Well, that bottom of the seventh inning was probably one of the worst meltdowns I have seen in quite some time. And this is coming from a Mets fan. The Phillies now lead the Reds 6-4 in the eighth inning.
It all started when Chase Utley reached first base on a questionable HBP against Aroldis Chapman. The replays were pretty darn inconclusive, but you’d think Utley would have reacted a bit more had hit actually been hit by a 102 mph fastball. Maybe his life was just flashing before his eyes or something. Either way, he reached first base.
After Chapman fanned Ryan Howard for the first out, Jayson Werth hit a ground ball to third, which should have been thrown to first for the second out, but Scott Rolen decided to throw to second, instead. Again, replays were inconclusive, but Utley was ruled safe at second base.
Then, things went completely haywire. Jimmy Rollins hit a flyball to right field and Jay Bruce completely lost it in the lights, or more likely, the sea of white towels being waved at Citizens Bank Park. If that wasn’t bad enough, Brandon Phillips dropped the cut-off throw, allowing two runs to score. And to complete the trifecta of “I just don’t know,” it sure looked like Utley may have missed third base.
In summary, the Phillies have scored six runs thanks to six hits, four errors, four walks and three hit-by-pitches. Five of their six runs are unearned. The Reds are basically saying, “here, you can have it.”
MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that umpires Bob Davidson, John Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce, and Tim Welke have retired.
Davidson, 64, was known as “Balkin’ Bob” for his tendency to call pitchers for balks. Davidson has also made a name for himself picking fights with players and managers, as well as unnecessarily escalating situations.
Hirschbeck, 62, didn’t quite have the reputation Davidson had, but he had a couple of notable incidents on his profile as well. Last year, when ejecting Twins slugger Miguel Sano, Hirschbeck said, “Get the [expletive] out of here.” In 2013, he threw a drum of oil on a fire that very easily could’ve been snuffed out with Bryce Harper.
Joyce, 61, was a well-liked and well-respected umpire who will go down in history for one mistake. On June 2, 2010, Tigers starter Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game. Indians second baseman Jason Donald hit a weak grounder about halfway between first and second base. Miguel Cabrera went to his right to field it and flipped to Galarraga covering first base. It was a close call, but Joyce incorrectly ruled Donald safe, ruining Galarraga’s perfect game. To both Joyce’s and Galarraga’s credit, both handled the mistake with the utmost class.
Craig also wrote in detail about Joyce a few years ago. It’s worth a re-read.
Tim Welke, 59, actually announced his retirement last year, but I guess it wasn’t made official until recently. He underwent a left knee replacement procedure in January last year and then had his right knee replaced five months later.
CNBC, citing Reuters, reports that Facebook and Major League Baseball are in discussions to stream one game per week.
Streaming is becoming more and more ubiquitous as it’s a more convenient way for people to access media they like. MLB Advanced Media, which handles MLB’s streaming service, is worth several billions of dollars. Last year, Disney paid $1 billion to purchase a 33 percent stake in BAMTech, the independent company MLBAM launched for its streaming.
Millennials and “Generation Z,” in particular, are driving the streaming trend. Forbes, citing the Digital Democracy Survey in 2015, reported that 56 percent of millennials’ media consumption was done via computer, smartphone, tablet, or gaming device. Those 30 years and older rely on television to watch film and TV shows at a clip higher than 80 percent.
Twitter is already in the sports streaming arena. It streams MLB, NFL, and NHL games as well as the PGA Tour.