A couple of weeks ago I linked a guide to craft beer selection in the various ballparks that, many have said, was incomplete. To that end, I’m on the lookout for true, in-depth beer reviews of ballparks. If you have one — recent ones — or if you care to do a comprehensive one, by all means do and I’ll link and/or excerpt it, because this is news we can use.
My friend Eno Sarris of FanGraphs (and a million other sites) knows his beer. And he went to Dodger Stadium recently and reviewed the selection. His review is up over at FanGraphs. And I gotta tell ya, the selection in L.A. is lacking:
If you are looking to alter your experience through the use of a society-approved liquid drug, then the stadium is ready to provide. Their prices and sizes are very pocket-friendly: you can get a 24-ounce ‘tall boy’ domestic draft beer for $10.25, which is better value than most stadiums provide. These are large beers for a good price.
If your aim is to drink the best-tasting beer that you might want to drink while facing the pitch, well then Chavez Ravine might have the worst beer selection in the bigs.
Mostly because it’s all gussied-up macrobrew:
To recap: so far we have a choice between Budweiser, Hefe Budweiser, Korean Budweiser Dutch Budweiser and Mexican Budweiser. In a simpler time, that might suffice.
Today, there are too many craft beer aficionados to assuage with this selection. Of course, there are a few craft beers if you looked hard enough, but the reward didn’t quite match the effort.
My personal thing: I really don’t like Bud or Miller Lites, but I’ll drink a Bud Heavy or a High Life if that’s all that’s available. It’s wet. It’s beer. I am not one of those people who MUST HAVE CRAFT BEER. I can deal just fine with whatever you got.
But really, how hard is it to set up a couple of places with some top-end stuff for those who really appreciate it? Seems like a no-brainer. Serious beer snobs — and I use that term lovingly — will pay through the nose for their hops.
Craig covered the bulk of Rob Manfred’s quotes from earlier. The commissioner was asked about robot umpires and he’s not a fan. Via Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
Manfred was wrong to blame the player’s union’s “lack of cooperation” on proposed rule changes, but he’s right about robot umps and the strike zone. The obvious point is that robot umps cannot yet call balls and strikes with greater accuracy than umpires. Those strike zone Twitter accounts, such as this, are sometimes hilariously wrong. Even the strike zone graphics used on television are incorrect and unfortunate percentage of the time.
The first issue to consider about robot umps is taking jobs away from people. There are 99 umps and more in the minors. If robot umpiring was adopted in collegiate baseball, as well as the independent leagues, that’s even more umpires out of work. Is it worth it for an extra one or two percent improvement in accuracy?
Personally, the fallibility of the umpires adds more intrigue to baseball games. There’s strategy involved, as each umpire has tendencies which teams can strategize against. For instance, an umpire with a more generous-than-average strike zone on the outer portion of the plate might entice a pitcher to pepper that area with more sliders than he would otherwise throw. Hitters, knowing an umpire with a smaller strike zone is behind the dish, may take more pitches in an attempt to draw a walk. Or, knowing that information, a hitter may swing for the fences on a 3-0 pitch knowing the pitcher has to throw in a very specific area to guarantee a strike call or else give up a walk.
The umpires make their mistakes in random fashion, so it adds a chaotic, unpredictable element to the game as well. It feels bad when one of those calls goes against your team, but fans often forget the myriad calls that previously went in their teams’ favor. The mistakes will mostly even out in the end.
I haven’t had the opportunity to say this often, but Rob Manfred is right in this instance.
ESPN’s Howard Bryant is reporting that Major League Baseball has approved a rule allowing for a dugout signal for an intentional walk. In other words, baseball is allowing automatic intentional walks. Bryant adds that this rule will be effective for the 2017 season.
MLB has been trying, particularly this month, to improve the pace of play. Getting rid of the formality of throwing four pitches wide of the strike zone will save a minute or two for each intentional walk. There were 932 of them across 2,428 games last season, an average of one intentional walk every 2.6 games. It’s not the biggest improvement, but it’s something at least.
Earlier, Commissioner Rob Manfred was upset with the players’ union’s “lack of cooperation.” Perhaps his public criticism was the catalyst for getting this rule passed.
Unfortunately, getting rid of the intentional walk formality will eradicate the chance of seeing any more moments like this: