Ian Kinsler: Rays fans were too hung up on the umpiring

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Well, someone’s gotta be, right?

“It’s tough to win when you’re (complaining) about a call from the
previous day,” Kinsler said Friday at Rangers Ballpark, where the series
resumes Saturday. “It seems like they were still talking about the
Carlos Pena call, which is basically a non-issue because it hit the bat.
And it’s tough to be a good crowd when you’re worried about umpires. We
were able to take them out; they were interested in the umpires and it
worked out well for us.”

He’s right about dwelling on it. I may drop a comment here or there because I have a blog and all I do is empty my head into it all day, but I’m more or less moving on from the Posey call. Life’s too short and it’s a damn ballgame so just put your big boy pants on and get on with it, ya know?

Still, I’d be curious how much the crowd being in or out of it really matters to the players. I’ve seen some stuff recently trying to figure out if attendance has an impact on winning, but I’d really like to know if ballplayers actually perform better based on how pumped up the crowd is.

Sure, playing in a sensory deprivation tank like a Florida Marlins makeup game is awful, but do players notice a big difference between, say, 30,000 psyched fans and 30,000 conflicted, dwelling-on-the-past fans? Do they feed off the crowd the same way basketball players seem to do (and I don’t know if they really do either)? 

Screw “which pitches were working for you tonight, Bob.” If I was asking ballplayers questions I’d probably ask them stuff like that.

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.