The Mets are appealing a scoring decision to try to get R.A. Dickey a no-hitter. They will lose.

33 Comments

Lost in the Matt Cain perfect game drama last night was the fact that R.A. Dickey nearly threw a no-hitter of his own. The only blemish: a first inning infield single by B.J. Upton. It was a slow-rolling grounder that Wright tried to barehand and couldn’t.  The Mets, however, are trying to get that single changed to an error via an appeal of the scoring decision.

This seems doomed to failure.  Click the pic to watch the play:

source:

I think that’s called a hit almost every single time.

This is not unprecedented, by the way. Reader Jess Lemont reminds me that in 2008, the Brewers appealed a scorer’s decision to give Pirates third baseman Andy LaRoche a hit in a CC Sabathia one-hitter. There, as here, the call came when the fielder — who was actually Sabathia —  failed to pick up a ball on a barehand attempt.  Here was the text of the ruling from MLB:

“The committee held an extensive and constructive decision after viewing footage of the play in question and considered the documentation presented by the Brewers. It was the collective decision of the committee that the judgment of the scorer was not ‘clearly erroneous,’ which is the standard set forth in Official Scoring Rule 10.01(a), and thus did not meet the criteria for League reversal of the call made by Official Scorer Bob Webb.”

“Clearly erroneous” is a high standard to meet and there is no way that the call on Wright’s play was that. It’s often called a hit. Most of the time, I’d guess, with the scorer’s reasoning presumably being that if the fielder had to go with a barehand play in order to make it, it was damn close to begin with.

So it’s great that the Mets are sticking up for their guy, but in this case I don’t think it’s going to be successful.

Oh, and a final note: I don’t think some of the “oh isn’t it rich that the Mets are doing this given the bad call that gave Johan Santana his no-no” comments I’ve seen on Twitter since last night are particularly on point. There’s a difference in my view between a judgment call by a scorer and a missed call by an ump. Scorer’s decisions do get overturned quite often and, to be honest, are more often wrong than the umps on the field are.

The upshot: the Mets aren’t hypocrites for doing this. They’re just not going to be successful.

Alabama man arrested for stealing a Braves golf cart from SunTrust Park

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Last Tuesday night, the Braves hosted the San Francisco Giants at SunTrust Park. They lost 6-3. An Alabama man named Marcus Stephens almost came away a winner, however. At least if stealing a $4,500 golf cart that belongs to the Braves makes you a winner, which in some circles I suppose it would.

Stephens lost, however, when he crashed the cart into a metal pole, attempted to flee on foot and was apprehended by Cobb County Sheriff’s deputies. This all went down at 1:40AM Wednesday morning. The report doesn’t mention anything about alcohol being involved but I’ve read enough stories like this to make educated guesses about such things.

That being said, Stephens seems relatively composed in his mugshot:

I mean, yeah, the eyes look a bit red and puffy and the overall vibe he gives off is “I came to the game as part of the Sigma Nu reunion (Auburn University class of ’06, GO TIGERS!),” but I expected much worse after reading the headline.

 

Anyway, dude is out on bail. Somewhere, someone is really super proud of him, I’m sure.

Report: The Yankee Stadium charity is a secretive, self-dealing boondoggle

Getty Images
1 Comment

The New York Times has a blistering report on the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund. The Fund is the charity the Yankees created in 2006 as a means of making up for the negative impact the construction New Yankee Stadium had on the surrounding community, primarily via its taking over 25 acres of parkland.

The idea of the Fund was a good one: to distribute $40 million in cash grants and sports equipment, and 600,000 free baseball tickets to community organizations in the Bronx over four decades. And it has been distributing funds and tickets. As the Times reports, however, the manner in which it has done so raises some red flags. Such as:

  • Charitable donations have, in an amazing coincidence, often gone to other charities which share common board members with the New Yankee Stadium Fund;
  • Funds have gone to many wealthy groups in affluent parts of the Bronx far away from the Stadium while the area around the stadium remains one of the most impoverished in the nation. For example, a private school in a wealthy part of the borough and a rec center in a gated community have gotten a lot money that, one would think anyway, could be and should be devoted to organizations closer to the ballpark that are in greater need; and
  • There has been almost no transparency or oversight of the Fund. Reports which were supposed to have been submitted have not been. And no one, apart from the Times anyway, seems to care. The Yankees certainly don’t seem to. Indeed, as the article notes, the team has worked hard to keep the Fund’s operations out of its hands. They just got their new ballpark and write the checks and hand out the tickets. Everything else is someone else’s problem.

Cronyism in private philanthropy is not uncommon. As is a lack of oversight. Often it’s the best connected people who receive the benefit of such funds, not the people most in need. This is especially true in charities whose creation was not born of a philanthropic impulse as much as it was born of a need to put a good face on some not-so-good business dealings.

If the Times’ report is correct — and the lack of anyone coming forward to dispute it on the record despite the Times’ requests that they do suggests it is — it appears as if the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund is one of those sorts of charities.