Hi, I’m Rockies co-owner Charlie Monfort:
When I was pulled over, I told the police I had “about two beers.” But when took the breathalyzer I blew a 0.284, which is more than three times above the legal limit. Essentially, by blood had a higher proof than an Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and a large glass of Zin, combined!
But the real lesson here is how wonderful my judgment is. I drank and then I drove, which could’ve literally killed people. Then I was so deluded about how drunk I was that it either caused me to think I only had a couple of beers or to think that I could’ve gotten away to lying to police about it. But man, considering I agreed to take that breath test, I probably literally did not know how many beers I had. That’s how drunk I was and how big of a problem I have. Heck, I’m probably smiling in my mugshot here because my brain was totally addled and I had no appreciation for the gravity of my situation!
Another problem I’m causing, even if it’s merely implicit: I’m making it awfully hard for the Colorado Rockies to be firm with players and employees when it comes to alcohol abuse. I mean, it’s bad enough when, mere months after our first baseman drove drunk that we feted him with awards and gifts. It’s bad enough that we play in a stadium literally named after a beer. But here I am, the co-owner of the team for crying out loud, behaving dangerously and irresponsibly and avoiding killing multiple people only by the grace of God, yet nothing really major is likely to happen to me.
Thank goodness I didn’t praise someone whose politics are unpopular. Or say racist things. Or take a drug with extra testosterone. If that were to happen I’d probably be in trouble. A suspension. A fine. Some sort of public reprimand from Major League Baseball. All I did is drink way, way too much and then pilot a couple thousand pounds of metal down a highway. Again.
I will likely end up getting fined a couple hundred dollars from the state and I will probably have to do some community service. I may check into a rehab facility if my family (and my lawyer) manage to talk sense into me. But after that I’ll go back to accepting large checks for watching my baseball team do things. And if they win stuff next year, I’ll be there, in a champagne-filled locker room at my beer stadium, happy to accept a trophy when the game is over.
And none of this will ever be mentioned again.
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: