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New home plate rule becomes point of confusion

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Apr 05, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees Blue Jays Baseball

We’ll get to Michael Pineda later, for now a quick explanation of what happened on the play at the plate in the third inning. Francisco Cervelli tried to score from second on a Jacoby Ellsbury single, the throw home clearly beat him to the plate, and Cervelli was called out. Joe Girardi protested, and the umpires reviewed with replay, ultimately sticking with their original call.

Girardi argued two points:

1. He thought catcher Josh Thole was blocking home plate according to the league’s new rule.

2. He thought Cervelli was safe regardless of any sort of catcher obstruction.

Girardi explained that he did not have to specifically challenge one or the other. The umpires reviewed the play on their own — the Yankees didn’t use their challenge on the play — and in doing so, the review umpires in New York are supposed to check everything. They checked blocking the plate and safe/out when they went to replay.

“This is going to be the toughest replay of all of them because it’s such a judgment,” Girardi said. “The way it was explained to us, if the catcher is in front of home plate toward third base, straddling the base, that is considered blocking home plate if you don’t have the ball. And I believe that’s how it was.”

That’s the way I saw it as well. I never saw a replay that made me think Cervelli beat the tag (there might be one, Cervelli certainly thought he got his foot in ahead of the tag, but I didn’t see it). Regardless, I thought the umpires were definitely going to overturn the decision because of the way Thole setup to receive the throw. It seemed to me that he was standing between Cervelli in the plate before he had the ball.

“That’s what we’ve been taught to do for years,” Girardi said. “But I think that’s what they’re trying to get away from.”

Girardi didn’t seem to think Thole was trying to cheat, only that he reacted in a way that violated the new rule. Cervelli felt the same way.

“Halfway, I saw part of the plate,” Cervelli said. “And then he blocked the plate a little bit, and then I had to go straight, but I couldn’t visualize home plate. … I was supposed to slide for the outside part (originally). That was my thought. But when he blocked the plate, I didn’t know what to do.”

As much as I felt certain blocked the plate, there were other writers who saw the same play and the same replays and came away thinking Thole left a lane. As much as I believed Cervelli had been tagged out, there were other writers who said they saw a replay that made them think Cervelli was safe regardless. Plenty of confusion on this one. Girardi said he was not allowed to play the game under protest.

“I believe this is going to be the toughest overall for them to get right all the time,” Girardi said. “To me it’s a vague interpretation of what blocking home plate is, and I think it needs to be in writing. The way it was explained to us, if you are straddling the base in front, towards third base, that is considered blocking home plate.”

Said Cervelli: “I was very sure what it was all about, but I’ve got to ask again what’s going on. … It’s a rule. You have to follow it.”

Associated Press photo

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151 Responses to “New home plate rule becomes point of confusion”

  1. CountryClub April 5th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Soriano is a streak hitter….always has been. He’s also been a very slow starter the past few years.

  2. bbb51 April 5th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    pete2 April 5th, 2014 at 5:05 pm
    bbb51 April 5th, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Would like to add Morales but Hal already spend half a billion. :roll:
    =================

    No, he committed to spend 500 million, he actually cut payroll 30 million this year

    rolling eyes = sarcasm

  3. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Can this Jacoby stick around please all season? Dude is dynamic when healthy…..he’s just all over the field.

    I feel like the Yanks lost a battle today but maybe took a step towards winning a war…..if Pineda is gonna pitch like that then he might be their 2nd best pitcher by the end if the season

  4. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Re-post:

    So much for infield defense hey? This game is pretty much about hitting and pitching. Defense comes into play once in awhile, but it usually doesn’t make a difference in a game. I actually think outfield defense is more likely to affect a game than infield defense. I think the Yanks lost a playoff series to the Angels because of a screw up on the warning track. When things go wrong in the OF, it usually means a run. Mistakes in the infield can be corrected and very often don’t make a difference anyway.

    But like today, when your bullpen starts giving up big flies that take you out of winnable games, you learn very quickly what really counts.

  5. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Heyman mentioned a possible trade with the braves for Mejia. He’s totally blocked and can hit……they might would want a catcher back. I don’t know if they’d do Romine for Mejia but I’d be trying that. Either that or they really need to just sign Morales…..

    On the play at the plate…..my issue was more that he looked safe on the replay than that he was blocking the plate.

    On plays like that when the ball is online I’m not sure where the catcher is supposed to stand if not over the plate…..they didn’t lose because of that play…..they lost because they didn’t hit.

    Please stay healthy Jacoby…..he’s like a race horse…..when he’s healthy and 100% he’s really fun to watch.

  6. TheStraw April 5th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Phelps is not suited for a back end of the pen role. His stuff just is not good enough. I wonder why Joe didn’t go to Kelley there?

  7. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    bigdan,
    you’re building that straw man pretty high now…..nobody said infield defense matters more than pitching and hitting…..but it is very important and has cost the yankees several runs already this season and will cost them a lot more over the course of the season. Again it’s going to be a tight race for a playoff spot…..the details could cost them.

  8. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    A mediocre starter is worth more than a mediocre reliever, and so I don’t think the Yankees would ever get full value out of Phelps out of the pen. Plus his fastball doesn’t even look right at the moment.

    He should be a starter, and if not in the rotation or AAA than traded somewhere that values him as one as well.

  9. pete2 April 5th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I am completely befuddled by the new rule. If that’s not blocking the plate I don’t know what is. Runners need to ignore the rule and just bowl them over since you can get hurt sliding into 200 lbs of meat wearing pads. He was also safe, although the angle I saw could be argued as inconclusive.

    If you want to end collisions just make the play at the plate a forceout like at 1B (whic triggers when a runner has past the halfway mark between 3B and home)

  10. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    “Phelps is not suited for a back end of the pen role. His stuff just is not good enough. I wonder why Joe didn’t go to Kelley there?”

    He’s still in the feeling out mode regarding the bullpen…..he does this every year. The only set role out there is Drob right now……he’s trying to figure out who can do what still.

    I think it’s pretty obvious now though that Pineda was the correct choice for the rotation…..he always was if healthy.

  11. MTU April 5th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Blake-

    Why wouldn’t he ?

    The velo was there.

    The control was there.

    The slider was wipeout.

    Even snuck in a few CU’s.

    Only concern is staying healthy.

    He looked even better than I was expecting.

  12. PhiltheThrill April 5th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Agree with JF. Phelps is a starter, and might be apprehensive about the Yankees patented bullpen shuffle. He’s sure pitching that way out of the pen.

  13. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I wonder why Joe didn’t go to Kelley there?

    Because there wasn’t a lead to protect.

  14. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    “I am completely befuddled by the new rule. If that’s not blocking the plate I don’t know what is. ”

    this is going to be very difficult on umpires…..you can block the plate if you have the ball but if the throw is online you basically have to be either on or close to the plate to catch the ball. Basically you have to allow the runner access to the plate with a slide unless you have the ball……it’s a very subjective thing and I think it’s gonna be an issue going forward. I think Cervelli should have been called safe by the rule……he was blocking the plate without the ball more or less……but I’m not sure umpires are going to enforce it…..

  15. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Phelps had some forearm issues, which are precursor symptoms to needing TJS, so he may be headed that way.

  16. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    MTU,
    even i didn’t expect that velocity…..I thought it would be better in ST because of the adrenaline etc…..but I was thinking probably a lot of 91′s and 92′s with maybe touching 94 a couple of times……he really was pitching at 93/94 the whole game and I saw a lot of 95′s……his last pitch was 95. Very encouraging…….I’ll be interested to see how he looks next start.

  17. Your Name Here April 5th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Cervelli and cheating….. shouldn’t those words be about last season?

  18. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    according to brooks baseball. Pineda averaged 94.4 mph today on his fastball and topped out at 96.1. That’s basically back to where he was with Seattle…..the average anyway……crazy

  19. austinmac April 5th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Cervelli better go borrow a 1B mitt for pre-game workouts.

  20. jmills April 5th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I don’t think Wendel Clark would like these new at home plate ways.

  21. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I think it’s pretty obvious now though that Pineda was the correct choice for the rotation…..he always was if healthy.

    I know some people thought that Pineda might stink, but for me it was more about Pineda’s ability to pitch a full season. Never really about his ability. I’m really curious if he can maintain the velocity he had today for the season and game to game.

    He basically averaged slightly less than he averaged in 2011, but with a more consistent middle and much less high end. If he did that for the full season that would be insane. By far the best recovery from shoulder surgery in the history of the game.

  22. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Blake it’s finally hit me why so many folks here and elsewhere were so concerned about the Yanks infield defense before the season started. Because there were no games to talk about. Once the season starts, people just don’t have a lot to say about infield defense because it simply doesn’t matter all that much. Something I’ve been saying for weeks.

    Once the games start, people, like today, talk about starting pitching. Or how a team performs with runners in scoring position. Or whether the Yanks need more power, or an extra bat. Or who should pitch the 7th. You never hear someone say, “well we would have surely won that game if Jeter had better range or Roberts had a better UZR rating.”

    I said in March that I expect the debate about the Yanks poor defense to be forgotten by May. I could be off by about a month.

  23. MTU April 5th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Blake-

    Even better.

    Velo and confidence will improve.

    He looked very comfortable out there.

    Extremely impressive.

    What a crew.

    Nova, Tanaka, and Pineda.

    :shock:

  24. jmills April 5th, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    And I know for a fact, Gordie Howe hates how you can’t utilize les elbows when required.

  25. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    “Blake it’s finally hit me why so many folks here and elsewhere were so concerned about the Yanks infield defense before the season started. Because there were no games to talk about. Once the season starts, people just don’t have a lot to say about infield defense because it simply doesn’t matter all that much. Something I’ve been saying for weeks.”

    I disagree Dan…..the infield in general is still a big problem.

  26. jmills April 5th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Bobby Orr got used to it fast. He had to fight.

  27. TheStraw April 5th, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    The Yanks seem like they always struggle against junk pitchers, especially knuckleballers. A shame this gam was right after one where the o woke up. Hope their timing isn’t messed up again now.

  28. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    He basically averaged slightly less than he averaged in 2011, but with a more consistent middle and much less high end. If he did that for the full season that would be insane. By far the best recovery from shoulder surgery in the history of the game.”

    I was really surprised he was throwing that hard…..and no walks! Tanaka and Pineda walked zero hitters between them in 13 innings……13 K’s and 0 walks

  29. austinmac April 5th, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I knew Pineda was throwing hard, but I didn’t realize it was that hard. Wow!

    The guys they have need to hit. They should be better than this. A home run would really be nice. Maybe tomorrow.

  30. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    If the CC from inning 3 on can stick around with the rest of this rotation then it’s as good as any in baseball 1-5. The Yanks don’t have a real stud like Verlander or Felix atop their rotation……but they could seriously end up with 5 starters who are all above average…..

  31. MTU April 5th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    One of the reasons that Pineda might have a better outcome is that there was absolutely no
    rotator cuff involvement.

    Prognosis that way might be a little better.

    In any case, I hope he can stay healthy.

    It is great to see.

    :)

  32. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    “I disagree Dan…..the infield in general is still a big problem.”

    —–

    Let me make the same clarification that I made last month. I expect the folks to stop discussing the Yanks infield defense by May. People will continue to debate the quality of the yanks “infield in general” all year and they will do that even if the team wins 100 games. Because that’s what fans do.

  33. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    They should sign Morales…..he can fill in for Tex and if Soriano doesn’t get going then he can just DH the rest of the season and they can cut Sori’s playing time back. I don’t know what it would take to sign him…..but they need to.

  34. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Once the season starts, people just don’t have a lot to say about infield defense because it simply doesn’t matter all that much

    You know why this is? Because defense is one of the hardest things to observe and take into account by fans. Why else would Yankee fans defend Derek Jeter so adamantly? Every play in a game seems to be considered relative to the fielder making it. So when you see a ball go by Kelly Johnson you think,”Welp that was a clean single, nothing he could do.” rather than ask yourself why KJ wasn’t even moving on a medium speed ground ball that was only 2 feet away from him. Every defender can dive to almost get to a ball, but if there are 3 defenders, maybe 1 of them ran 20 feet then dove, another ran 10 feet then dove, and another ran 5 feet then dove. If they all dive 1 foot from the ball it looks the same in the end but there is a difference in ability.

    If a batter fails to get a hit, he makes an out. Its very noticeable. If a pitcher gives up a HR, the enemy team scores. Very noticeable. If a fielder fails to make a play, you think “Pitcher gave up a hit, what a bum! He was supposed to get an out here!” rather than consider what part the fielder had to play in the equation.

    Thats why fielding metrics and the new FieldFX system are so important.

  35. TheStraw April 5th, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Beltran, McCann and Soriano are being counted on to drive in a lot of runs. Let’s hope they straighten themselves out once they get back home.

  36. jmills April 5th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    The league and it’s players knew, Orr’s knees were a weak spot, and there were some that took their liberties. Face down, Orr was done bad. Orr got up, and was the MVP of the ’76 Canada Cup!

  37. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    well yea the infield D won’t be a main topic of discussion now that the games have started…..because there is a lot more to talk about now…..but it’ll come up every time it costs them.

  38. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    The only time people notice bad defense is when errors are made, because those are noticeable and get counted against the fielder. I mean, fielding percentage is one of the most misleading stats in the game, since its only based on plays the fielder actually gets to.

  39. MTU April 5th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Blake-

    “If the CC from inning 3 on can stick around with the rest of this rotation then it’s as good as any in baseball 1-5. ”

    What have I been saying.

    :)

  40. jmills April 5th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Prufrock, you can take Lemieux all you want, thanks for letting me have Orr! :D

  41. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    You really need to watch other teams play some to get a feel for how bad the Yankees infield D is…..

    now the Yanks outfield is insane…..Gardner made a play look easy today that I thought for sure was a hit……he and Ellsbury are like Jordan and Pippen used to be…..release the Dobermans…..hard to find grass out there.

  42. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    win tomorrow and I’ll take 2 of 3 in Toronto any time……even if they stink it’s always hard for the Yanks to win up there for some reason. Losing today when Pineda pitched so well though really sucked……they really have to get Beltran going…..he’s kinda the Cano replacement in the middle of the lineup….he’s gotta hit for it to run right.

  43. jmills April 5th, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MSDw3tMa7ec#

    Bobby Orr

  44. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    You really need to watch other teams play some to get a feel for how bad the Yankees infield D is…..

    Yea really, thats the problem with defense. Its much easier to compare mentally hitters and pitchers. You have to really know the other defenders in the league to have a feel for how your own players are fielding.

  45. MTU April 5th, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Winning series is the name of the game.

    ;)

  46. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Abe Almonte has a HR, and he hit it in cavernous Oakland. The Yankees still have zero HRs, that sucks.

  47. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Wonder if the braves would do Romine for Meija?

  48. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I can’t believe they haven’t hit a HR yet…..

  49. pete2 April 5th, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Many fans have trouble seeing the issues with IF defense other than errors. Balls that go past a diving Jeter for example are filtered out, especially when YES does not bother to show the replay as to how little range he covered.

    Now Johnson is moved off of 3B so we don’t get to see that, which is a good thing, assuming his issues at 1B are lesser ones. Playing an unfamiliar position can also affect your offense.

    Over the course of a season giving up 20-30 runs over 162 games can cost you 2-3 wins, with the frequency of misplays or non-plays of about 2-3 times a week .

    The fact that it flies under fans radar does not mean its not important.

    Also, the biggest question on the IF was the health. Tex was a concern because of his wrist and he is aging and losing a year can’t help. Jeter and Roberts are still ongoing concerns and it appears both will be given plenty of rest having backups at the position who either may not hit as well or not field as well.

  50. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    “Thats why fielding metrics and the new FieldFX system are so important.”

    —-

    Hey I’m a huge fan of adding technology to baseball. But sometimes, when you are on the way to developing an important new tool, using that tool before it’s fully developed can confuse instead of enlighten. I think the current defensive metrics are seriously flawed, especially with respect to certain positions and especially when used for comparison over different eras.

    But here’s the real problem. How can you can compare the defensive abilities of two different third baseman now when the two players are playing different positions? With the emerging sophisticated defensive alignments, some third baseman are actually playing shortstop. And some third baseman are playing short right field.

    Will the new technology solve that problem?

  51. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    The Yankees have given up 18 runs so far this season and about 5 of them I can definitely say are infield related. So almost 30% of their runs, maybe more if you really look at the plays.

    And you can’t always just say that bad plays will come with no one on base, giving the pitching or defenders chances to make up for it. There are going to be bad plays in every situation, and thats not even talking about simple failures to get to balls.

  52. PhiltheThrill April 5th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    I believe Roger Clemens had shoulder surgery in college. So Pineda might not be the best comeback, though I hope he is right up there.

  53. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    “Over the course of a season giving up 20-30 runs over 162 games can cost you 2-3 wins, with the frequency of misplays or non-plays of about 2-3 times a week .”

    —-

    That’s a whole different flaw in the analysis. Converting runs saved to wins and losses. I’ve addressed this earlier regarding how baseball is a complex system and can’t be reduced to such simple analysis.

  54. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 5th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    “” Give it up ” trisha, I’m tired of Yankee fans bashing their hitting. Dickey, Loup, Cecil, Santos, got it done.”

    I certainly didn’t bash our hitting. I don’t think you’ve ever seen me do that. In fact I pointed out that Dickey pitched a great game, it’s hard to hit a knuckleballer when his stuff is on, and I even pointed out that good pitching can stop decent hitting.

    You must have me confused with someone else.

  55. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Will the new technology solve that problem?

    FieldFX should, since it tracks your position on the field for every player. So regardless of where you field it will still see how you react to balls.

  56. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    “The Yankees have given up 18 runs so far this season and about 5 of them I can definitely say are infield related. So almost 30% of their runs, maybe more if you really look at the plays. ”

    —-

    I’ve been tracking mis-plays, non-plays and errors relating to the infield for over 30 games now since the start of spring training. Not one of those events had even the remotest effect on any game result up to this point. Search my post for the specific details.

    As far as this regular season goes, if you have read my posts you will see explained how the contrary is true. Superior Yankee infield defense has been a positive factor in the team’s only two wins and infield defense had zero impact on the three losses.

  57. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    and infield defense had zero impact on the three losses.

    Unfortunately untrue.

  58. jmills April 5th, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Trish, sorry, wasn’t aiming at you in any way. I meant to say soley how I’m tired of Yankee fans bashing their hitting in the face of some great Jays pitching. Hey, mon ami, you are #1 in my stupid heart.

  59. blake April 5th, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    “As far as this regular season goes, if you have read my posts you will see explained how the contrary is true. Superior Yankee infield defense has been a positive factor in the team’s only two wins and infield defense had zero impact on the three losses.”

    superior defense? You’re talking about the double plays there turned where the balls where hit right at the fielders and high schoolers could have turned them?

  60. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:49 pm
    Will the new technology solve that problem?

    FieldFX should, since it tracks your position on the field for every player. So regardless of where you field it will still see how you react to balls.

    —-

    But can you compare the relative abilities of Longoria and say Machado if they both are playing different positions but are both labeled third baseman? It would be like comparing a third baseman to a second baseman. Or a third baseman to a left fielder. You may be able to give each an overall grade on how they react to balls but is it meaningful to compare players playing at very different points on the field. For instance, the throwing differences are completely different.

    And when so much of defensive performance is actually a product of positioning, is the ability of a fielder to react to a batted ball even that important? In a way, superior individual defensive skills are becoming devalued thereby distorting the whole concept of a one number valuation like WAR.

  61. MTU April 5th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Blake-

    I’m thinking Kendrys might be willing to settle for a pillow contract.

    I’d expect it would have be 10 Mil +

    Yankees aren’t doing it unless Tex is down for a while.

  62. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    But can you compare the relative abilities of Longoria and say Machado if they both are playing different positions but are both labeled third baseman?

    Yes, because first of all they aren’t going to be playing shifted positions 100% of the time and there are still qualities like first step and range to balls and route taken that are universal.

  63. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 5:56 pm
    and infield defense had zero impact on the three losses.

    Unfortunately untrue.

    —-

    As Warner would say “let’s go to the video tape!”

  64. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 5th, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    jmills, I definitely acknowledge that your pitching was great today. And I have faith in the quality of our hitters, believe me.

    A lot of Yankee fans find it easier to bash the hitting than to admit that superior pitching is going to stop even the best hitting. That’s why I pointed out for those lohud posters who are continually pointing to the Sux offense as the bomb, the Sux lost 8-2 last night.

    You know you’re #1 in my stupid heart, too.

    :)

  65. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    And when so much of defensive performance is actually a product of positioning, is the ability of a fielder to react to a batted ball even that important?

    Yes of course it is important. Because positioning might be 60% of fielding nowadays but you are never guaranteed to get the ball exactly where you are positioned. You only need to look at the Kelly Johnson non-play that you thought was a clean single to understand the importance of first step, range, and fielding ability.

    Another thing FieldFX will be able to do is tell us just how many plays are ones where the ball is hit ‘right at’ some guy. And then we can know just how important the other tools are.

  66. mick April 5th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    this isn’t on the defense, the middle of the order has stunk, if not for the rookie we might not have a win…shake up the lineup Joe..

  67. blake April 5th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Morales is better than Tex anyway and he’s an upgrade over Soriano at DH as well

  68. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    And heres another thing, if Longoria is so good and so rangey at third that his team is comfortable letting him play the ‘short’ position in a shift, then that says a lot about him and his ability versus Manny Machado if they make Machado play the middle position in any shift.

  69. mick April 5th, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    kelley didn’t come in b/c he was closing today…Joe went to the long men, Phelps and Nuno are the long men.

  70. blake April 5th, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    mick says:
    April 5, 2014 at 6:04 pm
    this isn’t on the defense, the middle of the order has stunk, if not for the rookie we might not have a win…shake up the lineup Joe..

    So far yes….but hopefully the offense will get it together at some point…..there isn’t much hope the infield will get better

  71. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    But can you compare the relative abilities of Longoria and say Machado if they both are playing different positions but are both labeled third baseman?

    Yes, because first of all they aren’t going to be playing shifted positions 100% of the time and there are still qualities like first step and range to balls and route taken that are universal.

    What if they are playing different positions 30% of the time. Or 50%. It would still distort the comparisons especially if they are playing on totally different sides of the infield which is sometimes the case.

    No, I see more problems ahead regarding quantifying defensive abilities. Especially for the infield.

  72. blake April 5th, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Granderson hit one far today

  73. blake April 5th, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    A lot of calls are being overturned so far by replay….it’s awesome….shows how bad it was needed

  74. mick April 5th, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Morales is a no brainer and when they get the results of the MRI, Boras will try to arrange a deal.
    If Tex comes back, worry about it then with a 1 year dealwe’ll figure out where to where to use that bat…bye bye Sori, we’re here to win the game…

  75. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 5th, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Until MLB shores up electronics for all aspects of the game, there will always be some kind of consternation – and deservedly so. We’ve seen how a bad call can change the entire complexion of a game – think the Ichiro overturned call, and the way the inning was ending if he had been called out.

    I’d rather get it right every time. Every single time. And the technology is there to do it.

    If you still want the umpires behind the plate, let them hold little electronic devices that tell them the balls and strikes, and then let them scream it out. Same with umpires in the field.

  76. mick April 5th, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    shows how bad it was needed
    ===============
    shows how bad the umps are

  77. jmills April 5th, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    trisha, thanks for being my friend.

  78. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 5th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    “A lot of calls are being overturned so far by replay….it’s awesome….shows how bad it was needed”

    Can I get an amen on that! As people may remember, I have yammered to get electronics on the field forever (jerkface has too. It’s one definite area we’re we’ve agreed.) That and wanting Selig as far away from the game as possible have been my two main craziness button pushers.

  79. MTU April 5th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Hal isn’t opening the wallet unless Tex is badly injured.

    Otherwise he would have finished the job in the 1st place.

  80. pete2 April 5th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    ” blake April 5th, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    A lot of calls are being overturned so far by replay….it’s awesome….shows how bad it was needed”
    =================

    Yet they are not overturning some that clearly should (they blew a call in the Pirates-Cubs game at 1B earlier this week and todays call). These are umpires after all doing the reviews and one wonder is they are biased against overturning some of the closer ones and making their friends look bad.

  81. mick April 5th, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Hal isn’t opening the wallet unless Tex is badly injured.
    ==========
    whats another 10m ?!?

  82. trisha - true pinstriped blue April 5th, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    jmills, I hope you always know it is totally mutual.

    :)

    Going to go out for a while to clear my head. It’s been a day!

  83. MTU April 5th, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Mick-

    Tell Hal that.

    You know the M.O.

    ;)

  84. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    “And heres another thing, if Longoria is so good and so rangey at third that his team is comfortable letting him play the ‘short’ position in a shift, then that says a lot about him and his ability versus Manny Machado if they make Machado play the middle position in any shift.”

    —–

    Now you are making a good point. But this point just proves what I’m saying. Longoria’s special quality is not something that can be easily measured. At least not quantitatively. He’s being asked to do something other third baseman are not being asked to do. It’s like Casey holding Whitey Ford back so he’d have to pitch against the other team’s ace. That’s not something WAR can value but it was a huge part of Whitey’s value to his team.

    This really goes to a larger issue. Does reducing baseball to simple numbers really improve understanding? To a certain point, absolutely. But past that point, new metrics can cause confusion. And often does.

    Hence the Yanks’ infield defense dilemma. Because of the game’s innate complexity, it is difficult, and perhaps too difficult to determine what impact the Yanks’ infield defense has had on specific game results. Unless of course you actually watch the games. And up to this point, it has had a positive impact for the team overall.

  85. MTU April 5th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Dinner bell ringing.

    later.

  86. mick April 5th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    MTU

    Hal wants to win it this year as he knows it will mean revenue like 09.
    Tex will need time to heal and they can use Morales bat.

  87. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Range and first step instinct can be proven by fieldfx

  88. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    So if Longoria has such good instincts and such good range that he can play the short position, it should show up on whatever numbers field FX spits out.

  89. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Yes of course it is important. Because positioning might be 60% of fielding nowadays but you are never guaranteed to get the ball exactly where you are positioned. You only need to look at the Kelly Johnson non-play that you thought was a clean single to understand the importance of first step, range, and fielding ability

    —–

    You really need to watch that play in last night’s game in the second inning in person. That ball was rocket and hit 10 feet to Johnson’s left. Brooks would not have gotten near that ball.

  90. pete2 April 5th, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    “I’ve been tracking mis-plays, non-plays and errors relating to the infield for over 30 games now since the start of spring training. Not one of those events had even the remotest effect on any game result up to this point. Search my post for the specific details.”
    =======================

    Over the course of the season the IF defense will cost the Yankees 2-3 games. That’s one game every 50-80 games. 30 games is too small a sample.

    2-3 games is significant in a tight race where the margin of error is low. It can be offset by above average offense, but so far the only IF’er who has produced to any significant degree has been Solarte.

    I am actually a bit more worried about the offense, a couple of the BP spots and CC although those may all work themselves out. The IF defense is what it is.

  91. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    You really need to watch that play in last night’s game in the second inning in person. That ball was rocket and hit 10 feet to Johnson’s left. Brooks would not have gotten near that ball.

    I saw it live and repeated multiple times. The only reason it looked like it wasn’t close was because Kelly Johnson A. didn’t even take a first step and B. when he did try to move he froze.

    Longoria, Beltre, Machado, Donaldson would have made that play or made it close. This is what I’m talking about with the perception of infield defense. You think it wasn’t close because Kelly Johnson made it appear that way. The problem variable in this situation was Kelly Johnson.

  92. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    So if Longoria has such good instincts and such good range that he can play the short position, it should show up on whatever numbers field FX spits out.

    —–

    No, I don’t think so. If Longoria is being asked to cover more of the field than another third baseman that’s not a skill that can measured by first step or even range. If you are sharing a side of the infield with another player you will approach a ball differently than if you have that side all to yourself. Once again, it’s like comparing a SS to a leftfielder. Apples and oranges.

  93. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    You can get by with a 3B who can only field the balls hit directly at him or that he can ‘fall’ to either side and field from the ground. If they hit.

  94. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    If you want an example of first step, compare JJ Hardy’s first step to Derek Jeter’s first step. Derek Jeter has one of the latest first steps for a SS in the game. Its no surprise his range is so below average.

  95. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    “I saw it live and repeated multiple times. The only reason it looked like it wasn’t close was because Kelly Johnson A. didn’t even take a first step and B. when he did try to move he froze.

    Longoria, Beltre, Machado, Donaldson would have made that play or made it close. This is what I’m talking about with the perception of infield defense. You think it wasn’t close because Kelly Johnson made it appear that way. The problem variable in this situation was Kelly Johnson.”

    ——

    No, no and no. Not even close. There are such things as clean ground ball singles. Like I said, not even Brooks makes that play. Or Clete. Or even Ken Keltner! Joe would tell you that.

  96. Jerkface April 5th, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Its a shame you hold such a low opinion of multiple very good third basemen.

  97. bigdan22 April 5th, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    “2-3 games is significant in a tight race where the margin of error is low. It can be offset by above average offense, but so far the only IF’er who has produced to any significant degree has been Solarte.”

    —-

    I don’t believe an individual’s offense “offsets” his defense. I believe pitching can and does offset poor defense. I think Casey had a different view. There’s was a player who he had that frustrated him because according to Casey, he’d drive in one run and give up two in the field. Can’t remember who that was.

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    And this, said the southern declaration, would lead to bitter hostility and war between North and South. The declaration called on the people of the South to unite and be firm in their opposition to the North.

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