Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post Dispatch is one of the best local sports columnists in the country and also doesn’t engage in the shouting and trolling and overall buffoonery of so many big names in the same industry, so when he criticizes Cardinals manager Mike Matheny like this it made me take notice:
The increasingly and bizarrely petulant manager Mike Matheny resorted to spitting out one-word answers and tapping impatiently on the interview podium in a childish response to reasonable postgame questions.
In fairness to Matheny he’d just watched a blowout loss to the rival Reds in which Adam Wainwright had one of the worst starts of his career. Of course, Miklasz noted in the same column that Wainwright had a much different response to reporters asking about the ugly game:
Wainwright — as usual — gave mature, thoughtful, forthright adult answers when asked about his condition.
Matheny doesn’t want to talk about the possibility of Wainwright’s heavy workload causing him to wear down, but when a pitcher has a league-high five complete games and struggles immediately following a 128-pitch start it’s certainly a reasonable topic of inquiry. On the other hand, at least Matheny didn’t lash out and angrily call any reporters names.
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.