When I was a 10 year old playing 3rd base in Little League, the last out of a big game came down to me beating a runner to the bag. The runner didn’t tag up, on a soft line drive hit right to me, and it was a race. I dove head and glove first for the bag, and the timing of our arrivals couldn’t have been more in sync. The umpire emphatically called the runner out and the game was over…we won…even though I never touched the base. Even worse, this happened right in front of the opposing team’s dugout and the opposing team’s 3rd base coach, who got into a heated argument with the umpire as I darted back to my dugout.
It’s part of the game. It’s the human element, and while the play that scored the winning run for Texas yesterday has once again brought the argument for instant reply back to the forefront of the sports talk universe, it’s a beautiful thing when it works out in your favor.
For a breakdown of the play, with slow motion reply, check out Jason Beck’s article. Lot’s of good reaction from both sides:
“I’m not going to get upset, if that’s what you’re trying to do, get me upset at the umpires,” Tigers Manager Jim Leyland said. “You all saw it. You don’t need a quote from me. You all saw it. I’m not going to sit here and blast the umpires. I’m not going to do that. You asked the question originally, what I saw: The ball hit him in the back knee. There’s no question about that.”
“I saw it go down, and I heard a thud,” Inge said. “And I know the difference between a thud and [hitting] the ground. And it kicked off different. My first reaction was, yeah, it hit. I thought it hit his foot. I knew it hit something, because I was close.”
“As soon as I hit it, I just kept running,” Gonzalez said. “I’m not going to stay and see what [the umpire] says. I was going to run and see if the umpire called it.”
“I couldn’t tell,” Avila said. “I was trying to catch the ball and get in a position to get the guy out at the plate. I couldn’t tell right away, which is probably why the home umpire couldn’t tell, because at that point he’s trying to watch the pitch and stuff like that. At the same time, that’s what the other umpires were for. I haven’t seen the replays or anything, though.”
Home plate umpire Tim Welke said “We called what we saw, and we didn’t see him get hit.”
“This is a pretty good crew,” Inge said. “The thing is, it’s hard doing what they do. I’m not going to say it’s easy. And I understand they were going with inconclusive evidence.”
“I think you can open up a can of worms with too much replay,” Leyland said when asked about instant reply in baseball. “I mean, where do you stop it? … To be honest with you, normally somebody sees that [live]. One of the umpires sees that normally, in fairness to them. For whatever reason, they just didn’t see it.”
“I probably would have lost my mind,” Washington said when asked for his reaction if they play had been overturned. “I would have sprinted out of the dugout and lost my mind, then called and apologized if the replay showed it hit him.”
With the win, the Rangers closed out a 9 game road trip with a record of 8-1, and have the best record in baseball. Colby Lewis put forth a good effort to limit a potent Tigers lineup to only 2 runs, and Josh Hamilton hit a first inning line drive home run to right.
- The Rangers are back in Texas for 6-game home stand, which will include a day off between New York and Tampa Bay.
- Derek Holland (2-0, 3.10 ERA) faces off with C.C. Sabathia (1-0, 5.59 ERA) tonight..and Michael Young thinks the Yanks are a good team…not tremendous, but good.
“They’re a good team,” Texas’ Michael Young said of the Yankees. “We’ve played a lot of good teams lately. The Tigers are a tremendous team. Now we’re playing the Yankees, and they’re a good team. They’re playing well. It will be a challenge. We’re looking forward to it.”
- Tonight will also mark the retirement of Pudge Rodriguez from baseball. There will be a ceremony at the ballpark prior to the start of the game, and Pudge will throw out the first pitch to Michael Young.
“I’m happy to do it,” Young said. “I was here during part of his first stint with the team and he was a great teammate and a great player. It should be a big day for him.”
- Jim Reeves (ESPNDallas) argues Pudge as the best ever all-around Ranger.
- Overview of his statistical accomplishments.
- Monday April, 23, 2012 – vs. New York Yankees – 6:05 p.m. – ESPN nationally; FSSW-HD locally
* Ivan Rodriguez Retirement Ceremony
* Ceremonial first pitch by Ivan Rodriguez
* Game ball delivery by John Burkett
- Adrian Beltre will undergo a MRI today and will more than likely be out tonight against the Yankees and possibly miss the entire series. Beltre strained his left hamstring on Saturday (hence Alberto Gonzalez’s presence in the lineup), but hopes to avoid the DL.
“But I don’t think it will be a big deal,” Beltre said. “It will be a couple of days. I’ll get an MRI tomorrow and go from there.”
- Michael Young is batting .30456, which is now the highest batting average in Rangers history for a player with at least 3,000 plate appearances. He has surpassed Ranger great Rusty Greer…for now.
We’ll be recording our weekly podcast tonight after the Pudge retirement ceremony and during the game. We’ll get it up on the site as quickly as possible, so give it a listen – Jasen intends to “shock everyone’s pants off” with a prediction. His words, not mine…