Sports Medley: Dodgers’ Monstrous Mistake 19 Oct 15
by Tony Medley
You can take the Dodgers out of Brooklyn, but you can’t take Brooklyn
out of the Dodgers. The Brooklyn Bums were famous for things that only
happened to them, to wit; the only team who had the ball bounce off the
right fielder’s head while trying to catch a fly ball (Babe Herman); the
only team to wind up with three men on third base (prompting this
colloquy: first fan, “The Dodgers have three men on base!” Second fan,
“Which base?”); when Boston Braves manager Casey Stengel was being booed
at Ebbets Field, he doffed his cap and a bird flew out. These are only a
few that made the Brooklyn Dodgers unique. Now the Los Angeles Dodgers
have added an event that rates with those classics, a runner on first
(Mets’ Daniel Murphy) went from first to third on a walk! Unlike the
other events quoted above, though, which were humorous but basically
unharmful, this event cost the Dodgers a Division Championship.
Nightmare comes true:
My classic complaint for these dumb managers pulling pitchers is that
the shortstop makes an error, so they pull the pitcher instead of the
shortstop. But the ultimate happened in the 7th inning of
game 5 between Toronto-Texas. Texas pitcher Cole Hamels was on the top
of his game. But in the bottom of the seventh, leading 3-2, the
shortstop, Elvis Andrus, made an error. Then the first baseman, Mitch
Moreland made an error on a throw to Andrus, although many shortstops
could have caught the short hop throw. Then Andrus made another error on
a perfect throw by Adrian Beltre on a bunt that would have forced the
lead runner at third. Three ground balls that should have been three up,
three down. But there was nobody out and the bases were loaded. Hamels
got the next batter to hit a ground ball for a force play at the plate.
So Texas manager Jeff Banister pulls Hamels!!! Common sense would
dictate that he pull his shortstop, but, no, he pulls his dominating
starting pitcher! Then, with one out and the bases full, instead of
playing the infield for a double play, Banister plays it in, so a short
pop fly that would have been an easy out, was just out of reach of the
second baseman, scoring the tying run but forcing the runner at second.
Two out. Then Hamels’ reliever, Sam Dyson, allows a monstrous three run
home run. Bye bye playoffs. All because Banister pulled Hamels after his
infielders made three errors behind him. That’s baseball managing for
you and it makes me sick.
Bring Back the Replacement Refs:
NFL referees are worse than ever, but you will never see a more blatant
bad call than the one that probably cost Detroit the game and its season
against Seattle. Lions’ receiver Calvin Johnson was sailing into the end
zone when Seattle defensive back Kam Chancellor knocked the ball out of
his grip a half yard short of the goal line. The ball was bouncing
toward the back of the end zone when Seattle defender K. J. Wright
batted it out of the end zone.
The back judge, Greg Wilson, called it a touchback. But batting a ball
like that is a penalty. Detroit should have gotten the ball on the half
yard line and another down. The replay showed Wright batting the ball
out directly in front of the official and the official was staring at
him and the ball.
The official later was quoted as saying he didn’t think it was an overt
act. That’s a ridiculous comment because Wright clearly batted the ball
out of the end zone with his hand. If Wilson didn’t think it was
“overt,” he’s the only person in the world who thinks that and it
happened right in front of him. But “overt” is not part of the rule. If
he bats it, it’s a penalty, period, end of story. But did the NFL take
action against the official? He cost Detroit a huge game. There was
nary a peep from the NFL, except to admit that the call was wrong.
Wilson should have been either fired or suspended for the rest of the
season for such an egregious non-call. They throw flags all over the
field throughout the games for meaningless occurrences, but a ref can’t
see a game-deciding penalty 10 feet in front of him while he’s staring
at it? As I said last week, what’s the purpose of watching the NFL when
every game is decided by lousy officiating?
“I seen them yesterday in the locker room.” Myles Jack, former UCLA
linebacker. Jack quit school at the end of his first quarter of his
third year after a season-ending injury in practice, to sign up for the
NFL draft. Probably a good idea. If UCLA hadn’t taught him correct
English in more than two years, it probably wasn’t going to teach him
much of anything else.
Probably the worst part of the end of the baseball season is having to
watch a bunch of allegedly mature men don goggles and go around spraying
champagne on everybody. I don’t know where this started, but someone who
has an adult mentality should put an end to it. It’s one thing to be
happy and to celebrate, it’s another to do it in such a non-spontaneous,
worse-than-childish, ridiculous way.