Joe Girardi probably should have protested that game the other day

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Still thinking about that Billy Butler homer in the Yankees-Royals game the other night.  Joe Torre has admitted that the umpires misapplied the rules.  And now Joe Girardi admits he should have protested it.  He says he simply took the umps’ word for it that they were properly applying the rules:

“I assumed the rules were right and that’s my fault … Two umpires told me and I believed them. Maybe I don’t need to be so trustworthy anymore.”

To be fair, it’s not just dumb credulity that led Girardi to think the umpires had it right at the time. Umpires blow judgment calls all the time, but they rarely actually misapply the rules, which is what is required for a successful protest.  There are only a handful of protested games in recent memory, and none have been successful since a rain-shortened game between St. Louis and Pittsburgh went down in 1986 (the umps didn’t wait long enough between delays to call the game).  In fact, Retrosheet’s data shows only 14 successfully-protested and then-resumed games since 1913.

Protests usually fail either because they’re on judgment calls or because the misapplication of the rules ended up not making a difference in the outcome.  This one, however, seems like it would have been a pretty cut-and-dried protest case.  It was a misapplication of the rules and, given that it was on a homer in a game decided by one run, it’d be hard to argue that the call was irrelevant to the outcome.

So yeah, while I tend to look askance at protests, this is one that had to be made. Even if Girardi tended to believe the umps, you gotta throw that challenge flag, ya know?  I mean, it’s not like he hasn’t done it before.

Blue Jays acquire Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals

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The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.

Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.

Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.

Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.

Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.