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Clint Hurdle on Javier Baez, Willson Contreras: “Where is the respect for the game?”

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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic spoke to Pirates manager Clint Hurdle this morning. The topic: a couple of minor incidents in yesterday’s Pirates-Cubs game. One in which Javier Baez flipped his bat after popping up and another after Willson Contreras held his arm out to signal to the umpire that he thought the call was wrong after being rung up.

In response, Hurdle asked, rhetorically, “where is the respect for the game?” suggesting that such behavior would not be tolerated on the Pirates and that, he assumed, such behavior would be handled in-house by the Cubs. He went on to talk about how, when he was a young catcher he tried to hold a framed pitch for a while and got barked at by an umpire, teaching him a lesson. It’s a pretty good story, actually.

That aside, if I’m Hurdle I want Contreras doing that more, actually, because it’s likely to cause umps — who have egos and demands for respect of their own — to squeeze him even more. I’d guess, also, that to the extent the Cubs deal with Contreras about that in-house, it’ll be couched in those terms more than some abstract “respect the game” lecture. Part of your job as a catcher is to make sure the umps are giving your pitchers the calls too, you know. If they’re annoyed at you, that can’t help.

As for Baez, he apologized already, so that’s taken care of.

As for “respecting the game,” I’d take the concept more seriously if someone could explain to me why sometimes guys who act unconventionally when they fail are called “competitors” and lauded for their intensity and others who do so are accused of “disrespecting the game.” I’m not gonna hold my breath for it, though.

 

The Mariners turned an odd triple play with the help of Evan Gattis

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Astros DH Evan Gattis unwittingly helped the Mariners complete a triple play in the fourth inning of Thursday afternoon’s game at Safeco Field. The Astros put runners on first and second on consecutive singles by Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, bringing Gattis to the plate.

Gattis check-swung at a first-pitch curve from Marco Gonzales, hitting a grounder to third base. Kyle Seager stepped on the third base bag and then threw to second base for the second out. There was not nearly enough time for Robinson Cano to get the throw to first base to complete a triple play. Gattis ostensibly lost track of the number of outs in the inning, so he just circled back to the dugout and the Mariners completed their triple play since Gattis went out of the baseline.

That’s the first triple play of the 2018 season. It’s the Mariners’ first triple play since July 26, 2015 against the Blue Jays.