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Baseball to put a stop to the Yankees' mound meetings — in the offseason

Nov 3, 2009, 8:25 AM EDT

Sunday night’s game will be remembered for the Damon steal, but until that happened the most memorable thing was just how many times Jorge Posada and CC Sabathia met on the mound to discuss the weather or their favorite Pavement album or whatever else it was they were talking about.  Couldn’t have been baseball. I mean, after the tenth or eleventh meeting, they pretty much had covered it all, no?

I guess I’m not the only one who was annoyed by that, as it seems Major League Baseball is going to “discuss” the issue in the offseason:

Posada and pals visited pitcher CC Sabathia eight times–in a single inning–on Sunday night, grinding Game 4 of the World Series to a standstill. Agitated Phillies fans booed each trip.

MLB vice president of umpiring Mike Port said frequent mound meetings by all teams would likely be discussed by baseball officials this offseason.

“It would fall under the province of pace of game,” Port said before the Yankees beat Philadelphia 7-4 to take a 3-1 Series lead.

Not sure what there is to discuss, and there’s certainly no need for some new rule. In order for a catcher to go out to the mound to talk to the pitcher, he has to call time and the ump has to grant it.  If the pace of the game is suffering because of too many visits, the umpire should tell the catcher “sorry Charlie, but if you go out there, the clock is still tickin’ and if that pitch doesn’t come soon, I’m calling a ball for delay of game.”

Of course, that would mean that the umps would have to start calling balls for delay of game in the first place, and they almost never do that.

UPDATEJason at the excellent IIATMS blog talks a bit about why there may have been so many mound visits.  Given the conspiracy theorist behind it all is Larry Bowa, you may want to take all of it with a grain of salt.

  1. jonny5 - Nov 3, 2009 at 9:16 AM

    I think they were doing that to give C.C. a break between pitches. Honestly, stop pitching and have a chat 4 times against one batter?? Ridiculous. I think there should be a rule, call a ball if you want a mound meeting between players. Maybe more leeway than that??? Such as after 2 mound meetings start calling balls for a meeting, or one per inning? Whatcha think?

  2. Kage10 - Nov 3, 2009 at 9:33 AM

    And the Commissioner is afraid that instant replay is going to slow down the games? Oh wait, it’s okay if the Yankees slow down the game. Ridiculous.

  3. Chris - Nov 3, 2009 at 9:42 AM

    Easily “Slanted & Enchanted.” I know you’re supposed to say “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” is better, but CC doesn’t look like the kind of guy who gives in to that sort of pressure.

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Nov 3, 2009 at 9:44 AM

    Good call. I like Slanted & Enchanted better myself.

  5. jonny5 - Nov 3, 2009 at 9:51 AM

    As mentioned on that other blog……… What the heck is Fox doing zooming in on the pitchers grips??? Maybe this is part of the reason?? I noticed this first in NY and it has continued throughout the series. ………………………………………………………………… Joe Buck sounded sooooo thrilled when Utley hit that 3 run homer btw. LMAO!!!! What a a-wipe that guy is. He can’t even act impartial???

  6. Comedy - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    Headline: Baseball to put a stop to the Yankees’ mound meetings.
    Reality: They’re going to “discuss it in the offseason”.
    Author: Please explain why you used a misleading and untrue headline.
    Thanks.

  7. James - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    The Comish dosen’t want to change the fabric of the game. But, it is ridiculous that a catcher got to go to the the mound that many times. Don’t you think by now the pitcher know’s the signs. And, if a person is trying to steal the signs you already have in place and set of signal’s? No, wait a minute it’s the yankees and they can do WHATEVER they want.
    Signed, YANKEE HATER.

  8. Craig Calcaterra - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    Inadvertant, Comedy: I really didn’t think too hard about it. I’ll change it to be a bit more accurate. Apologies.

  9. Cru11 - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    Someone just please tell Jorge to grow up and act like a pro for once. On every called strike against him in this series, he has winced, bitched and acted like a complete horses ass in the box. Just get it together and act like a veteran…I won’t even get into his awful baserunning habits he has.
    Jorge never met a called strike he liked.

  10. Jamie - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:39 AM

    Craig,
    With all due respect, look at this with a grain of salt? Really?
    Can you please tell me WHY then, would Jorge and CC be going with second and third signals WITH NO RUNNERS ON BASE?
    Maybe you’be been living under a rock, but stealing signs has already been documented this season with Mauer stealing signs off the Tigers. As a result, the Tigers had to come out to the mound at least twice during the inning to change up the signs.
    Please, enlighten me.

  11. Jamie - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:44 AM

    Just for good measure, here’s the Mauer link for those who haven’t seen it. I’m not saying there IS visual evidence of any Phillies player doing this (I do not have the time or resources to look), but going out to the pitcher to change up signs HAS to be done if they think the opposing team is stealing them.
    Oh and a response to this comment above by reader James:
    “Don’t you think by now the pitcher know’s the signs. And, if a person is trying to steal the signs you already have in place and set of signal’s? No, wait a minute it’s the yankees and they can do WHATEVER they want.”
    Uhm, no the pitcher and catcher are changing up the signs BECAUSE they think they are being stolen by the runner on second base. Your second sentence doesn’t even come close to making sense. And as for the third sentence, I’m not even going to respond to that garbage. Formulate an intelligent and well thought out post or don’t post at all.

  12. Eric - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    I find it funny that Jonny5 doesn’t like Joe Buck for seemingly rooting for the Phillies. Last year, he made no bones about rooting for the Rays, so much so that my favorite sign at the parade was “Joe Buck Sucks!” Feel free to display that sign at Yankee Stadum!

  13. Jamie - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    Forgot the link. Here it is.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhWYrmcSDAU

  14. Craig Calcaterra - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    Jamie — I’m not denying that sign stealing could be happening. I just live by a few simple rules in life, and one of those rules is “don’t make your mind up solely on what Larry Bowa says.”

  15. Jamie - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:59 AM

    I agree 100%. Bowa is an old manager with an axe to grind who probably likes to see his name in the press. This discussion (with Bowa), as well as the complaining of the frequent mound visits, reminded me that CC and Jorge were going with 3 to 4 signs – as well as mound visits to discuss this – during Game 4 with the bases empty.
    This just brings to light the fact that there is no legit reason why Jorge would be doing this. I’d understand if one was for pitch and the other were for location but that wasn’t the case. McCarver even brought this up but like I said before, it was almost like his head was about to explode because he couldn’t comprehend why it was happening.

  16. jonny5 - Nov 3, 2009 at 10:59 AM

    Eric, I guess you didn’t sense my sarcasm??? I am A Phillies Phan to the core and Buck hates the phills, I agree. And he isn’t rooting for the Phillies, never has he been excited when the Phillies won. And when Utley hit that 3 run bomb, Buck was definitely not happy. That’s what I heard.

  17. Eric - Nov 3, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Jonny5, sorry, I missed it. Bottom line (and we agree) “Joe Buck Sucks!”

  18. mkeryan - Nov 3, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    this has been driving me crazy throughout the playoffs. the worst are Burnett and Molina.
    I know you think no rule is needed, but even in high school we had a 3 trip limit per inning. any trip after 3 forced the team to remove that pitcher. Not saying this is the answer, but the number of trips has really been infuriating. It needs to stop.
    Part of the game is being prepared beforehand. what is the sign sequence with a runner on 2nd, etc.

  19. Pilothawkeye - Nov 3, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    I also agree that the number of visits to the mound is utterly ridiculous. I wonder, however, if we have not created our own monster. We all have gotten used to the center field view of the pitcher pitching to the batter, and we all have commented on our opionion of the ump’s strike zone more times that we care to shake a stick at. The technology is so great that we can see the catcher flash through the signs (although they go by WAY TOO FAST for me). I am wondering out loud if a coach of the team at bat has enough time to view the monitor, and eventually send a sign to the batter as to what to expect. I realize that this is extreme, but maybe that is what all pitchers and catchers are worried about. If so, then perhaps we do away with the centerfield camera, and go back to the ‘behind the plate’ view. Like I said, just wondering.

  20. E - Nov 3, 2009 at 12:52 PM

    Forget mound visits, why not complain about the absolutely HEINOUS umpiring that has been going on? In more than one game this post-season completely bogus umpiring has effected the outcome of the game. That’s okay though, an extra couple minutes of an inning is muuuuuch worse than an ump completely blowing a safe call at home when the runner was clearly out.

  21. cosmic charlie - Nov 3, 2009 at 1:49 PM

    Posada has a bad shoulder; maybe he’s trying to minimize his throw count.

  22. John - Nov 3, 2009 at 1:57 PM

    With every visit to the mound the Yankees are simply trying to avoid the inevitable. PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  23. John - Nov 3, 2009 at 1:58 PM

    With every visit to the mound the Yankees are simply trying to prolong the inevitable. PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  24. Had enough of "John" - Nov 3, 2009 at 2:20 PM

    hey John: Phillies in…. 2010

  25. John - Nov 3, 2009 at 2:32 PM

    Wow, you created a user name just for me… *sheds a tear*
    Phillies in 2010, a three-peat would indeed be great but we’ll worry about that next year. PHILLIES IN SEVEN!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

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