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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. Crash - Nov 3, 2009 at 2:50 PM

    Maybe Bowa’s comments are merely a reflection of his actions when he was manager of the Phillies.

  2. Shely - Nov 3, 2009 at 5:22 PM

    OK Craig, on this one you have earned your money. Have you raised this question just to see how many comments you can get? This issue is as old as baseball. I go back a long way, and my father talked about this when I was a young boy. You ain’t going to stop this thing unless you put a limit on it as in the regular season. If after two trips to the mound, you have to change the pitcher. Make that a rule for players as well as the bench. That ain’t going to happen soon, so why bring it up?

  3. Michael - Nov 3, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    One of the reasons people hate the Yankees is that they make games interminably long.
    This has improved since the Joe Torre “institutional rain delay” era, when you could be guaranteed 2-3 “time” calls during each Yankee at-bat and huge amounts of out-of-box time spent adjusting everything that could possibly be adjusted, but holdovers like Posada and Jeter learned the tricks and still use them. They value “grinding out” the game, and feel it “gets the other team out of their rhythm” (“rhythm,” of course, being defined as “any pace that could be described as anything other than ‘excruciatingly slow'”).
    What umpires need to do (surprise, surprise!) is enforce the rules currently on the books, which spell out how many and how long players may visit the mound.

  4. BillyBeaneismyHero - Nov 3, 2009 at 9:06 PM

    Slanted and Enchanted is easily the best album in their catelog. Other than “Chelsea’s Little Wrists” every song is great.

  5. Angelo Andradez - Jan 16, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    Very good post. Thanks for sharing.

  6. chelsea players - Jan 18, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    I am looking to gather a fan club for chelsea in bangalore. Any other soccer funs want to join? We can have meeting, discounts, web sites etc.

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