

Does anyone else see the connection between A-Rod & Kobe Bryant? You must be listening to the Dan Patrick show on ESPN Radio because that's the exact same question he just asked.

posted by BornIcon at 12:39 PM on May 31

Bear in mind that for a play like this to even occur, you need: 1) two outs 2) a runner on first 3) a pop up high enough (and/or a runner on first fast enough) that the runner has time to get behind the third baseman before he catches the ball 4) the ball has to land a) in fair territory; b) within the shortstop's reasonable domain; c) far enough in that the baseline is behind the third baseman; but d) far enough back that the third baseman is still in earshot of the runner -- close enough that it seems the runner is in position to catch the ball. Yes - for this specific scenario - but you hardly need all these things to psych out a guy on a pop up. That's the issue. As a die-hard Jays fan, I saw a team out there desparate for a win. An underperforming team watching a 5-0 lead being eaten away at, whilst in the midst of a five game losing streak. So if I'm A-Rod, I for sure do that. Is it bush? Absolutely. But hardly the end of the world. I think A-Rod was basically shocked that it actually worked. He was just trying it out.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:40 PM on May 31

grum, We did it in football once or twice with a wideout and slot receiver lined up right next to each other. Worked more often then not.

posted by Debo270 at 12:45 PM on May 31

I added a link to this post -- there's a Cheater's Guide to Baseball blog that has, naturally, jumped on this. To me, A Rod's action is like pretending to be hit by a pitch. Anyone could do it, but it's easy to get caught and look like a chump. For example. Surely we can all agree that this is bush league, even though pretending to be hit by a pitch is not against the rules.

posted by rcade at 12:45 PM on May 31

Couldn't help myself. Column posted.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:48 PM on May 31

So as a 'die-hard Jays fan' Weedy, were you upset that A-Rod did this, shocked that it actually worked or embarrassed that the Jays made such a big fuss about it? I'm interested in knowing how it made a fan of the Blue Jays feel because if it happened to the Mets, I would've laughed my ass off that it actually worked out for the opposition.

posted by BornIcon at 12:50 PM on May 31

This had me thinking of other ways ARod could get an advantage. I see some opportunities if this is all "gamesmanship". - From the dugout, ARod could try to distract the pitcher by painting a face on his ass and mooning the field. - After being forced out, breaks up completion of double play by grabbing 2B's crotch and saying "HONK! HONK!" - Hinders catcher's attempt to throw out runner to second by yelling "I AM GOING TO TAKE YOUR MOTHER OUT FOR A SEAFOOD DINNER AND NEVER CALL HER AGAIN!!" The possibilities are endless.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:51 PM on May 31

Oh and another thing. Why don't his Yankees team mates get his back for him? All the quotes are along the lines of "I don't know if that's allowed" or "I don't have a feel for it" or like Epstein "I guess you want to be on the right side of that and not on the wrong side of that". Do they really dislike him that much? C'mon boys, commit to an idea. Are you OK with Alex and his "stuff" or would you rather hem and haw you're way through the season. Do you feel he cheats on and off the field or do you like the guy? Don't be so..so.. Milktoasty! Maybe that is but one reason you're 22 and 29. How can we all loathe you when you don't even like yourselves? This whole thing just intakes air sharply.

posted by THX-1138 at 12:53 PM on May 31

You don't believe A-Rod, who seems to have a track record of not owning up to anything, so your'e going to throw out the opinion of 3 or 4 others? 3-4? I'm saying I don't take anything said by a pro athlete to the media at face value. Why is that not ok here? I played from 4 to 19 as a middle infielder and not a single time did a runner on the field ever yell "mine". Every time a baseball question comes up, you hold this out as though it ended all arguments. I played baseball from 6-15, wasn't ever very good at it. Neither of us played in the majors, which would be the only relevant experience, as suggested by goddam's comment above. If we're going to make game experience a pre-requisite to holding an opinion, things are going to get kind of quiet. Either way, how many of you get upset when the catcher blocks the plate? That's expressly against the rules of baseball.

posted by yerfatma at 12:57 PM on May 31

Hey, this type of move is probably the only way that the Yankees can win now, so give them a break. If they have to play the game the way everybody else does, then they would probably be even more than 13.5 games back.

posted by graymatters at 01:06 PM on May 31

To me, A Rod's action is like pretending to be hit by a pitch. Anyone could do it, but it's easy to get caught and look like a chump. i think it's more like the hidden ball trick, where the object is to deceive the opposing team. pretending to get hit by the pitch is deceiving the umpire.

posted by goddam at 01:22 PM on May 31

For those who feel that A-Rod's play was within the rules, read this from the Rule Book. INTERFERENCE (a) Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. If the umpire declares the batter, batter- runner, or a runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise provided by these rules. Rule 2.00 (Interference) Comment: In the event the batter-runner has not reached first base, all runners shall return to the base last occupied at the time of the pitch. (b) Defensive interference is an act by a fielder which hinders or prevents a batter from hitting a pitch. (c) Umpire’s interference occurs (1) When an umpire hinders, impedes or prevents a catcher’s throw attempting to prevent a stolen base, or (2) When a fair ball touches an umpire on fair territory before passing a fielder. (d) Spectator interference occurs when a spectator reaches out of the stands, or goes on the playing field, and touches a live ball. On any interference the ball is dead. And this from Rule 7.08: Any runner is out when: (b) He intentionally interferes with a thrown ball; or hinders a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball; Rule 7.08(b) Comment: A runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a batted ball is out whether it was intentional or not. If, however, the runner has contact with a legally occupied base when he hinders the fielder, he shall not be called out unless, in the umpire’s judgment, such hindrance, whether it occurs on fair or foul territory, is intentional. If the umpire declares the hindrance intentional, the following penalty shall apply: With less than two out, the umpire shall declare both the runner and batter out. With two out, the umpire shall declare the batter out. If, in a run-down between third base and home plate, the succeeding runner has advanced and is standing on third base when the runner in a run-down is called out for offensive interference, the umpire shall send the runner standing on third base back to second base. This same principle applies if there is a run-down between second and third base and succeeding runner has reached second (the reasoning is that no runner shall advance on an interference play and a runner is considered to occupy a base until he legally has reached the next succeeding base). I regret that I do not have easy access to a case book to see what previous rulings have been made on such plays. Please note that the definition of Interference does not limit it to physical contact. The reason that A-Rod's play was less than major league professional is that he might have gotten caught. It is very difficult for anyone on the field in a major league stadium to hear clearly. In order for the umpire to call interference in this case, he would have had to be watching A-Rod and have been in position to hear what he said. This is usually not the case, so assuming that A-Rod made a quick calculation in his head, he figured he would not have been caught. Had he been caught, it would have taken a run off the board and ended an inning with runners on base. This is never a good thing. Not on a moral basis, but as an analogy, I compare it to holding up a gas station in order to get a little extra money for your family. If you are clever, you can get away with it more often than not, and the police are not likely to spend a lot of time looking for you. The real problem is that if you are caught, the cost far exceeds any benefit.

posted by Howard_T at 01:51 PM on May 31

that's because there are rules about verbal obstruction (both by fielders and runners) at the little league and high school levels. not so at the major league level. posted by goddam I disagree. Yes, that's the rule, but it doesn't affect play. The rule isn't what's preventing it. How many little league players/ high school players even know that rule? High school players aren't running around the bases thinking "I'd love to yell 'I got it' but there's a rule against it. And most little league looks like a version of the bad news bears. Rules end up being anything goes. I played from 4 - 23 years of age and I can honestly tell you that this does happen a lot. It may not get a lot of coverage but when it does happen, the opposition makes a big deal out of it. Well, I've never heard of it. So far, every player today I've heard speak on the subject hasn't heard of it. Damon hasn't heard of it. If the opposition makes a big deal about it, it should be easy to find with today's coverage. Show me one time in a major league game that it's been made a big deal. If it happens all the time and the opposition makes a big deal about it it should be easy to find an example to prove your case. Every time a baseball question comes up, you hold this out as though it ended all arguments. I'll make a mental note that it irritates you. Now that that's done, please show me where I said it ended the argument. It was one point in a series of points. Discard that one since it gets under your skin, and I still feel the others stand. Much more so than your bizarre equation of ballplayers using cliches with the bluejays lying. If we're going to make game experience a pre-requisite to holding an opinion, things are going to get kind of quiet. Again, not sure what you're reading. If you're taking simply bringing up personal experience as saying others without it can't have an opinion, that's your deal, not mine. Neither of us played in the majors, which would be the only relevant experience I disagree. Baseball at a certain level looks the same other than the talent. At 15 players are still chattering "batta batta batta swing" so the comparsion wouldn't be as appropriate. Regardless, I'll get off the "it happens all the time" argument by saying I simply don't believe it. If people want to believe blue-jay announcers, coaches, and players are all lying about this even though it happens all the time, and this is the first time at the major league level that anyone can remember it working even though it happens all the time, and the team stayed in the dugout staring at A-Rod after the last out when it happens all the time, and Torre and Damon seemed lost when asked about the play, a play that happens all the time, and every player I've heard on talk radio today says it doesn't happen, and people still want to believe happens all the time, then we'll agree to disagree. Leaving that behind I can't quite get a grip on how I feel about the play. It's no doubt bush league, but I wonder how I'd feel if Mile Lowell, a man I have much love for and master of the hidden ball trick, pulled the same stunt. As far as the Yankee way, I don't think it exists, and at the same time can't imagine Posada, Bernie, or Jeter doing what A-Rod did.

posted by justgary at 02:00 PM on May 31

I agree with goddam, the closest is probably the hidden ball trick. And who doesn't like the hidden ball when it works? Had he been caught, it would have taken a run off the board and ended an inning with runners on base. This is never a good thing. Except if he hadn't tried it, the inning would have been over. So he didn't have to perform any form of quick-thinking.

posted by qbert72 at 02:08 PM on May 31

Show me one time in a major league game that it's been made a big deal. Are you certain the reactions from all these ballplayers is that it isn't attempted, as opposed to "I've never seen it work?" The bait is much more forgettable if nobody bites. I don't remember the fake-to-third-throw-to-first move beyond the next inning unless it actually works. The ones that work I remember for years.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 02:30 PM on May 31

ok Howard. i stand corrected. the verbal interference could be included in that definition. i was basing that on what i had read somewhere (which of course i can't find the link right now). however, i have yet to see this enforced. does the team at bat have to be successful in their attempt to confuse or is the attempt enough? we've heard that benches yell at catchers and other fielders catching foul balls near their dugouts. would the yelling in and of itself be considered interference or only if the fielder was confused by the yelling? Zumsteg has an update on this, where he brings up the rule and what qbert said.

posted by goddam at 02:35 PM on May 31

"if a player gets distracted from someone yelling (at whatever is yelled), then they weren't really focused. A player should should be able to distinguish his teammates voice from someone else's" That's quite possibly the biggest bunch of manure in this entire thread. As a 3B, you're supposed to have your ears open to being called off on this kind of play. And, you're conveniently ignoring that this was Clark's first game, making it pretty friggin' hard to distinguish voices on the field. Does McDonald play a part in this debacle - absolutely. But, just because he f'd up doesn't even come close to justifying what A-Rod did. And to blame Clark in any way is about as misguided as anything I've ever heard. In general, I agree with Crafty. Except that I take a slightly stronger stance than excusing this because there are many other players that would do this. I don't care how many would do it - it's bush, it's cheap, and it's a dumbass way to make the focus on yourself be about your idiocy versus what an incredible player you could be. And, if there's a rule in the book that could remotely be used to "punish" A-Rod or whoever, then that rule should be applied. And, justgary - great question about "how would I feel if my favorite player did it". It's easy to say this in a vacuum, but I'd have to think that by itself, this kind of play would make me shake my head "oh, that was pretty dumb, Griffey, but I'll shrug this one off". On the other hand, when the player has a history of being a cheap-shot artist, that's a different story.

posted by littleLebowski at 02:35 PM on May 31

Up until two years ago, I played in a 30+ league made up primarily of former minor league and semi-pro players. On pop ups, everybody's screaming -- runners, base coaches, benches. It's a matter of course. As a shortstop, I would play against some teams that would yell "cut four" when I went out for a relay to keep me from throwing their guy out at second base. I'm not sure where you play, Crafty, but while it may not be against the rules, yelling at a fielder whilst circling the bases will earn you a fastball in the ear hole or a nice facewash with the glove in as far down as high school ball in the area where I played and coached. I think I'm just going to post my column in here.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:40 PM on May 31

Boston fans are pissed off because it was a Yankee who caused them to lose the game because of the play by A Rod...Grow up and shut up..It is part of the game and if you think it doesn't go on everyday then I can sell you some swampland in Arizona very cheap...The Boston players involved should be getting a real good laugh at themselves because they are major leaguers and got caught up in something a 9 year old does. It worked and I am sure they wish they had did it first. If the umpires started calling any kind of vocal interference than they had better call it on every catcher in baseball because the catcher and batters are always talking to one another, same thing here, except nobody is making a big deal about it. During Sandy Koufax's last no hitter the perfect game, he told the last 5 or 6 batters what was coming is that interference. I am not a Boston fan or a Yankee fan but you guys have to grow up and quit acting like 9 year olds, but we all know that is not going to happen now or in the future. The history of this action goes back most likely to the very beginning of baseball. Concentration is the underlying key. To do well you have to be able to shutout all the outsides sounds and voices.........Sore Losers period here but wait until the next time they play in Boston I am sure all hell will break lose when A Rod appears at the plate or in the field..

posted by The Old Man at 03:20 PM on May 31

Boston fans are pissed off because it was a Yankee who caused them to lose the game because of the play by A Rod...Grow up and shut up... The Boston players involved should be getting a real good laugh at themselves because they are major leaguers and got caught up in something a 9 year old does. Boston wasn't even playing, actually. It was Toronto. Had nothing to do with Boston or their fans. But thanks for yelling at us and stereotyping us as a whole.

posted by jerseygirl at 03:23 PM on May 31

It's all those "Yankees Suck" jerseys on sale on Brookline Avenue, jg -- makes you all look alike.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:24 PM on May 31

Don't actually see a whole hell of a lot of those anymore actually -- for sale or on people's backs.

posted by jerseygirl at 03:26 PM on May 31

... I can sell you some swampland in Arizona very cheap ... In Arizona? Climate change is happening faster than I thought.

posted by rcade at 03:26 PM on May 31

Mistakes intake air sharply!

posted by THX-1138 at 03:30 PM on May 31

I wish we could favorite comments around here, THX. That was gold.

posted by jerseygirl at 03:33 PM on May 31

So as a 'die-hard Jays fan' Weedy, were you upset that A-Rod did this, shocked that it actually worked or embarrassed that the Jays made such a big fuss about it? Well, I think it's a bush play that managed to work. I think it should at least be labelled as such, and the Jays aren't 'whiners' - they're legitimately pissed and they should call A-Rod out as being a jerk. The only thing I find embarrassing is those people calling it a 'genius' play that is anything but. Grade schoolers are prone to this, but if that's what passes for intelligent play these days, hell, go nuts. And for the record, if fair is fair in baseball, then I think the next time he's at bat against the Jays they should shove it in his ear. One classy play deserves another.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:46 PM on May 31

yelling at a fielder whilst circling the bases will earn you a fastball in the ear hole or a nice facewash with the glove I will concede, and should have clarified earlier, that there is a big difference between the leagues I've played in and pro ball (other than the obvious quality of play). The guys I play with have to go to their real jobs the next day, and everyone is aware of that. Regardless of the circumstances, players who are inclined to actions that threaten the health and safety of other players (like throwing at batters) get squashed pretty quickly, much moreso than those that ignore other mores. I don't yell for the purpose of deception, period. If a teammate does it, he gets the look Johnny Damon gave last night when he was asked about it -- it embarrasses the team. If an opponent does it, I keep my mouth shut and play the game. The other team is either going to take care of it or not -- if not, they are endorsing the behavior, and no words from me are likely to change that behavior. That's how A-Rod's situation should be handled. If the Yankees are collectively embarrassed by A-Rod's behavior -- and I like to think that they are -- they'll do what they can to discourage it. Fine him, if necessary. If A-Rod is going to continue with these oddball stunts, he will likely find himself out of pinstripes sooner than he thought. Either way, I just can't see him back with the Yankees in 2008. His collective behaviors are bordering on disgracing the team. To do well you have to be able to shutout all the outsides sounds and voices. Ridiculous. I don't know why this keeps getting brought up. It's not like he's demonstrating rabbit ears, he's listening for calls from his teammates. Disregarding them turns the whole field into demolition derby. During Sandy Koufax's last no hitter the perfect game, he told the last 5 or 6 batters what was coming is that interference. I was just talking to my dad about the play, and we were remembering stories of how Carlton Fisk used to say things to batters (or just out loud to himself) to throw hitters off. One pitch he'd say, "Maybe we should go with a curveball here" and a fastball would come. Fisk would go out to the mound like he got crossed up. Then he'd come back and say, "Geez, let's try that curveball again." At that point, it really didn't matter what the pitcher threw, the batter was pretty much done.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 03:59 PM on May 31

the Jays aren't 'whiners' We know, we know, you're "whingers". Jesus you guys have a complex. It was one point in a series of points. Discard that one since it gets under your skin, and I still feel the others stand. Much more so than your bizarre equation of ballplayers using cliches with the bluejays lying. POTENTIALLY LONG AND RAMBLING COMMENTS AHEAD: MIND THE LOGICAL GAPS It doesn't irritate me, it just falls flat to me. Prefacing your comments with your playing experience feels like Appeal to Authority: it suggests your opinion should carry more weight than other opinions. I take the same issue with using the Blue Jays' comments as evidence (plus they have a dog in the fight). Sorry if I was a bit flip in the pursuit of brevity, I just meant that we spend a lot of time around here not believing Jason Giambi or Barry Bonds or any guy who says they just take things one game at a time, so why do we have to treat their words as gold now? To be personal about it, your comments felt like bullying (as a bully, I have a decent ear for it): the appeal to authority, the ad hominem appending of "bizarre" to my argument as though my opinion had a Timecube-like quality to it. I think we are in agreement that this all boils down to opinion. The slap, the slide, the "Mine", we treat them as referendums on proper behavior in baseball, but they seem to boil down to our personal opinions of A-Rod. To some extent, I think we enjoy sport as life in thumbnail: the players strive to "win" a contest of invented rules. Over time, games evolve their own strange moral codes (baseball loves steals but abhors mere interference). Sports provide a framework for discussing the sorts of issues we cannot or will not address in our daily lives (who is right? who is better?) because they reduce the variables to a number we can cope with. Much of the discussion revolves around The Unwritten Rules which, like house rules in Monopoly, don't appear in the official guidebook because they aren't official rules, they're simply local (or personal) agreements on How Things Are Done. We can spend all day disagreeing about our interpretation, but there's no way to settle the claims. Baseball is sometimes boiled down to "Wins are the only stat that matters", but when we find winners who stand above the rest of the over-achievers they compete against, we start to grade them on even finer scales. It must be strange to be Alex Rodriguez, to be rich, to be great at baseball, to be on the most famous team at the highest level of your sport and to be unhappy. And to find people don't seem to care for you. He's found himself in the same boat as Barry Bonds: he's focused on winning to the exclusion of all other things and discovered that's not good enough. We want style points. We want flaws. And you better sure as shit have them or we'll dig them up lest we feel small in comparison. In sum, justgary, I think your Mike Lowell comparison is apt: feelings on A-Rod's act probably correlate pretty strongly with one's visceral reaction to A-Rod. Mike Lowell tries the hidden ball trick or simple deceptions like it on every ball he fields some nights and he just acknowledges it with a grin and a nod when someone calls him on it. I love him for it and I think I would like him for it even if he didn't play for the Sox. A-Rod could pull the same thing and I'd come close to breaking the TV. Of course, he'd do it in his automatonic Apberger's Syndrome sort of way, but even if he were as smooth and normal-seeming as Jeter, I'd hate it all the same.

posted by yerfatma at 04:43 PM on May 31

Could it be A-Rod is the ''Say Ha Kid''?

posted by tommytrump at 04:53 PM on May 31

Boston fans are pissed off because it was a Yankee who caused them to lose the game because of the play by A Rod...Grow up and shut up. How nice that you don't even know who the hell was playing, and you come in here telling people to shut up. Why don't you go scream at those kids on your lawn?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:54 PM on May 31

Unwritten rules aren't worth the paper they're written on. Who said that?

posted by THX-1138 at 04:54 PM on May 31

"Say Ha Kid" Brilliant!

posted by THX-1138 at 04:56 PM on May 31

I think yerfatma put it quite well.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:59 PM on May 31

Prefacing your comments with your playing experience feels like Appeal to Authority: it suggests your opinion should carry more weight than other opinions. And your opinion suggests that the experience of the speaker should carry no weight whatsoever. It sounds like you are inclined to give it more weight than it should be given, so you're shutting it out altogether (I can empathize with that position, as I feel the same way about some of the trickier stats). I often refer to my background when I discuss issues here. Not to brag. Not to load my words. It's context that I feel is relevant to the issues. I don't understand why justgary (or I or anybody else) should give the impression we are pulling our viewpoints from air and pretend there is no experience that leads us to these observations. If somebody has some experience to share -- playing baseball, watching Babe Ruth, pole vaulting, whatever -- I don't see how withholding or withdrawing it to make the debate more even makes any sense in the context of this forum. If we can't bring special experiences and backgrounds to the party, frankly, I think it cheats the site. If you feel bullied because justgary played the game for longer than you did, I think you're missing the point of the discussion. The winning comes from drawing out what the people on the site have to offer, not from being the best debater on a level playing field. At least not for me, because I lose that battle a lot. Which brings me to this -- yerfatma, you're a jerk. If you're capable of writing posts as intelligent, thoughtful and insightful as the one you just posted and you continue to satisfy yourself with one-liners that serve only to sharpen your sardonic wit, you are cheating the site by not bringing what you have to the party. Do what you want. If there were more posts, generally, like your last one, I'd like this place a lot more. I know we're only supposed to complain about a member's behavior via e-mail, but I gotta get this off my chest. In sum, you're holding out, and you're asking others to hold out.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 05:26 PM on May 31

Just so we're clear, I'm not holding out. I'm just asking others to hold me. Like Aha. Which brings me to this -- yerfatma, you're a jerk. If you're capable of writing posts as intelligent, thoughtful and insightful as the one you just posted and you continue to satisfy yourself with one-liners that serve only to sharpen your sardonic wit, you are cheating the site by not bringing what you have to the party. Do what you want. If there were more posts, generally, like your last one, I'd like this place a lot more. I know we're only supposed to complain about a member's behavior via e-mail, but I gotta get this off my chest. In sum, you're holding out, and you're asking others to hold out. Geez, a simple little bush play. Fucking A-Rod. Is there anything he can't break? What a guy. Causes a busted pop-up and destroys our online community. I tells ya. The guy is just not good fun.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:00 PM on May 31

ya know, now would probably be a good time for erkno11 to chime in.

posted by goddam at 06:06 PM on May 31

I often refer to my background when I discuss issues here. Not to brag. Not to load my words. It's context that I feel is relevant to the issues. I don't understand why justgary . . . should give the impression we are pulling our viewpoints from air and pretend there is no experience that leads us to these observations. No, it shouldn't at all, sometimes it just feels like that experience is wielded like a shield or to try to gain a better position from which to argue. yerfatma, you're a jerk. If you're capable of writing posts as intelligent, thoughtful and insightful as the one you just posted and you continue to satisfy yourself with one-liners I was with you up through "you're a jerk". The rest I have to disagree with. I worked through my thoughts while walking the dog and it all fell apart before we got home. You can ask her. There was a part about Barry Bonds being a lot like Ted Williams (drugs to one side), but I lost it. I suppose like prophets in their own country, great players are appreciated everywhere except in their own time. ya know, now would probably be a good time for erkno11 to chime in. Seems like anytime would be. Haven't heard from him since last summer. I did renew our sponsorship of his baseball-reference page.

posted by yerfatma at 07:19 PM on May 31

That dog holds the keys to so much insight. Bless her little soul, we should be teaching her to type.

posted by YukonGold at 07:50 PM on May 31

yerfatma, you're my most favorite poster of all time!

posted by qbert72 at 08:08 PM on May 31

That dog holds the keys to so much insight. Bless her little soul, we should be teaching her to type. a miniature Buddha... covered in hair?

posted by jerseygirl at 08:11 PM on May 31

I've never seen The Cheater's Guice to Baseball before this set of links. It rocks. Thank you, just gary!

posted by Joey Michaels at 08:27 PM on May 31

And for the record, if fair is fair in baseball, then I think the next time he's at bat against the Jays they should shove it in his ear. I've never understood why throwing at a guy's head is the best response. It's pretty easy to get out of the way of a high heater. If you want to embarrass a guy (or dirty him up), throw at his feet. He'll immediately try to pull his feet back to get out of the way, and will probably come crashing down to the ground. If you're lucky, he won't get his hands up fast enough and he might bounce his nose off the ground. The best part is that if you do it as the second pitch of the at-bat, you'd never get accused of throwing at him. It'll just look like a pitch that got away because, who the hell throws at a guy's feet?

posted by grum@work at 09:02 PM on May 31

I've never understood why throwing at a guy's head is the best response. It's pretty easy to get out of the way of a high heater. The part that I don't get is retaliating for a baserunner yelling at a fielder with an action that could seriously injure someone. Huh?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:59 PM on May 31

I did renew our sponsorship of his baseball-reference page. Thanks! I forgot to do that.

posted by rcade at 10:01 PM on May 31

Wow, a lot more anger about this than I imagined. This type of play comes up every now and then. When it works people get sideways over it. If it doesn't work, it isn't even mentioned. I remember Kent Hrbek with the Twins pulling a guy off first base in the 91 World Series. From the TV angle it was pretty clear that he pulled the guy off base, but the umpire was screened on the play and called the runner out. In a post game interview Hrbek laughed it off. His teammates called it good baseball, Braves fans thought it was cheating. No, correction, they still think it was cheating....here's a blog that shows some of them are still upset 16 years later! http://www.minorleagueball.com/story/2007/1/15/135925/547

posted by dviking at 12:04 AM on June 01

No, it shouldn't at all, sometimes it just feels like that experience is wielded like a shield or to try to gain a better position from which to argue. Well, for what it's worth I don't mean it that way. There are brilliant baseball minds that never played the game. I was an average high school player (below average hitter + above average fielder = average player) who was lucky enough to play with some very good talent. On some topics it is an advantage. Talking about hitting a 90 mph fastball is different than actually facing one. In this case I in no way mean it to end all argument. I simply never had this happen to me while playing. It's worth no more or less than that, my experience. I also don't think of bringing it up as a shield because I assume we have quite a few members here who played up to my level and further. the ad hominem appending of "bizarre" to my argument as though my opinion had a Timecube-like quality to it. A poor choice of words (bizarre seems to be my new favorite word, I've use it twice in this thread). I should have simply said that I don't get the correlation between the tendency for players to use cliches with the idea that everyone on the blue jays payroll is lying. Perhaps my acceptance of their beliefs is colored by my own belief that it doesn't happen. Are you certain the reactions from all these ballplayers is that it isn't attempted, as opposed to "I've never seen it work?" The bait is much more forgettable if nobody bites. Perhaps it's an over-statement to say it doesn't happen at all. I just think it's a very rare thing. Things "like it", as dviking said, yes. Arod said it happens 3 or 4 times a week, obviously referring to the dugout and stands yelling on pop flys. Arod wasn't referring to what he did. Damon acted like he had never heard of it and thought it was illegal. Torre said he didn't know what to make of it. If it actually happened all the time someone would mention it. No one would act the same towards a hidden ball trick, which works very rarely. The part that I don't get is retaliating for a baserunner yelling at a fielder with an action that could seriously injure someone. Huh? Players are thrown at for stealing second with a big lead, for gazing at a home run for too long, for being too comfortable at the plate and therefore too successful. If you believe hitters shouldn't be thrown at, that's fine. But if you believe it's ok on certain matters, this would be an easy one. The elbow at Pedroia is an even easier matter, a no brainer. Not throwing at his head, of course.

posted by justgary at 12:56 AM on June 01

I can't give you the date, nor the names of the batter or opposing team, but I remember seeing NY Mets backup catcher Duffy Dyer do the same thing in the early 1970s. Bottom of the eighth inning, two outs and Dyer on first. The batter popped the ball up on the third-base side, and here comes Dyer barreling around the bases, yelling "I got it! I got it!" The third-baseman and shortstop both backed off, and Dyer scored. He was yelling so loud that the TV mikes even picked it up, and Lindsey Nelson started laughing and made a comment on it. Poor sportsmanship? Perhaps, but certainly no worse than today's steroid-fueled home run batters. At least Dyer (and A-Rod) were doing it for the team, not their personal gain or glory.

posted by billinnagoya at 01:16 AM on June 01

a miniature Buddha... covered in hair? She does have a suspiciously large belly for such a small dog. I'll have to ask her if she's been reincarnated.

posted by yerfatma at 05:54 AM on June 01

Players are thrown at for stealing second with a big lead, for gazing at a home run for too long, for being too comfortable at the plate and therefore too successful. If you believe hitters shouldn't be thrown at, that's fine. But if you believe it's ok on certain matters, this would be an easy one. Oh, I'm not saying do it for some things and not for others. So-called "retaliation" by throwing at a batter is something that's always bothered me about baseball: that it's accepted and even expected. If someone gets sent to the brain injury ward as the result of this "retaliation", I predict a lot of people are going to be shaking their heads and saying, "What were we thinking?"

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:55 AM on June 01

And for the record, if fair is fair in baseball, then I think the next time he's at bat against the Jays they should shove it in his ear. One classy play deserves another. Hell, I have no quarrel with that, I'll even go as far as trumping that. IMO, what the Jays should've done is 'shoved it in the ear' of Jason Giambi as soon as he came up to bat right after that play and when he limped to take his base, 1st baseman Lyle Overbay tells him, "Thank your teammate." So-called "retaliation" by throwing at a batter is something that's always bothered me about baseball That's part of the game. If you ever actually played baseball, there wouldn't even be a discussion about that. A pitcher isn't necessarily trying to be a 'head hunter' and hurt a player. Sometimes it happens even to the best of pitchers (just ask Mike Piazza) but most try to go for the ribs or a nice thigh shot. A hit to the head is just deplorable and any pitcher with those intentions do not belong in the game.

posted by BornIcon at 06:25 AM on June 01

That's part of the game. If you ever actually played baseball, there wouldn't even be a discussion about that. An Appeal to Authority! Only those who have "actually played baseball" can possibly know what's "part of the game", while those of us who wanted to play but were barred because of gender and could only watch will remain forever in the darkness of ignorance. Thanks for straightening that out. A hit to the head is just deplorable and any pitcher with those intentions do not belong in the game. And yet it's "part of the game" to "shove it in his ear" -- which, last I checked, was firmly attached to the head? Please explain this apparent contradiction to this ignorant non-player.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:55 AM on June 01

...while those of us who wanted to play but were barred because of gender.. You could've played if you wanted to regardless of your gender. I've played with and against women during the summer while playing fast pitch softball. I don't know of any high school that didn't offer baseball or softball to females so if you chose not to play, that was your call. And yet it's "part of the game" to "shove it in his ear" That's a figure of speech. Again, if you played the game, you would know that. Read what I wrote once more and you'll read where I wrote that Giambi can limp to 1st base, not lay at home plate convulsing or with a concussion.

posted by BornIcon at 07:12 AM on June 01

Keep digging, BI, we're bound to strike oil.

posted by yerfatma at 07:56 AM on June 01

When will you two finally get a room?

posted by qbert72 at 08:20 AM on June 01

I wish I had some popcorn. God damn carbs.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:35 AM on June 01

Softball is not baseball. Oh really?!!? Why don't you try telling these women that fast pitch softball isn't baseball and I'll guarantee you that they'll all disagree with you. I don't think that lbb was suggesting it was a lesser sport, just a different sport. It is - with different equipment and everything -- though a game of softball can certainly help one understand baseball. You are both right!

posted by bperk at 08:36 AM on June 01

Nice pup, yerfatma. Always liked beagles.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:36 AM on June 01

I thought this was Racism week, not Gender Bias week! I must have missed the memo.

posted by hawkguy at 08:37 AM on June 01

hawkguy, this might help: Sportsfilter: People Offended This Week

posted by yerfatma at 08:45 AM on June 01

Read what I wrote once more and you'll read where I wrote that Giambi can limp to 1st base, not lay at home plate convulsing or with a concussion. you don't need to hit Jason for him to limp anywhere. that feature comes standard with the 2007 Giambi model. BI, it's not a matter of understanding the game. it's just an opinion. just because throwing at a batter in retaliation is part of the game doesn't mean that it's something that all fans need to agree with. i personally don't have a problem with it as long as no gets hurt and it's something i wish the yankees would do more of (which is one reason i'm glad Clemens is back). but i know a few people who don't like it. doesn't make them any less of a fan though.

posted by goddam at 08:48 AM on June 01

An Appeal to Authority! Only those who have "actually played baseball" can possibly know what's "part of the game", while those of us who wanted to play but were barred because of gender and could only watch will remain forever in the darkness of ignorance. Thanks for straightening that out. I agree entirely with the principle of this argument - you don't have to be a big leaguer to know what's what for the most part. However, in the case where you reject the idea of throwing at a batter as retribution is puzzling. Obviously you've seen this before. Obviously you're aware of the storied tradition of batters getting hit because they transgressed. I've always thought of it as waranted in some cases, or simply a part of the game.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:56 AM on June 01

However, in the case where you reject the idea of throwing at a batter as retribution is puzzling. Obviously you've seen this before. Obviously you're aware of the storied tradition of batters getting hit because they transgressed. I've always thought of it as waranted in some cases, or simply a part of the game. Sure, I've seen it before, since I was a wee small kid. My feeling about it is that it's all fun and games and baseball drama, until someone really gets hurt. I also think that one day, something's gonna happen that will rather quickly remove the patina of established baseball tradition from this practice, and -- as I said -- leave people saying, "What were we thinking?"

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:29 AM on June 01

Yeah, I'm with lbb here (as I understand her): there's a world of difference between throwing at someone and throwing at their head. One means a week's trouble sitting down, the other could mean a life ruined.

posted by yerfatma at 09:56 AM on June 01

BI, it's not a matter of understanding the game. it's just an opinion. just because throwing at a batter in retaliation is part of the game doesn't mean that it's something that all fans need to agree with. i personally don't have a problem with it as long as no gets hurt and it's something i wish the yankees would do more of (which is one reason i'm glad Clemens is back). but i know a few people who don't like it. doesn't make them any less of a fan though. Maybe I misinterpreted myself with what I meant to say but I don't think I said anything about fans having to agree with this 'tradition'. What I'm saying is that when you play the game of baseball, if one of your teammate is intentionally tattooed and your pitcher doesn't 'protect' his teammate, it looks bad on the pitcher. When you're surrounded by a bunch of people that's on your team, you consider them to be like your 'family' and will not let another team impose their will upon you or try the intimidation factor. I would never argue that a pitcher that goes for the head of a player is the right thing to do because it's just not. We are not savages here but a nice peg to the leg after your player was beaned is not out of the question. Being around baseball oll of my life, maybe I'm baised towards this practice but saying that, I've been hit plenty of times in 'retaliation' and only once was I hit in the face. Luckily, it was a curve ball that hit me so it wasn't more serious but that's actually the only time I questioned the whole process.

posted by BornIcon at 10:07 AM on June 01

I also think that one day, something's gonna happen You mean like somebody getting their career cut short? Or killed? I have my doubts that the practice is going away anytime soon.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:11 AM on June 01

do the rules apply to the gods?

posted by Fly_Piscator at 10:19 AM on June 01

I also think that one day, something's gonna happen Yeah, I don't think it's comparable to hits-to-the-head in the NHL, where there's such a strategic advantage to concussing your opponent that players are now trained to catch at least some of the head on every hit, and that it's worth the risk of an elbowing penalty. That's something that has been evolving for a couple of decades, along with tons of other variables in a changing game. But in baseball, the basic principles of the game are too static to allow for that kind of escalation. I'd bet that there's no signifiant variance between HBP trends twenty years ago and now, and if I had the cash, I'd hire grum to prove it for me.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:29 AM on June 01

Or killed? Do you really think another Ray Chapman wouldn't cause a dramatic shift in how the league treats chin music and retaliatory beanings?

posted by rcade at 10:40 AM on June 01

You mean like somebody getting their career cut short? Or killed? Exactly so. Very few of today's baseball fans were alive when Ray Chapman died, and a good many would have been in diapers at most when Thon was hit. History, for many, does not exist beyond their personal memories, so I still think that it would provoke a change in the attitude of acceptance. Would the practice go away altogether? No, but in the aftermath of such an incident, I'll bet you a homemade blueberry pie that there would be a great many people suddenly appalled at the practice. Whether that reaction makes any sense is another matter. For a time, things would be different, as teams and pitchers sought to avoid at least the appearance of going for the head. Then we'd probably be back to where we are now, as audiences regard the whole thing as an exciting spectacle, no more.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:41 AM on June 01

I'll bet you a homemade blueberry pie that there would be a great many people suddenly appalled at the practice For a homemade blueberry pie? Hell, I'll retract everything I said. I'm beyond appalled. May I have some Ice Cream on the side, please? Pretty please?

posted by BornIcon at 11:09 AM on June 01

99.9 percent of the time I'm against throwing at anyone's head. If a pitcher doesn't have enough control to keep it away from his head he shouldn't be the one to retaliate (I also have a problem with clemens, pedro, etc. being tough guys in a league with the DH, but that's another story). That said, it would be hard to feel sorry for A-Rod in this case. When you're throwing elbows and yelling "mine" you're choosing your own fate.

posted by justgary at 11:21 AM on June 01

I think that the worst is yet to come for "The Rod". As in, Mrs. Rod's upcoming wrath. I may also be persuaded to change my stance on a great many things for some blueberry pie.

posted by THX-1138 at 11:49 AM on June 01

Sportsfilter: one day, something's gonna happen Finally, a provable statement.

posted by yerfatma at 11:52 AM on June 01

Sportsfilter: one day, something's gonna happen I wanna go on record as saying I don't believe anything will ever happen.

posted by dyams at 12:04 PM on June 01

dyams, I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:06 PM on June 01

I would like to sign up to take surveys at home and make money on the internet.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:08 PM on June 01

Do you really think another Ray Chapman wouldn't cause a dramatic shift in how the league treats chin music and retaliatory beanings? These guys wear armor compared to the cloth-headed Chapman. Pitchers are in greater danger from comebackers smacking them in the face. I don't think this is much of a question of saefty as some believe. I think chucking one at A-Rod (either behind him, at the feet, or give him the chin music) is entirely appropriate as a response. He plays the game. He knows the potential repercussions. I'd be interested to see how many Yankees leap to his defence (though my guess is they will - grudgingly perhaps - but they will).

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:10 PM on June 01

I would like to sign up to take surveys at home and make money on the internet. Please to be wiring $5000 USD to Nigeria in exchange for riches and to free nephew of king!

posted by jerseygirl at 12:19 PM on June 01

I'd be interested to see how many Yankees leap to his defence (though my guess is they will - grudgingly perhaps - but they will). if he does get plunked i could see Scott Proctor throwing at someone if only to get another suspension so Torre can't use him for a few days.

posted by goddam at 12:31 PM on June 01

Poor guy just wants some rest.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:33 PM on June 01

More players have weighed in, and the response has been mixed. Cardinals infielder Aaron Miles said it was "out of bounds", Omar Vizquel said you couldn't get away with it "unless you were a Yankee player", and Indians manager Eric Wedge wouldn't want his players doing it. However, Charlie Sheen is sorry he didn't think of it, Barry Bonds says it's sour grapes, and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen called it a "smart play." The difference I see is this -- the guys who are against it I respect, and the guys who say it was a good play ... Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:33 PM on June 01

... are carpenters?

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:47 PM on June 01

Jewish carpenters, I think. How the raygun fits in, I'm still working on.

posted by yerfatma at 12:54 PM on June 01

Fraze doesn't respect Home Depot employees?

posted by dyams at 12:58 PM on June 01

Last time I checked, MLB does not have a verbal interference rule. So all of this argueing is for nothing. Plus, when a guy is up to bat we are all taught from the age of 5 to scream stuff at them to take away their concentration, its part of the game. The guy made a rookie play and is trying to whine about it.. nuff said

posted by warstda at 01:06 PM on June 01

Last time I checked, MLB does not have a verbal interference rule. So all of this argueing is for nothing. Most of the arguing is whether it's a bush league play or not, not if it's illegal. Plus, when a guy is up to bat we are all taught from the age of 5 to scream stuff at them to take away their concentration, its part of the game. What you're taught at age 5 doesn't necessarily translate to the major league level. It might come as a shock to you, but major league batters don't chatter "batta batta batta batta swiiiing" either.

posted by justgary at 01:20 PM on June 01

but c'mon, justgary - that was supposed to be "nuff said" Even then, chatter that is intended to be mildly annoying to an 8-year-old is a far cry from something that could seriously damage the game and players. What happens if all players have to become accustomed to these bush-league shenanigans and ignore every single "mine" call, even from their teammates? ... Crafty put it best - "demolition derby".

posted by littleLebowski at 01:33 PM on June 01

Last time I checked, MLB does not have a verbal interference rule. Last time I checked, I had already posted Rule 7:08 (b), and so had someone else. Here it is, again: (b) He intentionally interferes with a thrown ball; or hinders a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball; Rule 7.08(b) Comment: A runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a batted ball is out whether it was intentional or not. There's nothing in the rule saying what "hinders" means, and as an umpire, I would have ruled Rodriguez out for attempting to hinder a fielder making a play. That's an interpretation, and I suspect we might see some clarification during the offseason. Plus, when a guy is up to bat we are all taught from the age of 5 to scream stuff at them to take away their concentration, its part of the game. At age five, had you pissed in your bed in the night, your father might have passed it off as a bad dream or youth. As a adult, I'm sure there'd be a different reaction. I also wasn't coached to "scream stuff" at other players. I was taught that infield chatter is a good thing, along with communication with the rest of the team about possible upcoming situations. Yelling at the batter or while on the basepaths? Strictly teeball, busher stuff. Glad to see you endorse it, though. nuff said If you mean enough's been said by yourself, we can agree on that.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:38 PM on June 01

and as an umpire, I would have ruled Rodriguez out for attempting to hinder a fielder making a play. that's of course if you actually heard him say something, right? because you can't just go on what Clark said he thought he heard.

posted by goddam at 01:44 PM on June 01

I don't care if you like A-Rod or not, if you are getting paid the money that these professional athletes get paid you have to make that play. There is obviously a reason that the Toronto third baseman has played in the minors for 15 years and this just shows why. If you call it Bush League than you don't know anything about competition or Baseball for that matter.

posted by muggsy at 01:50 PM on June 01

Some people really have a way to seamlessly insert themselves in an ongoing conversation.

posted by qbert72 at 01:54 PM on June 01

If you call it Bush League than you don't know anything about competition or Baseball for that matter. Yeah! And, fraze, since you don't like Charlie Sheen, you don't know nothin' 'bout movies or TV, neither!

posted by littleLebowski at 02:12 PM on June 01

The difference I see is this -- the guys who are against it I respect, and the guys who say it was a good play ... Isn't that the logo for "This Old House" with Bob Vila?

posted by BornIcon at 02:14 PM on June 01

qbert: Cut 'em some slack, man. We're up to 150 somethin' posts. That's a whole buncha' readin' n stuff. It does still seem telling to me, though, that his team hasn't really come to his defense on this. With the exception of Bowa, at least a little bit. I know, I already said that.

posted by THX-1138 at 02:15 PM on June 01

There is obviously a reason that the Toronto third baseman has played in the minors for 15 years and this just shows why. If you call it Bush League than you don't know anything about competition or Baseball for that matter. Preposterous. It's a bush play. It doesn't happen all the time and if you think the minors are so vastly different than the majors in terms of the rules, competition and game, then well, I don't know what to tell ya. You're wrong. Wait, I know what to tell you: You sir, are a grade-A Asshat. (I love this thread!)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:18 PM on June 01

Well, I would have said that the A-Rod play was bush league, except for I remembered the 1991 World Series where the Twins benefitted from both the Knoblauch/Lonnie Smith play and the Hrbek/Gant play. So, who am I to say its bush when I cheered for those incidents as smart plays?

posted by chris2sy at 02:20 PM on June 01

As a friend of the female gender, I object to the negative connotation associated with "bush" here. Dicks.

posted by yerfatma at 02:45 PM on June 01

Go clamshot yourself into next week, jerky.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:49 PM on June 01

More players have weighed in, and the response has been mixed. Well, you can throw Sheen's opinion out. I'll stay away from Bonds. Ozzie has A.J. on his team, so he'd look stupid not backing A-Rod. And of course, what sticks out to me is that not a single person said it happens all the time, or ever, with Lasorda going back to the 50s/60s to remember anything similar.

posted by justgary at 03:19 PM on June 01

I used to think it was spelled "Busch League" and was some kind of subtle shot at the Cardinals.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 03:26 PM on June 01

I guess that after all this my feeling is that I don't have a problem with "Say Ha'ed" yelling at the infielder. Personally I'm going to mentally categorize this as: Spitball/Dodger move/Hidden ball territory. Probably not your proudest moment but you got away with it and don't be surprised if you get plunked next time around. Trixty little 1/4 billionair you.

posted by THX-1138 at 03:46 PM on June 01

There is obviously a reason that the Toronto third baseman has played in the minors for 15 years and this just shows why. And exactly how many games/years have you played in the Major Leagues?

posted by tommytrump at 03:46 PM on June 01

I may have to rethink my position if Ozzie Guillen is on my side.

posted by grum@work at 04:01 PM on June 01

If you call it Bush League than you don't know anything about competition or Baseball for that matter. Spoken like a true academician.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:25 PM on June 01

Please excuse a old man for not completely reading the storyline. The whole situation is making a mountain out of a molehill...Anyone else do that and it doesn't make the papers much less the front page and everyone talking about it online bla bla bla... I maybe old by your standards, almost 93 next Sept and I have been around baseball for almost all of my many many years. What happened to the BlueJays has been so blown out of context. Its silly because what the old timers as you young people call them, Ruth, Hornsby, Cobb, Gehrig, Williams, Jackson, Warner, Grove, Feller and the rest did anything to win games. You don't remember the old pitchers using Jelly, spit, beltbuckets, sandpaper whatever to do things to the balls and bats to get people out or a hit , yeah, it is illegal as hell, but they still did it DAILY EVERYGAME. Gaylord Perry used the spitter jellyball whatever he is in the hall of fame and it is not big deal. I will say it again GROW UP AND SMELL THE ROSES its a game and in this game anything goes to win if you don't get caught not that it is right but that is what has been happening in baseball for years. I am proud to be a fan for so many years but this kind of journalist crap about nothing has to stop. AROD made a play that worked get on with it. The things that people use to yell at Ruth were unbelieveable. Cobb you either loved him or hated him, I guess it is the same with Rose, Williams was loved not only by Boston fans but by America period. DiMaggio was great but he had his problems like all of us. The question everyone seems to center on here is A Rod was it something he shouldn't have done it isn't our call folks..Poor sportsmanship give me a break..Ruth pointing out to center field, Wills telling the firstbaseman he is going to steal second and third and home, that is what baseball is all about. As long as nobody yelled anything wrong at them or kicked something at them or made fun of them for something we have to remember to just sit back and enjoy the game for what it is' It takes me a little longer to sit down and write then you folks but it is fun for me and it makes the days seem longer and more enjoyable. Living on the west coast makes it ever greater because I can see and hear all kinds of games from morning to night now with the TV and all the sports to pick from. It use to be only the radio you could listen to and then it wasn't even near the coverage that it is today. Remembering the first all star game listening on the radio for any information about comes to mind now. We live in a society today that allows us freedom of information about what is happening everywhere but the ability to listen and watch the sports channels is what we are all talking about here on line. I try not to rub anyone noses in things and if I do then you please excuse a old man of being sometimes a little slow. REMEMBER this game is a kids game played by adults for money/fame whatever but it still a simple game of catch and pitch and hit..everybody keep up all the interesting and opinionated comments and phrases

posted by The Old Man at 05:05 PM on June 01

that's of course if you actually heard him say something, right? because you can't just go on what Clark said he thought he heard. I linked to it earlier -- either in my column or somewhere else in this vast, ARod-hating forest -- but third-base ump Chad Fairchild reacted immediately, so I assume he did hear something. He just blew the call. And again, what Rodriguez actually said here isn't relevant to the ruling (although the fact he appeared to yell "Mine!" magnifies the asshat factor exponentially). That he attempted to hinder a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball is the important part, to me at least. I took another cursory glance through the rules pertaining to the runner, however, and now find myself wondering -- is a runner dawling in front of a fielder in order to obstruct his view committing interference? By the way I interpret 7.08, yes, he is. And that just bums me out.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:18 PM on June 01

Torre says A-Rod shouldn't have done it.

posted by bperk at 07:26 PM on June 01

Just think: If a major league baseball player would have been successful catching a ball, all 170 (!) of these posts would not exist. I don't care if A-Rod stopped to take a piss on his feet while he was attempting the play, 99 out of 100 times the ball is caught.

posted by dyams at 08:06 AM on June 02

99 out of 100 times the ball is caught. True. And what is the difference between those 100 chances (or the last 1000 chances, 10,000 chances) and the one we're discussing? If you don't think a well placed "mine" at the right time would knock off a few of those 99, I disagree. If a major league baseball player would have been successful catching a ball, all 170 (!) of these posts would not exist. And if Buckner hadn't let the ball go through his legs that play wouldn't have been discussed for the past 20 years. I don't get your logic. However, with his own manager denouncing the play and not blaming the jays for being upset, I don't think we'll have to worry about discussing any new incidents. For a time, things would be different, as teams and pitchers sought to avoid at least the appearance of going for the head. You might want to talk to your boy Proctor.

posted by justgary at 08:56 AM on June 02

Hey bperk, Actually, Torre said that "A-Rod probably shouldn't have done it" What the hell did you think Torre would say? The reporter also noted that "Torre didn't explicitly tell Rodriguez not to do it, and Rodriguez didn't say he wouldn't"

posted by dviking at 09:27 AM on June 02

As a friend of the female gender, I object to the negative connotation associated with "bush" here. Actually I thought that the current administration has given the term "bush league" a whole new lease on life. And a much more negative connotation.

posted by cjets at 12:20 PM on June 02

And if Buckner hadn't let the ball go through his legs that play wouldn't have been discussed for the past 20 years. I don't get your logic. Well, I kinda think a misplayed ground ball in extra innings of game six of a World Series, allowing the winning run to score and keeping a cursed (at that time) team from winning it all may outweigh a routine pop-up in a regular season game between two teams who aren't even close to the top of their division in June. My main point was how I can't believe this thread is nearing 200 posts. As for Torre "denouncing" A-Rods part, what else would you expect from him? He's as politically correct as they come, not wanting to ever make waves. He's as far from Ozzie Guillen as could possibly be.

posted by dyams at 12:47 PM on June 02

If this thread can approach 200 than Bonds hitting number 756 is going to have comments through the roof. Unless of course everyone decides to stop saying the same old crap and just let it pass on by.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:31 PM on June 02

My main point was how I can't believe this thread is nearing 200 posts. What's interesting to one person isn't interesting to the next. Each to his own. I personally find the debate over the unwritten code of what's allowed in baseball and what's not (which goes beyond A-Rod) to be more interesting than anything else on the front page. Then again, I'm a huge baseball fan. He's as politically correct as they come If Torre honestly believed there was nothing wrong with the play he wouldn't have said what he said.

posted by justgary at 01:48 PM on June 02

You sir, are a grade-A Asshat I just got here after a few days, so that really hurts. Actually, I'm just doing my part to help get to 200. As someone who doesn't really have an opinion on this, it's been a hell of a lot of fun to follow along! Keep up the good work.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:20 PM on June 03

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