MLB.com Mets beat writer Marty Noble, responding to criticism of his Hall of Fame ballot:
And those who have their noses pressed against their computer screens and think VORP is a valid means of measuring a player’s performance ought to get a life and a credential that would allow them to see and hear the game up close. Then determine the players whose numbers actually contribute to winning and those who are equipped only add the next run in a 15-3 game.
In other words, anyone who likes to go beyond century-old stuff like batting averages, wins, and RBIs when evaluating a player’s performance is just a loser who can’t possibly know anything without a “credential” that allows them to watch games “up close” from inside a press box. Glad that’s settled.
If you’re curious, Noble’s ballot named two players this year: Barry Larkin and Dave Parker. And based on his unique ability “to see and hear the game up close” by way of a media credential, Noble called Parker “the best player I ever have covered.” Seriously. Parker was certainly a fine player, but I’ll take VORP over whatever credential-fueled viewpoint leads to that nonsense any day.
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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.
Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.
Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.
This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.
As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.