Earlier this season I posted some snarky tweet about how few things in life have ever lived up to the hype as much as the Tigers’ terrible defense, which predictably led to tons of Tigers fans telling me that defense hadn’t actually hurt the team very much. Or something, I mostly just remember that there was a lot name-calling involved.
Now that we’re at the halfway point of the season and the Tigers are one of the most disappointing teams in baseball at 40-42 that whole “their defense isn’t that bad” stuff has quieted down, it seems. After all, among AL teams they rank 10th in errors and dead last in both turning balls in play into outs and Ultimate Zone Rating. In other words, the Tigers’ defense has been every bit as bad as everyone expected.
Anyway, today I’ve been watching the Tigers-Twins game and it featured this beauty from Detroit’s defense:
And not to be outdone, the umpires called that a foul ball even though Rick Porcello clearly touched it (and Prince Fielder and Gerald Laird) in fair territory.
Note: If you’d like to send me angry messages on Twitter–about the Tigers’ defense or just life in general–feel free to follow me @AaronGleeman.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.