Criticism of Joe Girardi has reached PalinFey levels of ridiculousness

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Don’t know what “PalinFey” is?  Read on, my friends, read on.

It’s always been strange to see the New York media go after Joe Girardi for use of actual information to inform his decisions. Things like scouting reports, statistics and stuff. You know, the things smart managers have always done. Except Girardi dared organize his information into a binder, so that apparently makes him weird.  Never mind that he has a World Series ring and has won the manager of the year award. He’s a crazy, pencil neck geek! Binderboy!

That line has now gone beyond self-parody thanks to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, who just loved the fact that Girardi got angry and argued a call yesterday, leading to his ejection.  Here’s Matthews’ lead-in:

For once, he wasn’t “G.I. Joe” or “Joey Looseleafs” or “Binder Boy,” the guy who is on autopilot in front of a reporter, and at the mercy of his splits, his spray charts and his heat maps in the privacy of the manager’s office.

For the five minutes or so that he shouted at, gestured at and lectured the umpires on the field at Comerica Park, culminated by a stage exit complete with waving arms and rolling eyeballs, he was a living, passionate, fire-breathing human being.

King Kaufman has coined a term called “PalinFey.” It refers to Tina Fey’s impression of Sarah Palin, and it describes a parody that is essentially indistinguishable from the real thing. It sort of renders the parody superfluous, because you really can’t outdo the reality for pure silliness.

When it comes to Boston reporters describing the Red Sox disarray and New York reporters going after Girardi’s binder, I think we’ve reached a perfect state of PalinFey.

White Sox to extend protective netting to the foul poles

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Recently two more fans suffered serious injuries as the result of hard-hit foul balls at major league games. One of those fans was hurt at a White Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field earlier this month. In response, the White Sox have taken it upon themselves to do that which Major League Baseball will not require and extend protective netting. From the Chicago Sun-Times:

The White Sox and Illinois Sports Facilities Authority are planning to extend the protective netting at Guaranteed Rate Field down the lines to the foul poles, according to a source.

Exact details will be announced later, but the changes will be made as soon as possible this season.

If recent history holds, they will not be the last team to do it.

Major League Baseball has taken a laissez-faire approach to protective netting over the past several years, requiring nothing even if it has made recommendations to teams to do something. The last time it made a suggestion was in December 2015 when teams were “encouraged” to shield the seats between the near ends of both dugouts and within 70 feet of home plate. In the wake of that recommendation only a few teams immediately extended their netting, primarily because if you ask a business to do something but say it is not required to do anything, it is not likely to do anything.

It would not be until September 2017, after a baby girl was severely injured at Yankee Stadium, that the rest of baseball was inspired to extend protective netting in keeping with MLB’s recommendations. Indeed, it was a land rush, with all 30 teams extending their netting by Opening Day 2018. While a generous interpretation would have everyone seeing the light simultaneously, my slightly more experienced eye saw it as a “don’t be the only team not to have extended netting by the time the next lawsuit hits” approach.

In the wake of the two recent injuries Major League Baseball issued a statement about how it “will keep examining” the matter of additional protective netting while, again, mandating nothing. Now that the White Sox are extending netting to the foul poles, however,  it’s not hard to imagine a situation in which other teams follow suit. Sooner or later, enough will likely have done so to create critical mass and make any team which has not done so to make the effort out of self-preservation.

Or, more generously, good sense.