We touched on the changes to the “transfer rule” last week and it reared its head again during the sixth inning of tonight’s game between the Mariners and Rangers.
Mariners shortstop Brad Miller hit a comebacker to Rangers left-hander Pedro Figueroa, who threw to catcher J.P. Arencibia for a force out at home plate. Arencibia dropped the ball on the transfer and was unable to make a throw to first base to double up Miller, so Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon emerged from the dugout to challenge the call of the force out at home plate. The call was ultimately reversed and the Mariners were awarded another run.
Check out the play below:
Rangers manager Ron Washington came out to argue after the umpires reversed the call, which is an automatic ejection. Many have said that the new replay system will result in fewer manager ejections. And that’s probably true. Still, the new interpretation of the transfer rule will continue to provide plenty of controversy and frustration as the season moves along.
Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier and commented on the inconsistency. After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job and that “he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”
Kinsler was fined but not suspended. The lack of suspension caused the umpires to soil their collective diapers and launch a two-day protest against players being mean to them. What was not reported at the time, however, is that Kinsler’s fine was a significant one and not the mere slap on the wrist the umpires made it out to be. Buster Olney:
Ian Kinsler's fine for comments about Angel Hernandez was $10,000. As Brad Ausmus said: It's a level almost unheard of in fines for players.
Yes, a player making $11 million as Kinsler is this year can afford that, but it’s still hefty fine for mere words. To say that it was some sort of injustice, as the umpires were basically saying in their protest, is simply silly.
In other news, in the event that Kinsler has spent his career earnings poorly and if, in fact, $10,000 will strap him, he will have some help in raising the money to pay Rob Manfred:
For as long as foul balls have been flying into the stands, people have been fighting for foul balls. Usually it’s a pretty tame affair, with multiple people reaching for it but one person asserting their claim rather quickly. While there are serious scrums over historic home run balls, foul balls simply don’t lend themselves to acrimony.
Which explains the look of utter disbelief on the face of the young man in the Frank Thomas shirt in the video below. He scrambled after a foul ball and picked it up only to have the woman in the video take it from him. Or, really, just sort of demand it and take it from him before he could fully process what was going on. Watch:
We can’t see behind the seat so maybe she had her hand on it and he snatched it away from her first, but the body language doesn’t really track that. When she takes it, I get the sense that the dude was sort of reverting to deference to elders out of muscle memory or something and then realized, “hey, she just friggin’ took it.”
As you can see at the end of the video, a White Sox official came out and gave him another ball, so I guess it all turned out OK. Still: it’s just a ball folks.