Miguel Olivo is in the Best Shape of His Life

13 Comments

I know some of you don’t like these posts, but if it helps, I don’t do this because I enjoy it. I do it because I feel I am providing an invaluable service.  In other words, I may not be the lazy meme-perpetuator that Gotham wants, but I am the lazy meme-perpetuator that Gotham needs.

Anyway, from Greg Johns of MLB.com, in the course of an article about how Jesus Montero will fit with the Mariners:

And the durable [Miguel] Olivo, who says he’s in the best shape of his life after an offseason of working out at his home in Modesto, Calif., doesn’t have an issue with helping a young prodigy learn that craft.

So there’s that.

Proposal: let’s get deeper into the BSOHL thing. I’m thinking an investigative angle, where the reporter pulls the ballplayer’s high school records to see if it’s really possible that a 33 year-old man with lots of miles behind the plate is truly in better shape than when he was a strapping young lad of 17.

Umpire Cory Blaser made two atrocious calls in the top of the 11th inning

Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images
21 Comments

The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.

Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.

Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.

James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.

The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.