With the top job comes the tough decisions and last week Bud Selig had one of the tougher ones: whether or not to overturn the blown call by Jim Joyce and give Armando Galarraga his perfect game. We all know that he declined to do so. Yesterday he explained his reasoning:
“In this job, precedence [sic] is very important. A lot of
people don’t really understand that. But it is important. And while you
can say, ‘This was really aberrational,’ there are a lot of situations
— I’ve had clubs call me and say, ‘What about that game I lost, why
didn’t you think about doing that?’ And they were serious . . . Of course you open Pandora’s Box [by changing a call]. You may think you haven’t, but you have.”
This was on all fours with my reasoning. An unpopular decision to be sure, but God knows that Bud isn’t in this racket to be popular. Baseball has made enough ad hoc decisions over time. I’m glad they didn’t make another one.
Now, about replay . . .
Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.
Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.
The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.
James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.
And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:
“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”
“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.
“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.