Here’s Frank Robinson — Vice President of Baseball Operations — talking about the many blown calls so far this postseason. Listen to this and tell me if you think instant replay is going to be expanded any time soon:
What people don’t understand is that this is a different era now.
This is strictly an electronic era that shows every little wrinkle,
every little mistake. The margin of a mistake is minute. And they still
complain about the call being missed.
In the old days when people thought umpires were better than they are
today . . . if that play had been 10 years ago, there would have been
nothing said about it. Believe me. The game would have went on with
nothing said about it. That’s the problem today. (Television) shows every little piece of
dirt that you can find in the game. There’s nothing wrong with it. But
it creates controversy. It puts undue pressure on the umpires. And they
are criticized unfairly.
19th Century Policeman: Captain! I think I’ve solved the Colonel Stilson murder!
Captain: That’s wonderful, Officer MacDougal! Did you get the butler to confess?
Policeman: No, sir. But our chemists have developed a new technology by which we were able to determine that the butler had handled the bloody candlestick prior to it being used to bludgeon poor Colonel Stilson! His fingers, you see, left telltale marks, unique to him alone!
Captain: Really, officer. This is what you bring me? Marks from a man’s fingers? Why, ten years ago, we would have had
nothing on which to charge this butler if he had not confessed to the crime. Believe me. He would have walked free with
nothing said about it. That’s the problem today. This new learning reveals every little piece of evidence that can found. There’s nothing wrong with it, mind you, but it creates such a controversy and causes criminals to be criticized unfairly. Please release the butler.
Officer: But . . . but Captain! He did it! We know this to be true! He murdered Colonel Stilson!
Captain: If you continue on in this manner, Officer MacDougal, I shall have no choice but to levy a fine. Now, go back and see if the butler might confess. Good day.
Officer: But —
Captain: I SAID ‘GOOD DAY!’
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.
There is little if any controversy to be had about the caps this year’s inductees will wear on their Hall of Fame plaques, but in case there was any doubt at all, it was put to rest this afternoon at the Hall of Fame press conference: Tim Raines will wear a Montreal Expos cap and Ivan Rodriguez will wear a Rangers cap. Jeff Bagwell, of course, never played for a team other than the Houston Astros at the big league level.
Though Raines had some good seasons with the Chicago White Sox and though he helped provide a nice kick start to the Yankees dynasty in the mid-1990s, his best seasons, by far, took place while he was an Expo. It’s also the case that the bulk of his Hall of Fame push came from Expos fans. He was particularly boosted by Jonah Keri, who recently wrote a book detailing the history of the Expos. So, yeah, that’s easy.
Rodriguez played 13 of his 21 years with the Texas Rangers, including his MVP 1999 season. He did have some notable years elsewhere, particularly in Detroit where he remains a fan favorite, but it was always going to be the Rangers for him, one would think. Maybe a slight, slight chance that he’d do the blank cap thing, Greg Maddux-style, but smart money was on the Rangers.
With Bagwell, the only question is which Astros cap he’ll wear. There are a couple of applicable ones: the brick red star, which he wore to the World Series in 2005. There’s also the shooting star cap he wore during his best seasons and which Craig Biggio’s plaque displays. He was around for the classic “H” over the star look, but he was just a kid then, so I doubt he’d wear it.
Anyway, sorry to the Marlins fans who wished that Raines and Pudge would wear the fishy-F.