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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Jun 28, 2011, 5:56 AM EDT

Blue Jays Tigers Baseball

Tigers 4, Blue Jays 2: Jhonny Peralta had an RBI triple that ended up being the game winner, but this game really belonged to Jim Leyland, who had one of the better arguments with an ump this year, mocking his change-of-call in grand gestures, thereby entertaining the hometown fans on the way to his ejection. And entertainment aside, the ump got the call right I think, so the fact that Leyland really had no argument made it even better. No, we shouldn’t find this unprofessional kind of thing amusing, but sorry, I do. And to keep the comedy going, I hope he pays his inevitable fine in pennies. Preferably of this type.

Dodgers 15, Twins 0: Twenty-five hits for L.A., with every starter not only getting a hit, but getting multiple hits.  Gee, if hits were dollars …

Cubs 7, Rockies 3: Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez each hit two homers. Carlos Gonzalez did too, but since his team lost, no glory for him.

Reds 5, Rays 0: Mike Leake threw six shutout innings and Brandon Phillips went 4 for 5 with a couple of RBI, no doubt motivated by being passed up by Rickie Weeks in the All-Star balloting. Wait: I’m guessing these guys don’t care too much and would rather have the days off at this point, so like, never mind.

Braves 3, Mariners 1: I’ll be damned. I had a bet with a friend that this game would go 25 innings with neither team scoring. Perhaps I was being unfair. Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman with homers. Jason Heyward hit leadoff, which is kind of interesting.

Angels 4, Nationals 3: Fire Davey Johnson! Oh, wait, first game. Let’s cut him some slack. Maicer Izturis with a the bases-loaded single in the 10th. It’s nice that L.A. won, but Jordan Walden blew his third straight save, sending this one to extras, so that’s a problem.

Padres 4, Royals 3: Mat Latos didn’t pitch fabulously, but he won. He also reached on a double, didn’t run the bases fabulously — he should have scored from third on a groundout but froze — but he ended up scoring anyway on a wild pitch. Sometimes you’re given a margin of error in life.

Indians 5, Diamondbacks 4: Orlando Cabrera hit a homer with two outs in the top of the ninth to give Cleveland the win. He is a man who has never accepted the creed that others have the right to stop him.

  1. The Baseball Idiot - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:05 AM

    Craig, you’re one of the guys championing the extended use of replay. You often talk about how the umps need to get together to talk about it and get the call right. That’s exactly what they did, and they still get no respect?

    If the umpires are gong to get called out for every mssed call they make, shouldn’t they get the same amount of ink for doing exactly what everyone is complaining about? Getting the call right.

    Also, whenever there is an altercaton like this, way too many people automatically blame the umpires, call them prima donna’s for putting the focus on the game on themselves, and demand suspensions. Shouldn’t Leyland and the other managers be held to that same standard?

    Leyland should be just as equally blasted for his actions, called a prima donna and the fan base should be calling for his suspension as well.

    Anything less would prove that the issue isn’t about the umpires at all. Its just fans having a hissy fit any time a call goes against their team.

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:11 AM

    Did you not see the part where I said that the ump got the call right? And that Leyland had no argument? And that I thought Leyland was unprofessional? How did I disrespect the umpire here again? Or blame him?

    Just because I thought it was funny — which it was — doesn’t mean that I approve.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:20 AM

      My point was, if the umpire had screwed up the call, or not asked for help, or if there had been an altercation of somekind, there would have been a lot more written about it, or it would have gotten it’s own post, which has happened in the past.

      You did say ‘the ump got the call right’. Six words. If it had been the other way around, there would have been much more written about it. Another ‘the ump blew it’ post from someone.

      Seems like there should be a lot more written about how they got the call right, or more written about how Leyland is a complete ass, showed up the players and the fans by being a prima donna, has no respect for the umpires, and how some kind of disciplinary action should be taken.

      You know, tit for tat.

      • bcopus - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:44 AM

        C’mon guy- you are trying a little too hard to take offense there. Umpires are expected to make the right calls. That’s what their job title entails. There’s no reason to give unnecessary praise to someone who is doing their job. There is plenty of reason to point out when people are NOT doing their job. This is every workplace. The people who go above and beyond get praise. The people that are awful at their job get called out until they are fired. 99% of employees fall right in the middle….nothing worth talking about. Umpires are no different.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

        If people talked about every call, right or wrong, there would not be much else to talk about. The reason people talk about bad calls…or big home runs…or blown saves…is because they are usually just that…out of the ordinary. To get on Craig for not writing more about an umpire doing his job and getting the call right is absurd and you really are just looking for an argument there.

        I think Craig’s post handled it perfectly…he said the umpire got it right and he also thought Leyland’s argument was funny, while also calling in unprofessional. Sometimes things in life are funny, but wrong…or wrong, but funny.

        Were you an umpire or do you have family in the umpiring profession? If not, then why the thin skin?

      • paperlions - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:19 AM

        The odd thing is that the play wasn’t even close…how in the world the guy thought the runner was anything approaching safe is beyond me, but at least he did ask for help, apparently realizing that he was asleep during the play. He originally ruled that the fielder didn’t have his foot on the bag, despite obviously having no idea if that was true or not (or the fact that then entire length of the guys foot was flat on the bag). Kudos to the home plate ump for saving his colleague from missing an easy call.

      • ditto65 - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:26 AM

        Truly a fitting moniker.

      • ditto65 - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:30 AM

        And really, we should be all over the first base ump for apparently taking a nap in the middle of the play. The fact that he did not see a clear ground out right in front of him calls that particular umpire’s job performance into question. But Craig did not attack that. He said Leyland was funny. And he is right.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:44 AM

        Chris, yes I have been an umpire. I understand exactly what happened on that play. I’m willing to bet 99% of the people who are willing to criticize the umps at every chance don’t.

        It’s not a thin skin, its about fairness. The umps get called called out all the time, sometimes deservedly, and sometimes not. The ones who complain about them a lot (managers) don’t have the right to then turn around and act like complete asses when they want to. Leyland knew exactly what happened, and he knew why it happened, and he knew it was the right call.

        His hysterics make a mockery of the game as much as anything Joe West has ever done.

        Umpires shouldn’t get special notice when they get a call right. That’s their job. They also shouldn’t be subject to the abuse they get for getting a call wrong. It happens. But if people want to piss and moan about the umpires for the way they act, then they should also piss and moan just as much for the managers for the way they act.

        Leyland deserves just as much ridicule and scorn as any umpire has recieved. He knew the call was right and still argued it to the point of ejection. He’s not better.

      • kopy - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:06 AM

        I don’t know how much praise umpires want for this altercation. It’s great they ended up getting the call right, but it’s slightly embarrassing for the blues that they badly missed the original call in the first place, leading to the altercation. Do they really want to draw more attention to that?

      • cur68 - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM

        Did you see the play TBI? It was bizarre. Ump was right there. Ball beat the runner by half a step clear. Home plate guy knew he was out. 1st base ump took like 5, maybe 6 seconds before sort of weakly indicating “safe?”. Then kind of realized that looked dickless so he indicated that Lind (the 1st baseman) was pulled off the bag by the throw. Farrell steams out of the dugout, but before he can really get into it the ump confers with his buddy behind the plate. Changes the call to out. That set Leyland off. Like mega. It was the funniest performance by a manager since the days of Pinella. There was miming, unchecked rage, swear words, gesturing to the heavens and most of a Navaho rain dance involved. Just a joy to behold.

        Reversing the call was the right move. But that guy was asleep on the job. Total brain lock on the play and how he handled the whole thing made it worse. Maybe he didn’t see it. Lind is a big kid and most of the action kind of blocked out the ump’s view; I think he could have still seen the ball into the glove and the runner’s position, though. But he should have immediately gone to the home plate guy who had an unimpeded view. Instead he guessed and tried to cover. Ultimately he got the call right, but it was enough to leave a Tiger’s fan screaming in rage.

    • larrytsg - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:59 PM

      The big problem here is that the first base ump was asleep. He didn’t make any kind of call. he didn’t signal safe, he just put his hands in front of him, and then he tried to show that the first baseman wasn’t on the bag by sweeping his hands. But he NEVER called him SAFE or OUT!

      I’m a rookie umpire this season for little league , and dang, it is hard enough for me to keep my head in the game, but this is inexcuseable. This ump has made it all the way to the highest level of the profession, and he only has ONE base to cover (and the foul line and check swings) and he should have at least been able to make the call, even if he made the wrong call (see Jim Joyce for that one).

      At least somewhere along the way he asked for help, and the right call was made by the home plate ump.

      I think Leyland was upset because there was not a right or wrong call, there was NO CALL!

      Larry – who has reversed his own calls already this season

  3. Old Gator - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    I’m all for letting the hitter call his own balls and strikes. All the umpire would need to do then is intervene when the hitter couldn’t make his mind up.

    Simple?

    • paperlions - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM

      …..or they could just set up a lawn chair behind home plate….that always worked well when I was a kid.

      • kopy - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:09 AM

        Kid? That worked well for my wiffle ball game this past Memorial Day weekend!

      • gammagammahey - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:23 AM

        More MLB pitchers would have to learn to throw the curve ball that starts waaaaaay outside then curls back in to just graze the outside edge of the chair.

  4. hasbeen5 - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    I was thinking maybe this one of those Bobby Cox days, where it was hot and Leyland is old and he wanted a beer and a cig. But then I realized it was in the 7th inning, way too late for the intentional ejection.

  5. Steve A - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    I’m a Tigers fan, and, watching on TV, I thought Leyland went on way too long, especially considering the play wasn’t that close. However, I know I would have thought it was hilariously awesome had I been at the game. Without the benefit of replay (no close plays are ever replayed at the park), I may have even thought he was justified, depending on my personal angle to the play. The fans there definitely enjoyed his argument fully.

    This play, along with Jim Joyce’s gaffe last year, shows just how difficult it is for umpires when the ball is lightly received by the defender at first base. The umpires appear to be so conditioned to listen for the smack of the ball in the glove that when it doesn’t happen, they seem to guess. Sometimes they’ll be right, but they’ll also be wrong more than they are on the hard throws to first. I know years of experience are tough to change, but this is where replay would be most effective.

    • kopy - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:17 AM

      You know replay wouldn’t slow the game down when the broadcast team shows the replay multiple times during Leyland’s argument, and freezes the play for extended periods of time.

      By the way, I hate the “no close plays at the park” thing. It really makes the game less enjoyable. Just one more reason to keep everyone on their smartphones to ask friends about the play, or another reason why people prefer to stay at home with an HD TV in the first place. They should allow fans at the stadium to see the replay. I’m sure it wouldn’t be too long after that before they allow the umps to see it too!

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    I just watched the play again, and I now agree 100% with Leyland and here is why. What was the basis for the first base umpire asking for help from the home plate umpire on the play??? It wasn’t a tag play. I ask you guys since I am a little confused about this…how does a simple bang-bang call at first base fall under the realm of an “ask another umpire” call??? I’m confused.

    • Steve A - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      Did you see the way Rapuano made his call? He waited a few seconds, gave a weak “safe” call, and a belated and weak “pulled off the base” explanation for his call. Just like Farrell did, I’d question the initial call. The home plate ump verified that the foot stayed on the base, thereby making Dirks out. Had Rapuano made a quicker and more convincing “safe” call, and the play was still reversed after consulting with the home plate ump, then I’d say Leyland would have a little more justification for arguing. In the end, and in either scenario, the right call of “out” was or would have been made.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:27 AM

        I agree that the right call was made. However, I just question whether that type of call is usually even conferred about. How did Capuano not see the play? It wasn’t like it was a phantom tag or anything like that. If he says the guy was pulled off the base, wouldn’t HE and not the home plate ump have the best view of that?

        Again, I’m not saying the call was wrong. It ended up being the correct call. But let me ask you this…if Joe West had made the call, do you think the home plate umpire would have had the balls to show him up and overrule his call? I doubt it…which would have led to Farrell and not Leyland being tossed.

        Either way, I don’t think Leyland deserves any punishment whatsoever because of just how bad the initial call was. Leyland gets a pass on this one in my opinion.

      • paperlions - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:08 AM

        If an ump doesn’t think he got a good look at something, he’ll confer with other umps that may have had a better angle than he did for that aspect of the call (as in fair/foul calls, trapped balls, etc.)

      • Senor Cardgage - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:32 AM

        Chris: Distance from the play is not that big a deal. As long as the home-plate ump had a good angle to see the foot (which replays showed he did), then it’s not hard to make the right call. In three-man crews (like at Triple-A, or when an ump gets injured during a game), calls are often made from 70 feet away or more. Heck, it’s really not even that hard to make accurate calls on most plays from the stands, which can be hundreds of feet away.

        My best guess is that the first-base ump somehow had the wrong angle. Reading his lips as Leyland is asking why he didn’t stick by what was supposed to be his call, he clearly admits, “I f—-d up… He [the home-plate ump] knows I missed the call. Everybody in the f—ing stadium and the world knows I missed the call.”

  7. cshearing - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Seems like Rapuano simply “fell asleep at the wheel”. The Jays broadcasters were walking about how, every now and then, a player becomes a spectator rather than being involved in the play. Seems like that’s what happened here. I can understand Leyland’s anger, even if the right call was made. If Rapuano truly just missed it, he should have made no initial call and conferred immediately. The fact that he tried to cover for his miss just made it worse.

  8. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Everyone here is missing the point, even Craig did in his recap. The point is Brandon Beachy is so f’ing nasty and no one here is paying attention. Get with it people, he fans dudes like it’s his job, which it is, and he does it well. Sure Philly, your pitching is stellar, but the Braves have done the good pitching thing a bit longer so you better recognize. Hanson will be back soon as well, making that rotation one of the nastiest and most underrated in baseball, in my opinion. JJ has ten f’ing wins and hasn’t even played all season!! Gangsta son! Huddy will be Huddy. Now, let’s not talk about the line-up…

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:40 AM

      PHI: 3.05 ERA; 49-30; 53 quality starts; 207 BBs; 610 SOs; .243 BAA

      ATL: 3.06 ERA; 45-35; 49 quality starts; 241 BBs; 637 SOs; .230 BAA

      ATL gives up way more walks, but has unbelievably more k’s so far. The better BAA must be helped a bit my the awesome relief from the Bravos as well.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:51 AM

        And quality starts undersells how much difference their dominant bullpen makes. Yeah, O’Flahrety (sic?), Venters and Kimbrel are all gonna need new ligaments next year, but they’ll kick ass down the stretch in 2011!

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:00 AM

        Craig certainly has made the point that the relief (specifically Venters and Kimbrel) are being over-pitched early. I would somewhat agree, but often they are needed b/c the Braves can’t score more than 3 runs in a given game and are always in close ballgames. Venters just blew his first big one the other day, so we’ll see how he bounces back. I’m not as worried as Craig is about their arms…but perhaps I’m being naive.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:21 PM

        The Bravos clearly have the better bullpen, but in a short series, when you have three studs who can easily go 8-9 innings themselves like the Phillies have the Doc, Lee and Carlton, then the Bullpen isn’t as important. When you have AARP members like Hudson and Lowe who can barely get you into the 7th, then you better have a great bullpen.

        Also, let’s not forget that the Phillies are 5 games ahead of Atlanta in the loss column, so as bad as their bullpen is, they aren’t being hurt too much by them. If Ruben gets the bullpen arm we all expect him to get, then watch out.

      • spudchukar - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:07 PM

        Hudson is 35. Halladay is 34.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:08 PM

        I’m certainly not making the argument that the Braves are better. I just want to mention that the Braves are good and their pitching has deserved more attention, but has been overshadowed by the Phils in the NL East.

        Hudson IP: 100
        Jurrjens IP: 95.2 (w/ DL stint)
        Hanson: IP: 83.1 (w/ DL stint)
        Lowe IP: 95.2 (but he doesn’t count…he sucks right now!!! ahaha)

        Lee IP: 113
        Halladay: 127.1 (2nd in Majors to Verlander)
        Hamels: 112

        Clearly, the Phils have better pitchers that run deeper into games, but it isn’t by as much as many would think. Also, yes Lowe is old as balls and Huddy is getting up there, but the average age of that staff (someone else do the math) must be lower than that of Philly when considering Beachy (24), Hanson (24) and Jurrjens (25). Of course removing Oswalt from that average may change it a bit.

  9. sanzarq - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    Rapuano most definitely had a brain cramp. He was perfectly positioned to make the call, but it’s obvious he wasn’t even paying attention. Maybe he was checkin’ out some redhead fox seated by the 1st base dugout.

    Leyland had every right to come out and argue because half the time an ump in that situation will never ask for help & will insist he made the right call, usually resulting in the manager getting tossed. For such a flagrant missed call, Leyland put on a bit of an act to wake Rapuano up because his head was momentarily up his ass & not in the game, which might have (but didn’t) hurt the Tigers later.

    Plus, it was funny and certainly the best highlight from Monday!!

  10. spudchukar - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Perhaps Leyland’s biggest beef wasn’t that the eventual call was wrong but that the first base ump allowed himself to be overruled, when this is seldom the practice, on plays such as this.

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