Doc Gooden charged with DWI, child endangerment

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Gooden mugshot.jpgNot less than ten minutes after reading this story in which Doc Gooden offers his advice to Stephen Strasburg I read that Gooden was arrested after being involved in a crash after which he was charged with:

  • Driving under the Influence of a controlled dangerous substance;
  • Endangering the welfare
    of a child;
  • DWI with a child passenger;
  • Leaving the scene of a motor
    vehicle accident;
  • Reckless driving;
  • Failure to keep right; and
  • Failure to
    notify change of address regarding driver’s license

You’d think the first six charges were enough without that address beef, but if I saw that a guy was driving his kids around while on drugs I’d spend hours in the law library looking for new and outrageously punitive things with which to charge him.

As I sit here right now I’m struggling to think of someone who has wasted his life and the second, third, fourth and fifth chances (and then some) he was given than Dwight Gooden has.  Maybe there’s one or two, I don’t know. I do know, though, that Stephen Strasburg should take any advice Doc Gooden has for him and do pretty much the exact opposite.

Replay review over base-keeping needs to go

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The Red Sox are off and running in the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the Dodgers. Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez each hit RBI singles off of Clayton Kershaw to give the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead.

Benintendi’s hit to right field ended with a replay review. Rather than throw to the cutoff man, right fielder Yasiel Puig fired home to try nabbing Mookie Betts, but his throw was poor. Catcher Austin Barnes caught the ball a few feet in front of and to the right of home plate, then whipped the ball to second base in an attempt to get Benintendi. Benintendi clearly beat the throw, but shortstop Manny Machado kept the tag applied. After Benintendi was ruled safe, the Dodgers challenged, arguing that Benintendi’s hand may have come off the second base bag for a microsecond while Machado’s glove was on him. The ruling on the field was upheld and the Red Sox continued to rally.

Replay review over base-keeping is not in the spirit of the rule and shouldn’t be permitted. Hopefully Major League Baseball considers changing the rule in the offseason. Besides the oftentimes uncontrollable minute infractions, these kinds of replay reviews slow the game down more than other types of reviews because they tend not to be as obvious as other situations.

Baseball has become so technical and rigid that it seems foolish to leave gray area in this regard. A runner is either off the base or he isn’t. However, the gradual result of enforcing these “runner’s hand came off the base for a fraction of a second” situations is runners running less aggressively and sliding less often so there’s no potential of them losing control of their body around the base. Base running, particularly the aggressive, sliding variety, is quietly one of the most fun aspects of the game. Policing the game to this degree, then, serves to make the game less fun and exciting.

Where does one draw the line then? To quote Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, describing obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio, “I know it when I see it.” This is one area where I am comfortable giving the umpires freedom to enforce the rule at their discretion and making these situations impermissible for replay review.