May 11, 2015

Runners Passing on Bases

While umpiring a University of Calgary baseball game, I ran into an odd situation where a runner passed another runner on the base paths. This led to some confusion among the umpires, and I'm sure the official scorer may have had trouble scoring it correctly, too. How should this rare play be scored? Check out the details on the scoring blog

May 03, 2015

Runner Hit by Batted Ball

Well, you don't see that everyday. Twice!  Two games ended yesterday when a baserunner was hit with a batted ball with two outs in the 9th. Since this was interesting from an official scoring perspective I have all the details over at the scoring rules blog.  They say you can't predict ball, but you can be fairly certain that everyday you will see something on the diamond you haven't seen before.

April 14, 2015

Red Sox Hitters Beneficiaries of Generous Scorers?

(CJ Gunther/EPA)
We won the home opener, while recording 13 hits.  But several of those should have been scored as reached on error instead. This isn't a criticism of Boston's official scorer, as he is only following the practice of all other MLB scorers. But if a routine fly ball falls between two fielders, in my opinion (and that of the pitcher on the mound, no doubt) an error should be charged.  I talk more about it over at my Scoring Rules blog along with some accompanying videos.  Take a look.

April 12, 2015

Fenway Home Opener!

A good excuse for another day off work. Last year's was absolutely amazing.  No banner going up or rings to hand out this year. But expectations for this season are pretty high.

The matchup looks pretty good, with the Nationals Jordan Zimmerman facing our own Rick Porcello. The starters for the home openers are all over the place. Unlike Opening Day where usually you get both team's #1 facing each other, the home opener is a bit of a wildcard. Sometimes they are scheduled after a 3 game series, so the teams' #4 starters oppose each other. If it's the 3rd series of the year, then it's game 7 so it's #2 starters facing off. And rainouts, injuries, extra inning games etc can impact all of that so it's really unpredictable.  Having said that here is who threw at Fenway for the home team over the past 10 seasons and the outcome of the game:

April 07, 2015

What did we learn from Opening Day?

 Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
What a great start to the season! Boston beat the Phillies 8-0, with some great pitching aided by some powerful slugging.  So what did we learn?  Here are a few things I saw on twitter / message boards / talk radio and the usual sources of idiocy:
  • We were lucky to have avoided signing Jon Lester
  • We were lucky to not have traded for Cole Hamels
  • We have an ace better than the above two options in Clay Buchholz
  • Dustin Pedroia is going to have a huge year
  • Hanley Ramirez is going to be a monster
  • Mookie Betts IS a Hall of Famer
  • David Ortiz is cooked
  • Nobody can remember why we wanted to sign Pablo Sandoval 
  • Our pitching is going to be just fine
  • We’re going to hit the shit out of the ball
Hey, feel free to extrapolate whatever you want from one day of baseball, but keep in mind it is just one day. Some of the above may end up being accurate forecasts, others maybe not so much. Hall of Famers have off days, and scrubs can look like stars for a few hours.

Here’s a boxscore from 2002 OD.  We hit four home runs before the 2nd inning was over! But lost the game because our starter gave up 8 runs in 3 innings. At least we could look forward to the fact that Tony Clark who went 3-5 with a big fly was going to fit in Boston just fine (he ended up batting .207 and hit 2 more home runs all season). And the starting pitcher? Some guy named Pedro, whose stats I'm not going to look up, but I'm sure he worked out all right, too.

So, what did we really learn from Opening Day? The only concrete takeaway is that baseball is back and it’s a lot of fun. During the long off-season it’s easy to forget just what a great game this is. 

I'm glad it's back!  Now, can someone tell me why there's an off-day already?