Umps' foul play taints postseason
The baseball is compelling, the umpiring dreadful.
Some of the Twins contingent were apoplectic about umpire
As if it's bad enough that there's close to a $140 million payroll disparity between the Twins and Yankees, many a Twin left the Bronx feeling it wasn't a fair playing field, even beyond the bucks.
"It's a [bleeping] joke,'' one Twins source said. "What are the consequences?"
There are no immediate consequences, as crew chief
Cuzzi doesn't have that sort of negative rep (unless you're
• Take a look at its points system or who's grading the papers, one or the other.
• Look at whether it's worthwhile to have umpires down the outfield lines. Tschida noted it's "uncomfortable'' working those lines because of footwork difficulties.
• Require the umpire in question to come out to face reporters, just as the players do. Unlike players who mess up, umps are allowed to take the fifth unless they are in charge.
Tschida, a true pro, handled the questions perfectly well. But he wasn't the one who messed up.
"I hope everyone goes in to ask the umpire about it. I wasn't the only one who blew one tonight,'' said closer
"I think everyone knows the Yankees caught a break,'' Nathan also said. "It was eight inches inside the line. So I don't know how he missed it.''
Tschida said Cuzzi was back in the umpire room, feeling as bad as he could.
"They said nobody feels worse about it. But how about the guys in this room?'' a Twins source said about his own clubhouse.
Twins executives weren't too pleased either, phoning in to the league office to complain, which is something they didn't do on the field. Mauer said he missed it since he was running, and since the ball was deep in the corner, it could only be seen by third-base coach
MVP-in-waiting Mauer, who takes reasonableness to a new level, actually singled after having his double taken away. And since
But it was hard for most not to focus on the umpiring error. Afterward, Twins executives gathered in a small side room, watching MLB Network and shaking their heads. They especially didn't like the part where Tschida noted that there are no repercussions "other than we just feel horribly when that happens to us, you know?''
There was nothing more he could say.
One place that seems to make sense is the Mariners, since they have a potential DH opening with
Matsui's first choice is the Yankees. But
The Yankees have determined that if they get to the ALCS,
The Yankees will either employ bargain-basement pickup
When I inquired whether this might mean that Chamberlain might be shifted to the bullpen next year, I was told by a Yankees source, "We're really not thinking past the Twins yet.'' But Joba's 9-6 season with a 4.75 ERA was a rare disappointment for the Yankees. He also had a 5.40 ERA in the second half, which was even worse.
That could mean that 1) the Yankees really are not thinking about anything past the Twins, or 2) they no longer view Joba as the savior starter of the future. Yankees higherups have been steadfast supporters of the disappointing Chamberlain. But of course, it's easy to give him every chance in the regular season. Now, when the games count, real opinions are learned. Chamberlain came into the game in the seventh inning of Game 2, but Girardi removed him after two outs were made and as soon as one Twin reached base. Girardi didn't let Chamberlain face a left-handed batter with a runner on first base.
If Chamberlain is taking this personally, he isn't saying, "I'm good," he said. "You can't think about it. Whatever situation comes up, it comes up.''
The first time I started to wonder whether Chamberlain's status was falling was when I heard Yankees people saying they might consider including him in a trade if the Blue Jays ever truly considered trading
Chamberlain has been easily outpitched by Gaudin, a terrific pickup who's yet to lose a start. But this is more about Chamberlain than Gaudin. In the long run, some baseball people believe Hughes might make a better starter than Chamberlain. While Chamberlain has a more diverse repertoire, Hughes has a greater ability to think on the mound. Chamberlain is more of an adrenaline pitcher, which is conducive to relief.
• The Phillies know that this winter will be a good time to try to lock up
• Burnett, by the way, pitched well enough that presumably he gets to have
• There seems to be a little buzz to the talk of