Well this was bizarre. After the completion of last night’s Dodgers-Giants game, Dodgers setup man and former Giants closer Brian Wilson walked across the field to the box of Giants CE) Larry Baer and began shouting at him. Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com has the story:
“Just a conversation between me and him,” said Wilson, when I asked him what that was all about.
But as we told you first on CSNBayArea.com, Wilson was steamed that he still hasn’t received his 2012 World Series ring, and he was letting Baer know he wasn’t happy about it.
Baggarly spoke to Giants officials who are totally perplexed. Apparently they have tried to give the ring to Wilson on several occasions, but each time they have been rebuffed by Wilson’s people. Baggarly says Wilson has his ring now, as it was given to Dodgers officials to give to Wilson.
It was a weird year for Wilson, as he made a point to stay out of the public eye as he rehabbed his arm and, rather than try to make any deal with a team early on, waited until he was sure he could pitch before ultimately signing with the Dodgers. It was a good baseball move for him — he’s been lights out since he came back — but secreting himself up on some mountain with samurais or whatever also made him a hard man to reach, I figure.
So much drama, but there’s always drama around Wilson.
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.