After reading this winter meetings update from Chad Jennings of the New York Journal News, we may have figured out what Craig has been up to today in Indianapolis:
In one of the more bizarre moments I’ve seen, someone in the back of the pack asked Francona if the Red Sox would play Marco Scutaro at second and Dustin Pedroia at short. Francona responded with, “Why?” and the guy said because Pedroia might have better range.
That drew a how-do-you-respond-to-that type response, and when someone from MLB asked to see the reporter’s credentials, the guy mumbled and left the room. I honestly believe it was someone who just happened to wander into the room.
Craig assures me that it wasn’t him and we do have photographic evidence of his possessing a media credential, but I’m still skeptical.
I’ve been to a pair of winter meetings and my favorite aspect of the manager press conferences was always when Japanese writers joined the fray to ask about a player and the manager clearly was hearing the name for the first time. Ron Gardenhire once gave a five-minute answer to a female reporter that basically boiled down to, “Lots of Japanese players are good and we like good players.” She wrote the entire thing down.
Last night in the top of the eighth inning of the Dodgers-Cubs game, Curtis Granderson struck out. Or, at the very least, he should’ve. After the game, the umpire who said he didn’t admitted he screwed up.
While trying to squelch a Dodgers comeback, Wade Davis got Granderson into a 2-2 count. Davis threw his pitch, Granderson whiffed on it, it hit the dirt, and Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out. End of the inning, right? Wrong: Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, Wolf, after conferring with the other umps agreed, and Granderson lived to see another pitch.
Before he’d see that pitch, Joe Maddon came out to argue the call and got so agitated about it all he was ejected for the second time in this series. He was right to argue:
It all ended up not mattering, of course, because Granderson struck out eventually anyway.
Normally such things end there, but after the game a reporter got to Wolf and Wolf did something umpires don’t often do: he admitted he blew the call:
It’s good that the bad call ended up not affecting anything. But the part of me who likes to stir up crap and watch chaos rule in baseball really kinda wishes that Granderson had hit a series-clinching homer right after that. At least as long as it didn’t result in Cubs fans burning Chicago to the ground.