Colby Rasmus’ family members are hanging out in the HBT comments, arguing about stuff

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You never know who you might run into in the HardballTalk comments section. Last week Curt Flood’s son stopped by to respond to an article about his dad and now it sure seems like a member of Colby Rasmus’ family is hanging out and arguing about stuff.

Someone using the screen name “trasmus3” has made a series of comments dating back to last week and continuing until just minutes ago. For whatever reason I initially assumed it was Rasmus’ brother, but then I remembered that Rasmus’ dad, Tony Rasmus, made headlines in the past for posting stuff on Cardinals-related blogs and message boards.

Here’s the exchange “trasmus3” has been having with a commenter named “spudchukar” in my post from last week naming Rasmus as one of my “breakout picks” for 2011:

spudchukar: Since he is a Georgia boy, and there have been rumors of him being interested in playing for the Braves, what would you think of a Rasmus/Heyward deal?

trasmus3: He is not a Georgia boy. He is from Alabama. Always has been. Always will be. His brother plays on the Braves farm team.

trasmus3: But his brother is from Alabama too. lol

spudchukar: According to Wikipedia, UPI, MLB, Baseball-Reference, Bing, and ESPN, Colby Rasmus was born in Columbus, GA

trasmus3: Well, according to his mom, his dad, his grandad, his grandmom, his high school (In Alabama), his 1998 little league world series record, his 3 brothers he is an Alabama boy/man. Maybe that is a bit of the problem in the US. People have a tendancy to believe the media and anybody else that makes a post that is inaccurate. Being born across the river in Columbus does not make u a Georgia boy. Where you live probably has more depth to the statement and definately if his momma says he is an Alabama boy that ends the discussion. lol

LOL, indeed. In addition to arguing about where Rasmus is from, our hero “trasmus3” also had a couple other exchanges. For instance, here’s his response to someone comparing Rasmus to “overpaid J.D. Drew”:

It sure would be nice if he would get overpayed. At the moment he definately is not.

And here’s his response to someone saying “I’d like to see him mature and realize his potential”:

Every year every male matures a bit. Then before you know it, we catch up to the females.

As someone who had to block the IP address on his mother’s computer to keep her from commenting on his blog constantly, I find this whole thing incredibly amusing. I love it all, from the place of birth arguments and wisdom about women to the misspellings and frequent use of “LOL.” Please don’t leave, “trasmus3”!

Yoenis Cespedes should be ready for Tuesday’s game

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The Mets are off today, and that day off may be just enough to get outfielder Yoenis Cespedes ready to start their next game, on Tuesday, against the Braves. At least that’s what he’s telling Mets manager Terry Collins.

Cespedes did not play in the weekend series against the Nationals, but was available as a pinch hitter yesterday. He was even on the on-deck circle at the end of last night’s game.

Cespedes, who tweaked his hammy running to second base on Thursday, is hitting .255/.364/.636 with six homers and 10 RBI in 15 games on the young season.

Marcus Stroman was called for an illegal quick pitch for some reason

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A “quick pitch” is an illegal action in which the pitcher pitches the ball before the batter is prepared. What makes a quick pitch a quick pitch? According to Rule 6.02(a)(5), it’s this:

 . . . Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted.

There are a couple of reasons why you don’t want quick pitches in baseball. In one respect, it’s about safety, as mentioned specifically in the rule. You don’t want a pitcher throwing a 90 m.p.h. fastball in the batter’s general direction if he’s not ready for it, because if it goes off course the batter will have no ability to defend himself and bail. But there’s also a spirit-of-the-game reason for it. The essence of baseball is the face-off between batter and pitcher. While everyone wants the game to move along promptly, the game isn’t really the game if the batter isn’t ready.

There is more art than science to all of this, of course, as all batters and pitchers have different pre-pitch routines, but when you watch a game, there’s a rhythm to all of that. You know the batter is gonna take a couple of practice swings and settle in. The pitcher tends to respect that. The quick pitch rule is rarely invoked for this reason.

It was used in yesterday’s Angels-Blue Jays game, however. And used badly in my view. Watch Marcus Stroman pitch to Kole Calhoun. The ump is Ramon DeJesus. The count was 3-1, so the automatic ball resulted in Calhoun being awarded first base:

Calhoun was obviously upset about something, calling time after Stroman is into his motion (which is not allowed) throwing his hands up and stuff after the pitch. But tell me, in what way was he not “reasonably ready” for that pitch, to use the language of the rule? He’s facing Stroman, looking at him. He’s done with his warmup swings, his bat is up and cocked and he’s standing in hitting position. I understand that it’s a judgment call by the umpire, but it seems to me like the umpire just called time too late because Calhoun didn’t feel ideally comfortable or something.

Either way, it set off Stroman and manager John Gibbons. Gibbons was ejected arguing the call. Stroman, who was otherwise excellent yesterday, was rattled for a bit, giving up a couple of hits and a run afterward. It was Calhoun who scored, natch.

It didn’t affect the outcome, but it certainly seemed like a bad call. And possibly a bad precedent, as batters may now try to lobby harder for quick pitch calls, given its success yesterday. Or, if umpires tend to think that was a bad call too, maybe they’ll overcompensate for it and be less likely to call quick pitches? You never know how this stuff will play out.

Whatever happens, I’ve been against Major League Baseball’s habit of increasingly taking judgment calls away from umpires, trying to make the subjective objective and making a flawed instant replay system the Supreme Court of Baseball Calls. But jeez, it’s hard to argue for allowing umps to hold on to judgment calls when they blow ’em like this.