Some weeks back David Ortiz loudly complained about an official scorer’s call that he felt (correctly) cost him a hit, made a point to publicly call out the scorer for not giving him a hometown call and then successfully appealed the call. He received a lot of criticism for that. But based on this story from Murray Chass, Ortiz’s offense against propriety was the public part of it, not the appeal, because he is not at all alone in asking for scoring decisions to be changed. Indeed, those numbers are on the way up since Joe Torre took over that particular bailiwick:
Torre said he didn’t know how many calls he had changed this season.
“Last year I overturned about one-fourth to one-third of the requests,” he said. What about specific numbers? “There were a lot. I’d rather not tell you that. The first year” – 2011 – “it was a workable number. It’s probably tripled.”
Chass spoke to other sources which confirm that one-third-to-one-fourth figure and which say there are probably fifty overturned calls each season, or perhaps as many as three or four a week.
If you can navigate around the introductory and, for him, obligatory old fogeyism, Chass has some interesting nuggets in there, both regarding the number of scoring changes which are made and Major League Baseball’s curiously cagey approach to questions about them. And, most importantly, one suggestion about the reason for the increase in the scoring changes: the MLBPA being pressured by agents to be more proactive in making such appeals.
I tend to agree with Chass here about the early months of the Tony Clark Administration not being all that impressive. I would hope this sort of thing isn’t a big priority for them and that agents’ desires and the interests of some players as opposed to all aren’t what’s running the show.
Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.
Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.
The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.
The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.
If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.
If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.
Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.
Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.
It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.