Question to all of you — and there are a lot of you — who want Bud Selig to step in, change Jim Joyce’s call and award Armando Galarraga a perfect game: do you want Bud to change the outcome of the Mariners-Twins game too? Because that one ended on a blown call as well.
The scene: tenth inning, two on, two out, Ichiro at the plate. He lines one up the middle and Twins second baseman Matt Tolbert makes a diving stop and flips it to J.J. Hardy. The call by second base umpire Dale Scott is that base runner Josh Wilson was “safe,” thereby allowing Ryan Langerhans comes around to score the game-winning run.
The only problem? He was pretty clearly out.
Of course, we have no replay on such calls, so it couldn’t be fixed. But what we do have is a groundswell of opinion, apparently, that Bud Selig can and should retroactively overrule on-the-field calls and change outcomes.
How about this one? It was a game-ender. There was no subsequent activity that would preclude a do-over. The Twins and M’s could simply resume this game at the top of the 10th inning before their next matchup. It would be easy. Indeed, there are multiple games every year in which Bud Selig — whose wisdom and judgment no man has ever doubted — could come in and fix like King freakin’ Solomon.
The answer to me seems clear: implement replay as soon as possible, but let us not get into the messy business of having an eminently flawed Commissioner of Baseball wading into game outcomes the next morning. To do so would invite mischief and madness and God knows we already have enough of that.
It’s been a strange season for Red Sox’ third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who lost his starting role in spring training, went 0-for-6 in three regular season appearances, and underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in May. That was the last the Red Sox were supposed to hear about Sandoval until spring 2017, when he was expected to rejoin the team after a lengthy rehab stint in Florida.
On Saturday, manager John Farrell was telling a different story. Per MLB.com’s Sam Blum, Farrell hinted that Sandoval could return to the team as soon as October, albeit in a very limited capacity.
At the time of the surgery, it was all looking at the start of next Spring Training,” Farrell said. “We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves here, but at the same time, we compliment him for the work he’s put in, the way he’s responded to the rehab, the way he’s worked himself into better condition. We’re staying open-minded.
If the 30-year-old does return in 2016, don’t expect him to look like the three-home run hitter of the 2012 World Series. Should the Red Sox lose another player to injury, Sandoval might be called on as a backup option, but he’s unlikely to see substantial playing time under any other circumstances. Despite making two appearances at DH in the instructional league, Sandoval has not started at third base since undergoing surgery, though Farrell noted that a return to third base would be the next logical step in his recovery process.
Sandoval has yet to hit his stride within the Red Sox’ organization after hitting career-worst numbers in 2015. According to FanGraphs, his Offensive Runs Above Average (Off) plummeted to -20.2, contributing approximately two wins fewer than the average offensive player in 2015. (The Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings held the lowest Off mark in 2015, with -26.3 runs below average.) Sandoval has not appeared in a postseason race since the Giants’ championship run in 2014.
Heading into Saturday evening, the Red Sox could clinch their spot in the postseason with a win over the Rays and an Orioles’ loss.
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this: