ESPN’s PR people gave away the Gold Glove winners in advance

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The Gold Glove is a joke of an award these days. The process determining the winners is hopelessly flawed in conception (are other players and managers the best judge of this stuff?) and almost but not quite always results in the wrong people winning (No Peter Bourjos? Really?). But hey, an award is an award and it’s fun to be surprised who wins it when the announcement comes, right?

Well, not in this case.

For the first time ever ESPN televised the Gold Glove announcement last night. Before the announcement, however, its p.r. site promoted the show, listing the finalists for the award at each position in its press release.  Tell me if you notice anything funny about the list of finalists, as taken from a screen capture of the page:

source:

Notice anything? Like, how the guy who was later announced as the winner has his name written in a smaller font? As if it were pasted in from a list of the winners or something, messing with the formatting?  Happens to bloggers all the time, I hear, but I’ve never seen a press release like this tip news-to-come.

Now, to be fair: this wasn’t brought to my attention until after the awards were announced last night and it’s possible that these names were altered on the web site after the fact to reflect the winners.  Possible, but not probable, however, because the rest of the release is still in the future tense and nothing else denoting the winners as winners has been done. Press releases are a lot of things, but subtle is not one of them.  If they were actually wanting to make a second announcement — who won, not who was nominated — a second release or a radically-updated initial release almost certainly would have issued.

This is pretty unimportant — like I said, the Gold Glove award stinks on ice, and p.r. as a concept is the very definition of frivolous — but it’s funny that the only thing interesting the award had going for it the year (i.e. the awards show) was subject to a spoiler.

UPDATE:  I was not aware of this before because I missed the comments, but reader brucewaynewins caught this and noted it in the thread below the Fielding Bible post that went up late Monday night.  Great catch, Bruce!

Umpire admits he blew the call that got Joe Maddon ejected last night

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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.