Selig to "examine" umpires, replay; declines to overturn Joyce call

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Selig statement.jpgBud Selig just released a statement on last night’s events. Short version:

  • No word on overturning the call, which I think is a clear signal that he will not do so (UPDATE: Multiple reporters are now hearing that no, Selig will not overturn the decision);
  • A decision to “review” umpiring systems and replay which, as I suspected this morning, is the first step of a long delay job on both of these issues; and
  • A congratulations to Galarraga and Leyland for how they handled themselves after last night’s debacle and an appreciation of Jim Joyce for his “courage,” all three of which I think are well-deserved.

The statement in full:

“First, on behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate
Armando Galarraga on a remarkable pitching performance. All of us who
love the game appreciate the historic nature of his effort last night.

“The dignity and class of the entire Detroit Tigers
organization under such circumstances were truly admirable and embodied
good sportsmanship of the highest order. Armando and Detroit manager
Jim Leyland are to be commended for their handling of a very difficult
situation. I also applaud the courage of umpire Jim Joyce to address
this unfortunate situation honestly and directly. Jim’s candor
illustrates why he has earned the respect of on-field personnel
throughout his accomplished career in the Major Leagues since 1989.

“As Jim Joyce said in his postgame comments, there is no
dispute that last night’s game should have ended differently. While the
human element has always been an integral part of baseball, it is vital
that mistakes on the field be addressed. Given last night’s call and
other recent events, I will examine our umpiring system, the expanded
use of instant replay and all other related features. Before I announce
any decisions, I will consult with all appropriate parties, including
our two unions and the Special Committee for On-Field Matters, which
consists of field managers, general managers, club owners and
presidents.”

Joey Votto thinks he can win the Home Run Derby, but hasn’t been invited yet

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Despite having hit at least 20 home runs in eight of his 11 seasons in the majors, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has never participated in a Home Run Derby. Currently, he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs with 20, and he hasn’t been invited to this year’s festivities at Marlins Park.

In the event he is invited, Votto said he thinks he can win it, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto likened himself to Ichiro Suzuki, a player known more for his contact abilities and mastery of the strike zone than power. “Just think of me as the Canadian Ichiro — Japan has theirs and Canada has theirs,” Votto said. “I could pull homers into the seats at will.”

Along with the 20 homers, Votto is currently hitting .306/.419/.601 with 53 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 313 plate appearances.

Teammate Scott Schebler also has 20 home runs at the moment and Adam Duvall, who made it to the semifinals of the Derby last year, has 16. Neither of them have been approached about participating in the Derby, either. Per Rosecrans, in the event each was invited, Duvall said he would consider participating if he wasn’t an All-Star and Schebler would participate regardless. Votto said he would only participate if he made the All-Star team.

There was apparently some miscommunication between Pete Mackanin and Pat Neshek

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The Phillies won their first game since last Thursday, beating the Cardinals 5-1 on Thursday afternoon. Starter Aaron Nola pitched into the eighth inning, but left with one out. Pat Neshek took the mound with a runner on first base and induced an inning-ending double play on a 3-1 count to Tommy Pham.

Given that Neshek only threw five pitches and the Phillies were staked to a four-run lead, it wouldn’t have seemed unreasonable if the sidewinding right-hander came back out to finish the ninth inning as well. But Luis Garcia had that honor, tossing a scoreless final frame to nail down the win in a non-save situation.

After the game, manager Pete Mackanin said he asked Neshek to go back out for the ninth, but Neshek didn’t want to, per Stephen Gross of the Morning Call. Neshek told the media that Mackanin never asked him. There was also a miscommunication on Wednesday. The combination of Joaquin Benoit, Hector Neris, and Edubray Ramos combined to allow four runs in 2 1/3 innings, helping the Phillies lose 7-6. Neshek never appeared. According to Mackanin, Neshek told him that he wasn’t available to pitch. Neshek said he was told he’d have the day off.

The disconnect between Mackanin and Neshek could speak to a larger divide between the manager and his failing team. The Phillies have underwhelmed across the board due to players like Odubel Herrera (whose head was down and did not see Juan Samuel’s stop sign last night in what became a base running blunder), Maikel Franco, Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, Aaron Nola (today’s start notwithstanding), and Hector Neris not living up to expectations. The Phillies signed Mackanin to a contract extension last month, but the team has completely fallen apart since then and the latest communications issues certainly don’t reflect well on him. Neither does last night’s travesty of a game.

As for Neshek, he said that going to the Phillies was “the best thing that happened to me in a few years” but also realized, given the state of the team, that it remains very likely he winds up in a new uniform by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. After Thursday’s performance, Neshek is carrying a 0.63 ERA with a 25/4 K/BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings. He very well could be the Phillies’ lone representative at the All-Star Game in Miami next month. That is, if he’s still wearing their uniform. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals have shown interest in Neshek.