Our friend Old Gator has made a disturbing (or refereshing, depending on your point of view) transition into lucidity since the season started. This morning he had some interesting things to say about the whole replay thing. The upshot: bad calls by umpires are plays that happen in games just like groundouts and unassisted triple plays. And that baseball is better for it:
In short, the blown call transforms the game from some boring and invariable Newtonian process to a Heisenbergian quantum universe wherein anything can and does happen, sometimes simultaneously. God doesn’t play dice with the universe? Well, it’s been proven that he does. Umpires should inflect our cutting edge knowledge of the universe and play dice with the game.
That quote is a bit cute, sure, but I think Gator is serious in his umpires-are-part-of-the-fabric-of-the-game argument and the couple of paragraphs before the blockquote actually make a pretty good case for it. Not sure if I buy it, but I think what Gator is on about is what people are really referring to when they talk about “the human element.” I usually dismiss that argument, but I think I do that mostly because it’s not a typically well-constructed argument. Gator does better with it.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.