News and notes from around the league for April 12, 2013.
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Probable Pitchers for April 12, 2013
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Brett Lawrie crossed the line when he threw his batting helmet at an umpire.
The Tuesday Takeaway Brett Lawrie can hit, and the 22-year-old is rapidly learning how to pick it at the hot corner. But the questions about his makeup that led the Brewers to ship him to the Blue Jays in a one-for-one deal that brought back Shaun Marcum reared their ugly heads again last night in an incident that is likely to result in a suspension.
At the plate with nobody on and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, with Toronto trailing Tampa Bay 4-3, Lawrie worked the count to 3-1. Then, home plate umpire Bill Miller clearly gipped him of a walk, calling a Fernando Rodney fastball that crossed the plate at least four inches outside a strike. The payoff pitch was a changeup that threatened the upper fringe of the zone but stayed an inch or so too high. Miller rang Lawrie up, and—moments later—the young third baseman seemed ready to ring the ump’s bell.
A position-by-position analysis of Benjamin Sisko's baseball team from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Take Me Out to the Holosuite".
As the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees took the field at Qualcomm Stadium for Game 4 of the 1998 World Series, there was another baseball game of some importance being played. That night, the seventh season episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" called "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" aired for the first time. In it, the space station's senior staff (dubbed the "Niners") was challenged to a game by a crew of baseball-playing Vulcans (known as the Logicians) in what one might call a "Worlds' Series".
This premise may seem a bit off-base for the usual "Star Trek" fare, but it was established very early in the series' run (the first episode, in fact) that station captain Benjamin Sisko was a devoted fan of the sport. In the episode, Sisko is tasked with taking his crew and turning them into a fully-functioning ballclub in only two weeks time. The team ends up with 11 players on the roster - only three of whom have ever played the game before (Sisko, his son Jake, and his future-wife Kasidy). The remaining eight players must take those two weeks to learn how to throw a ball, catch a ball, hit a ball, and field a position. They must also learn the rules of the game from scratch, including such complicated concepts as the infield-fly rule and obscure terminology like "bunts" and "Fancy Dan". Everything is made worse when you realize that their opponents are a team of Vulcans, an alien race that is physically stronger and faster than the majority of the Niners. Kasidy tells us, in fact, that "a Vulcan has three-times the strength of a human." It's not exactly a fair match-up.
Revisiting historical HBP rates in the wake of Alex Avila's plunking by Jered Weaver's hand.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
As Jered Weaver prepares to serve his six-game suspension, take in some trends in HBP rates over time, which originally ran as a "Schrodinger's Bat" column on May 4, 2006.
Looking at the use of the protest rules and why most appeals are struck down.
The Yankees and Royals will square off in the Bronx on Saturday, the 27th anniversary of the infamous Pine Tar Game. That 1983 Sunday afternoon not only made George Brett a fixture in madcap blooper reels, but it is also one of the few major-league games in which a protest was upheld.
Baseball must be toasting this week's sports pages over glasses of vodka and schadenfreude. Last Friday, NBA referee Tim Donaghy was implicated in a betting scandal. On Wednesday, Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen, under heavy suspicion of doping, was kicked out of the race by his own team. And on Thursday, Michael Vick was scrambling away from reporters in a federal courthouse, rather than opposing linebackers on the field.
Albert Pujols has some things to say about the disbelievers, Ozzie Guillen's a bit perplexed about the rule book, and some managers chime in on managing and pitching performances.
"You're not going to find anything out about me. They can test me every day if they want. I don't care." --Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, on how his performance is natural (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Steven chimes in on the Delmon Young fiasco, looking to history for a bit of guidance.
That Labor Day at Toledo, Derr was calling the plays at first base. The Mudhens had been leading the pennant race, but were in the midst of a losing streak that had dropped them out of first place; tempers were running short. When Derr called a Mudhen out on a close play at first base, Stengel came running out to argue. Whatever he said--use your imagination--it got him thumbed from the game. That was standard operating procedure. What happened next was new. Stengel didn't leave the field. He turned towards the stands and began conducting them like a band leader, exhorting them. Writing about it a few days later, John Kieran of the New York Times said,
Some sluggers debate the meaning of the strikeout, some managers sound off on interleague play, Billy Beane defends himself, and Rickey Henderson surfaces in California with a take on left field in the Bronx.
"Does it bother me? I can't say that it doesn't, but I know it doesn't bother me when there are two outs and nobody on base in the first inning and I strike out. Then, it's just another out." --Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, who struck out 195 times in 2004 (Newark Star-Ledger)