A Few Random Sports Things

I realize it was two days ago, but ever since I saw the guy again I can’t get this damn song out of my head, so…I must ask. Am I the only one (especially among Canadians) who thinks of this fine man whenever Tommy Hunter is pitching? It seems impossible that I could be, but the only person I ever see make the reference is Mike Wilner.

The Country Gentleman is kind of a cool nickname for a baseball player, don’t you think?

Oh, and speaking of that other Tommy Hunter, he is also a Travellin’ Man, back to AAA. The Orioles demoted him after Monday’s shellacking.

Now as for the Orioles, I’m starting to think this among the best teams in baseball thing they’ve been experimenting with is kinda over for them. Sure last night’s game got a little close there at the end, but they’re looking more and more like the Orioles the rest of us here in the AL East know and love. Now that I say that the Jays will get killed tonight, but I do honestly believe it. They’re a team with some good pieces that’s been playing above its head, and I think reality is starting to set in. You rarely take largely the same group and go from the basement to being awesome over night and have it be the new thing, and that’s pretty much what the Orioles have been doing. It’s a long season. Good teams go bad for a while, and bad teams go good now and then. It happens, and it’s happening to the Orioles right now. I just don’t happen to think they’re the good all year team that some people do.

On the subject of things that suck, I’ve been paying attention to baseball to some degree or other since 1985. In all that time, I’m trying to think of another season in which the umpiring has been as spectacularly shitty as it has been here in 2012. I’m not going over every monumentally bad call and blatant abuse of authority here…who has that kind of time? But let’s use the Henderson Alvarez thing from Texas over the weekend as an example.

Alvarez had just given up 3 straight home runs. He had a 1-2 count on Ian Kinsler with 2 outs. Not wanting to serve up another homer, he threw a pitch inside. Maybe it got away from him or maybe he intended it to run in so it would be harder to hit, but whatever the case it ended up about hip high and not touching Kinsler at all. For throwing this pitch, he was tossed! No warning, no build up, no nothing. Marty Foster just up and threw him out of the game for no reason like a complete fucking baseball ignoramus. Seriously, what possible reason would Alvarez or anybody directing him have to throw at Kinsler? They were one pitch away from getting out of an inning that couldn’t end soon enough. The guy just had back to back to back Rangers go yard on him. Yeah…let’s put another guy on base. What could possibly go wrong?

But it’s not just the Jays. The umpire plague is striking everybody to what feels like a much more alarming degree than usual this year. The thing that sucks most about it is the same thing that’s always sucked about it. NO matter how bad the call or no matter what an umpire does, nothing is ever done about it. Ok, so MLB did suspend Bob Davidson for a game which I guess is a big deal on some level since it’s almost unheard of, but in the grand scheme, whoopty fuck! It’s not going to change anything or make a single umpire second guess something. I get the whole human element thing. It is part of baseball. But it’s at the point where the game needs some kind of replay system if it wants to keep any sort of credibility.

In happier news, it’s Stanley Cup final time! I sometimes have a bit of a hard time getting jacked up for hockey when we’re pushing June and into full on summer baseball weather,but here we are.

So…Devils and Kings. How many of you saw that coming? I sure didn’t, but the playoffs have been full of that kind of stuff. If you had asked me at the start I’d have probably picked a Boston Vancouver rematch. come to think of it I did, which is why I shit the bed in the annual family hockey pool almost as much as Major League Baseball’s umpiring crew has been shitting it on a nightly basis.

I have no idea how to pick this one. The Kings have been unexpectedly unstoppable for a lot of reasons, but on the other hand…Marty Brodeur! It’s hard to doubt that guy. Every time you try, he does something kinda sorta spectacular and makes you feel like a fool. But I think I’m going to go Kings in 6.

Predictions?

That’ll about do it for now. I’m fresh out of things to say, plus I really think I need to step away from this computer for a while before I put my foot through it. It’s running ungodly slow right now (even moreso than usual) and it’s starting to piss me off to completely unhealthy levels.

Talk to you all later, and enjoy the games.

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5 comments
  1. I have to agree, the umpiring this season has seemed to seriously blow big ones.
    We had 1 in Houston that no matter if you really did check your swing or not, if he got the appeal, then he rung you up.
    I don’t know that I really want instant replay in baseball, but if something isn’t done about the umpires and their bogus calls, then yeah.. we are probably going to need it.
    I was watching that game that Henderson got tossed.. there really was no warning, just the announcers saying the ball came close to pegging Kinsler’s hip and the pitcher was gone.
    I only found it amusing because it was the first time I conciously remember a pitcher getting tossed from a game.
    Maybe it was to be precautious after the Tampa Bay/Boston game that happened soon before that?
    Anyways, good post 🙂

    1. Umpires ringing guys up just because they can is exactly why we need some kind of chalenge/replay system though. Somebody or some thing has to hold the humans to account when they overstep things the way they have. Even if you accept that things aren’t going to be perfect all the time in baseball, you still have to admit that they could be better…especially with all that’s been going on. If things weren’t getting so far out of hand, we wouldn’t need to have this conversation in so many places so loudly.

      The Alvarez thing…I’m not convinced that it had anything to do with Tampa Bay and Boston from the night before. I honestly believe it was just Marty Foster being a dink. There was no trouble to that point in the game, and if he was legitimately concerned about something, why would he not have warned the benches ahead of time?

  2. You’ve got a point, because I think he warned the benches 1 time but it was later in the game.
    That was after he already tossed the pitcher.
    But honestly, my announcers pointed out that it was no great loss to Toronto because he was about at his pitch count anyways.
    I think it would just piss me off, because don’t they get fined for getting tossed?
    Well, we can add Marty Foster to the long list of umpires that suck big ones.
    I do have to agree that if they can’t straighten stuff out and up.. then yeah.. they will be forced to go to instant replay….
    Just hope it doesn’t come to that.

    1. Unless something has changed you don’t get fined by default. it depends on the severity of what you did. In this case there would be no fine since nothing actually happened.

  3. Oh ok, see I wasn’t sure how getting tossed worked…
    I just assumed if you were forceably removed from the game, then that meant you got a fine.
    Well, then I guess there wasn’t any real great loss to Toronto really…

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