There’s a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today about Ryan Theriot, his changing role on the Cardinals since the Rafael Furcal trade and the fact that he got a rare start at shortstop yesterday. This quote from Theriot sticks out more than a little bit:
The Cardinals led the division until July 27, four days before the Furcal acquisition. Speaking only about his own role, Theriot noted, “When I was playing shortstop we were in first place. I know that. It is what it is.”
Never mind that Furcal is better hitter than Theriot and has played far better defense. If you’re Theriot, correlation = causation and there’s no escaping that kind of geometric logic.
Not that a lot of people won’t buy this. There are people convinced that the Cardinals have been in the crapper for the past few years because David Eckstein isn’t their shortstop anymore. Hey, they won the World Series when he was there, and that speaks for itself, right?
Last night in the top of the eighth inning of the Dodgers-Cubs game, Curtis Granderson struck out. Or, at the very least, he should’ve. After the game, the umpire who said he didn’t admitted he screwed up.
While trying to squelch a Dodgers comeback, Wade Davis got Granderson into a 2-2 count. Davis threw his pitch, Granderson whiffed on it, it hit the dirt, and Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out. End of the inning, right? Wrong: Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, Wolf, after conferring with the other umps agreed, and Granderson lived to see another pitch.
Before he’d see that pitch, Joe Maddon came out to argue the call and got so agitated about it all he was ejected for the second time in this series. He was right to argue:
It all ended up not mattering, of course, because Granderson struck out eventually anyway.
Normally such things end there, but after the game a reporter got to Wolf and Wolf did something umpires don’t often do: he admitted he blew the call:
It’s good that the bad call ended up not affecting anything. But the part of me who likes to stir up crap and watch chaos rule in baseball really kinda wishes that Granderson had hit a series-clinching homer right after that. At least as long as it didn’t result in Cubs fans burning Chicago to the ground.