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October 23, 2006
  
On Pitch Sequences and Missed Opportunities
by: Dan Scotto on Oct 23, 2006 12:58 AM | Filed under: Articles

As a baseball fan, I think that the greatest gift that Major League Baseball Advanced Media has given us this postseason has been Enhanced Gameday. MLB.com’s Enhanced Gameday tracks pitches from the pitcher’s hand to the catcher’s glove, offering the speed and tracking of every pitch.

The Mets put together a great run this year, undoubtedly. It ended a bit earlier than Mets fans would have liked, though, and I’d like to take a look at one particularly influential at bat, with the help of this wonderful toy.

The following is a picture of Scott Spiezio’s Game 2 at bat against Guillermo Mota. You’ve probably seen it a few hundred times on TV by this point, and it continues to haunt me, as a Mets fan.

That’s a screen shot from Enhanced Gameday’s depiction of the at bat (click image to enlarge). I added in the numbers, but the rest is what you’d see if you checked out MLB.com.

The situation was as follows: with two outs and runners on first and second, Scott Spiezio, who was in because of Scott Rolen’s injury, strode to the plate. Spiezio has a strong track record in these situations, but, for all of that, he’s still Scott Spiezio.

If nothing else, Guillermo Mota can make hitters look awfully silly, and the first two pitches to Scott Spiezio did just that. The first pitch was an 88 mph changeup off the plate and at the waist. Spiezio swung and missed.

The second pitch was another 88 mph changeup, this one low and off the plate. Spiezio flailed wildly at it.

The crowd rose in anticipation. Mota looked in for the sign, and fired a 99 mph heater low and in the center of the plate. Spiezio yanked it foul.

This was a real accomplishment. Spiezio had gotten out in front of a 99 mph fastball after having been badly fooled by a couple of changeups. The count remained 0-2. Paul Lo Duca, the good catcher that he is, wisely decided to trot out to the mound to discuss the 4th pitch of the at bat with Mota. Apparently, they decided to come back with an outside fastball, if we can judge based on the position of Lo Duca’s glove.

Mota missed his spot by only a few inches, leaving it right out over the plate. Spiezio timed it a little better this time and smoked a shot to right. Shawn Green got to the wall and had the opportunity to make an amazing catch. He didn’t and shouldn’t be criticized for it; he’s not out there for his defense, and even the best of outfielders might not have made that play. Both runners scored and the game was tied. Spiezio wound up on third with a well earned triple.

I criticized the pitch choice at the time and remain perplexed by it even now. I don’t agree with the logic of the pitch sequence. I can understand the idea of trying to surprise the batter, but Spiezio had looked so inept at the two off-speed pitches that it would have made sense, it seems, to try to get him to chase something off-speed and out of the zone.

I’m neither a pitcher, nor a former pitcher, nor a pitching coach. I write for a baseball blog and am a mere fan and mortal. I do believe, though, that there’s a lot to be learned from things like examining pitch sequences and frequency. Apparently, the Mets agree with that statement. According to Joel Sherman’s piece, an analysis of pitch selection had indicated that Mota was straying from the use of his changeup, the pitch that brought him great success (when used in conjunction with the fastball) back in his days with Los Angeles.

To combine these two thoughts, I don’t believe that pitch selection, sequencing, and approaches should be considered outside the realm of statistical analysis and the analysis of the layman fan. But, more importantly, I think that common sense would have gone a long way in this spot. They should have tried to get Spiezio to chase a pitch out of the strike zone with the count at 0-2, and it’s tough to justify not approaching it that way. He’s not immune to striking out, a wild pitch would not have scored a run, and he had just proven his ability to get around on the fastball.

I hate to put so much emphasis on one play, or even one pitch. I also hate to scapegoat, and that’s not my intention. Pitchers make mistakes in location sometimes, and that’s excusable. This, however, was pretty poor pitch sequencing, and that’s a lot less excusable. And, while it wasn’t decisive (like the Heilman pitch to Molina in Game 7), it certainly was a big part of the elimination.


96 Responses to “On Pitch Sequences and Missed Opportunities”

  1. Comment posted by Mr J on October 23, 2006 at 2:23 am (#145430)

    Mota missed his spot by only a few inches

    Well, it is a game of inches, after all. And while I appreciate your astute observations, in my observation a pitcher hitting his spot is much more important than pitch selection. A mis-spotted change-up could have been equally disastrous for Mota. In game 7 of the series, Yadier Molina demonstrated perfectly (and tragically) what can happen to a mis-spotted change-up. And even given the mis-spotted fastball, Spiezio still had to put a quality swing on it.

    The Mets lost the series because in a handful of crucial at bats, both at the plate and on the mound, they were beaten by quality swings or quality pitches from extremely talented competitors. I don’t believe there was a mistake, or series of mistakes, by the Mets that, if reversed, would have changed the outcome of the series. Sometimes, you just get beat, and this was one of those times.

  2. Comment posted by benny blanco from da bronx on October 23, 2006 at 2:47 am (#145433)

    I don’t know how others feel but me personally, I don’t want to read or hear any more about the Mets in 2006.
    I really appreciate the time and effort Dan but to me, its all about 2007.
    Time for Free agent signings and trade, its all about the Hot Stove, baby!
    Time to look forward not backwards.

  3. Comment posted by What was that Mienkiecwicz? on October 23, 2006 at 3:21 am (#145439)

    The whole series seemed to be based on inches. Every single break when it came to a ball just being in the stands or being fair over foul or being over the fence went the Cardinals way, Shawn Green just missing that catch being an example. I think that all was made up for by Chavez’s “The Catch.” In any event Dan I think you make good points, but I’m still a little in too much pain to really get into it.

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  5. Comment posted by JK47 on October 23, 2006 at 4:12 am (#145448)

    Dan may very well be right– that may have been a questionable move to call for the fastball. But you’re talking about one pitch in a series with literally thousands of pitches in it. Our hitters did not swing the bat well, and that’s the bottom line.

    We lost game two by a score of 9-6. In our other losses, we scored 0, 1 and 2 runs. If you average one run per game you are usually going to lose. Obsessing over one pitch sequence in game two seems a little pointless. We didn’t swing the bats. End of story.

    We held the Cardinals to 28 runs in seven games. That should have been good enough to win. Don’t blame the pitchers. They did their job.

  6. Comment posted by Dave Magadan on October 23, 2006 at 5:06 am (#145457)

    agreed JK you can blame 3-4 pitches but we couldnt score. Maine did a good job so did Ollie and Glavine the only one who blew big time was Trachs and Wags for that matter. THe hitting let us down. I think Floyd healthy and we win the series. The bottom half of the order was scarce.

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  8. Comment posted by Alex Nelson on October 23, 2006 at 8:27 am (#145476)

    While there’s no doubt that the series came down to plenty of things — Trachsel’s awful pitching performance, Wagner’s failure, and the offense’s repeated inability to score runs.

    But the only game that infuriated me when we lost was Game 2. Even Game 7 didn’t bother me nearly as much. If the Mets win that game, the series suddenly has a very different shape to it. And Mota’s inability to get Spiezio out was a very big part of that loss.

    It certainly wasn’t the only reason we lost, but it could have made a big difference.

  9. Comment posted by Evan on October 23, 2006 at 8:34 am (#145480)

    I personally would have felt better if we were dominated by pitching in game 2. Everyone knows good pitching beats hitting, but our offense is better than the cards and in a battle of the bats we should win, and we didn’t in game two.

  10. Comment posted by Mr Nice Guy on October 23, 2006 at 9:09 am (#145490)

    yep, The Mets had game 2 in their hands and Mota blew it. Many bad desicions cost them the series. Game 2, Game 5 leaving Glavine in a little too long when he was getting bashed, game 7 leaving Heilman in and not bunting a few times.
    next year will be better.
    Staring line up
    Reyes
    LoDuca
    Soriano
    Delgado
    Beltran
    Wright
    Valentin
    Chavez
    Pitchers - Maine, Ollie P, El Duque, Dontrelle willis, Maybe Zito and Pedro after all star break.
    Bullpen - Mota, Feliciano, Bradford, Wagner, Duaner Sanchez, Royce Ring, Someone else.
    Heilman, Milledge will be traded for Dontrelle willis
    Woodward, Floyd, Traschel, and Glavine will not be back
    Green will be a back up, Anderson Hernandez will be a back up and so will Castro.

  11. Comment posted by Danny on October 23, 2006 at 9:29 am (#145495)

    I was in a hospital waiting room watching this game and waiting for my brother’s daughter to be born when this at-bat happened. I thought the exact same thing that Dan is saying in the article. You guys can say that one pitch doesn’t make a series and all that, but I disagree. Spiezio’s 2-run triple brought the Cardinals back from the dead. We had beaten up on their “ace”, and had our foot placed on their throats… and then we let them off the mat. The most confounding part to me is that Spiezio had looked HORRIBLE on the first 2 changeups, had yanked that inside fastball 400 feet (the KEY of the at-bat, it meant Spiezio was clearly looking fastball on every pitch), and yet they came back with another fastball. An awful decision. It makes no sense. But then again, Lo Duca (who I love), also kept going to the inside fastball to Rolen in Game 7, and he started clearly cheating on it, yet Lo Duca kept going there, and only one of the most brilliant defensive plays in postseason history prevented Rolen from being the hero. Oh, and Rolen also got a hit on an inside fastball to score the eventual winning run in the 9th. But I digress…

    It hurts to think about. I am with Benny, let’s move on to the Hot Stove and 2007. We’ll be right back in the mix for everything big. It’s a great time to be a Mets fan.

  12. Comment posted by Mr Nice Guy on October 23, 2006 at 9:50 am (#145499)

    Maybe The Mets should get a new hitting coach? Down did a poor job helping his players get their bats going down the stretch. He didnt help Wright fix his problems and their Fundi’s ( as K hernandez would say) were just plain awful in the playoffs. They have to be able to make contact in these situations they didnt come through on. They looked lost taking strikes when the games were on the line. game 5 and 7 especially.
    Willie needs to take some blame as well. Leaving wags to get bombed when the game is tied in the 9th was a terrible move and leaving Heilman in after he gave up a hit in the 9th with a fully rested bullpen was the killer.

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  14. Comment posted by 86Forever on October 23, 2006 at 9:52 am (#145500)

    I’m with Danny AND Benny. I still don’t understand the reasoning on the pitch selection to Spezio. It was dreadful. That said, time to look forward. I want a heartbreaking game 7 loss for the Cards,and full stoke on the Metties’ Hot Stove.

  15. Comment posted by john on October 23, 2006 at 10:23 am (#145506)

    I could have sworn that lo duca said on WFAN he wanted the changeup and thats why he walked to the mound because mota kept shaking it off…..when he got to the mound mota basically said im throwing the fastball….so loduca left and we all know what happened after that.

  16. Comment posted by Nick in Westchestah on October 23, 2006 at 10:24 am (#145508)

    This is kind of a grim topic, isn’t it?

  17. Comment posted by Lister/Ahoy Polloi on October 23, 2006 at 10:30 am (#145511)

    This topic is the grimmest. In other news, Kenny Rogers has poop on his hands and Yadier Molina is officially a prick. The dude just jaws all game and part of me hopes for some confrontations next year - a beanball war with these clowns. Hit Yadier in the head, Mota.

  18. Comment posted by john on October 23, 2006 at 10:34 am (#145513)

    This kenny rogers thing confuses the hell outta me……..since when did he become this big game pitcher.

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  20. Comment posted by 86Forever on October 23, 2006 at 10:35 am (#145514)

    I want as many of us as possible to sign up for heading to St. Louis for the opening series next year to wreak havoc at Busch League Stadium. I, for one, am there.

  21. Comment posted by Future on October 23, 2006 at 10:37 am (#145516)

    John, when he started putting pine tar on his hand.

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  23. Comment posted by 86Forever on October 23, 2006 at 10:40 am (#145517)

    I wish he started taking dumps on his hand back in 1999. Maybe he could have thrown a strike to Andruw (Can I buy an E, Pat) Jones.

  24. Comment posted by Nick in Westchestah on October 23, 2006 at 10:44 am (#145518)

    Rogers is feeding off of the crowd… that and whatever they’re shooting him up with. Seriously, this guy looked like he was about to run amuck in downtown Detroit last night, flipping over cars. Go Tigers (sorry, but I just can’t root for the Cards right now, even if they are representing the NL).

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  26. Comment posted by 86Forever on October 23, 2006 at 10:50 am (#145520)

    I’m not rooting for Cards either, but I certainly can’t root for Rogers. I was hoping for an early knock-out of both starters last night, with the Tigers winning 9-8 in the 10th on an Adam Wainwright balk. Oh well, a boy can hope.

    And you are exactly right about Rogers. Go back to the playoff game against the Yanks, and now the series, and overlay that with his performance. This guy used to be in a catatonic stupor on the mound. When he walked Jones in ‘99, his reaction was completely nil. Clearly, this guy is dealing with some major roids swings.

    Anyone know where I can get some HGH?

  27. Comment posted by john on October 23, 2006 at 10:54 am (#145521)

    I want as many of us as possible to sign up for heading to St. Louis for the opening series next year to wreak havoc at Busch League Stadium. I, for one, am there.

    Me and my girlfriend usually take a trip to pittsburgh but since thats not on the weekend next year I was actually thinking about taking an extended weekend in april and going to st.louis…….im trying to see as many parks as possible….so i think i will be there opening day…..wonder if its hard to get tickets there for an opening day

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  29. Comment posted by 86Forever on October 23, 2006 at 11:06 am (#145523)

    I plan on being there for the entire series. We should get a group to tailgate, hold signs and be general nuisances.

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  31. Comment posted by Ellis Dee on October 23, 2006 at 11:06 am (#145524)

    I think game 2 was a key to the series as some have suggested here. Although, I look to earlier in the game as the turning point. I think it was the 2nd inning when Delgado made the error that allowed 2 runs to score.

    No, I’m not blamming Carlos for the loss because he was a big reason why we scored that many runs in the game. However, that error gave the Cards hope when they were down 3-0 after having lost the 1st game.

    We had them on the ropes and let them off giving them new life again. Their attitude changed after that play. Instead of being down 3-0 it was now 3-2, and the momentum had shifted.

  32. Comment posted by Nick in Westchestah on October 23, 2006 at 11:07 am (#145525)

    I think that Redbird guy who posted here last week single handedly convinced me of how awful and despicable the Cards fans and franchise is. For the record, I really don’t want Suppan on the Mets next season. Tigers in 5.

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  34. Comment posted by Ellis Dee on October 23, 2006 at 11:11 am (#145526)

    this guy looked like he was about to run amuck in downtown Detroit last night, flipping over cars.

    LOL, Nick, that says it all.

  35. Comment posted by john on October 23, 2006 at 11:20 am (#145528)

    I plan on being there for the entire series. We should get a group to tailgate, hold signs and be general nuisances.

    Have you gone to the new stadium there yet? How is it?

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  37. Comment posted by Craig on October 23, 2006 at 11:22 am (#145529)

    The Mets had game 2 in their hands and Mota blew it. Many bad desicions cost them the series. Game 2, Game 5 leaving Glavine in a little too long when he was getting bashed, game 7 leaving Heilman in and not bunting a few times.

    The one decision that I am completely unwilling to accept is that Heilman was left in too long in Game 7. He had been nothing short of dominant in the 8th and then was zipping along in the 9th as well until he just left a fat pitch up and over the plate. It had nothing to do with fatigue. I love how everyone wants Heilman to be a starter but then complains when he gets left in for more than an inning.

    Forget the fact that I personally trusted Heilman a lot more in that spot than Wagner since he had been pitching much better than him for the entire postseason. But the way that game was going it seemed destined to go to extra innings, in which case you want to maximize the innings that you have your best relievers on the mound. And that is the most important aspect, because no matter what happened in the top of the ninth, THE PITCHER’S SPOT WAS DUE UP THIRD IN THE BOTTOM OF THE INNING. So even if you bring in Wagner and he gets them 1-2-3, you’re going to have to pinch hit for him. So using Heilman was a no-brainer because he would hit his 2-inning limit and you have a chance to get 4 innings out of him and Wags combined rather than a maximum of 2.

  38. Comment posted by Hubie on October 23, 2006 at 11:27 am (#145532)

    Just one quick comment. Although Mota’s bad pitch allowed the game to be tied, who knows if Wags would have protected the lead anyhow. He came into a tied game and got shelled and there is a good chance he would have squandered the 2 run lead anyhow.

    I do see your points Dan but even if Mota gets out of that inning, plenty still had to happen in that game for us to win.

  39. Comment posted by Nick in Westchestah on October 23, 2006 at 11:36 am (#145536)

    Hubie–its a huge hypothetical, but I’d wager on Wagner in an actual save situation getting the job done if Mota got out of that inning.

  40. Comment posted by Hubie on October 23, 2006 at 11:41 am (#145539)

    Nick, it a a huge hypothetical both ways. You can’t assume if Mota’s gets out of the inning, then the 8th and 9th innings go smoothly and the Cards roll over like a bunch of dogs. I think its safe to say given Wags performance in the LCS, a 2 run lead was by no means safe and a guaranteed win.

  41. Comment posted by john on October 23, 2006 at 11:51 am (#145541)

    Whether or not wags would have gotten outta it or not, i believe the mota play swung the momentum in the cards favor. If mota hits his spot (or throws the change) and gets outta it with the lead intact….i have a feeling it be a very different story in game 2

  42. Comment posted by SoCal Metfan on October 23, 2006 at 11:59 am (#145543)

    What I want to know is why wasn’t Kenny Rogers thrown out of the game last night? Rule 8.02(b) says:

    “The pitchers shall not have on his person, or in his possession, any
    foreign substance. For such infraction of this section (b) the penalty
    shall be immediate ejection from the game. In addition, the pitcher
    shall be suspended automatically for 10 games.”

    Rogers shoulda been tossed and be inelligible for the rest of the postseason. Damn cheater.

  43. Comment posted by Mike on October 23, 2006 at 12:01 pm (#145544)

    Interesting post and comments. It was hard to watch then, hard to read now.

    And that’s before I even start thinking of Spiezio’s friggin pink landing strip.

    I think LoDuca’s very good behind the plate, and his bat was good all post-season. He made every play he was expected to make, plus a few tough ones. All that being said, he didn’t call a good game this time around: Spiezio’s triple, Taguchi’s home run, Rolen’s near home run all came on questionable pitch selection.

    Whatever. Here’s to ‘07.

  44. Comment posted by Nick in Westchestah on October 23, 2006 at 12:05 pm (#145547)

    SoCal Metfan–I haven’t followed the story much, but dirt isn’t a foreign substance, and isn’t that what was smeared on his hand? Also, I’m just fine with Kenny “Wild Elephant” Rogers not being thrown out if it angers Cardinal fans.

  45. Comment posted by SoCal Metfan on October 23, 2006 at 12:08 pm (#145549)

    Actually, Nick, dirt is a foreign substance.

    It baffles me that Rogers cheated, and the umps didn’t enforce the rules.

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  47. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 12:11 pm (#145551)

    Ah that’s not totally true. That would mean any pitcher that slides into a base and gets dirt on his uniform should be ejected.

    I dont think dirt is a foreign substance based on what i heard on mike and mike this morning.

  48. Comment posted by SoCal Metfan on October 23, 2006 at 12:12 pm (#145552)

    Oh yeah, and we don’t know what it was on his hand. Rogers won’t say.

    Todd Jones says it might be chocolate cake. Yeah, right.

  49. Comment posted by Nick in Westchestah on October 23, 2006 at 12:13 pm (#145553)

    Ok, I looked at the clips, and yes, thats probably pine tar on his hand. I’ll defer to my original statement however–if it bothers the Cards, then I’m ok with it. Rogers could have doused the ball with gasoline, ignited it, then hurled it at Spezio’s goofy facial hair (aka, “the tickler”) and I’d be ok with that.

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  51. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 12:13 pm (#145554)

    lol chocolate cake, that’s funny.

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  53. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 12:14 pm (#145555)

    i agree with Nick. I say use more of it, kenny share your tricks of the trade with Nate Roberston.

    Whatever it takes to keep those redbirds from the crown will make the dpty happy.

  54. Comment posted by SoCal Metfan on October 23, 2006 at 12:16 pm (#145556)

    If a pitcher slides into a base, he’s supposed to remove the dirt from his hands before resuming pitching.

    Not to mention that I really don’t think it was dirt. If it was dirt, he got *very* consistantly dirty, in the exact same spot on his pitching hand for 3 postseasons starts.

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  56. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 12:17 pm (#145558)

    I agree SoCal…but the rule never says hands, it says on your person.

    I agree it wasnt dirt…the pics on ESPN are funny, exact same spot he had “dirt” on his hand for the LCS.

    I’m surprised Larussa didnt argue more…

  57. Comment posted by SoCal Metfan on October 23, 2006 at 12:18 pm (#145559)

    Eff the Tigers. I hate cheaters more than I hate the Cards. Rogers sullies the integrity of the game with that crap. And baseball sullies itself by tolerating it.

  58. Comment posted by Heath Bell on October 23, 2006 at 12:18 pm (#145560)

    For the record, I always have chocolate cake on my hands after waddling out of the bullpen. And some pizza, and some donughts, and some doritos, and some butter, mmm, butter…

  59. Comment posted by SoCal Metfan on October 23, 2006 at 12:23 pm (#145561)

    The only thing I can think of that makes sense for LaRussa not arguing more is that his guy was working with a doctored ball too. Didn’t want to get busted for the same offense.

  60. Comment posted by Lister/Ahoy Polloi on October 23, 2006 at 12:24 pm (#145562)

    Rogers sullies the integrity of the game with that crap.

    Plenty of careers have been made out of the surreptitious use of grease, goo, and/or chocolate cake. Relax - that sort of cheating has been a part of the game forever. If you get caught, you get caught, but IMO it’s not tantamount to using HGH (Pujols…).

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  62. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 12:27 pm (#145563)

    and imo orel hershiser was definitely doctoring the ball when he was on the mets in the late 90’s.

    his 83MPH junk had some nasty movement….

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  64. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 12:28 pm (#145564)

    How bout my #16th ranked Scarlet Knights!!! Who would’ve thunk it!!!!

    Look out Irish, the Scarlet are on the move LOL!!!!

  65. Comment posted by SoCal Metfan on October 23, 2006 at 12:31 pm (#145565)

    That permissive attitude is part of the problem.

    There’s rules against this exact cheating, and baseball looks the other way. It’s the exact same dynamic that happens with steriods, that has lead baseball to a point where some of it’s more hallowed records are tainted. That’s right Barry Bonds, I’m talking to you.

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  67. Comment posted by chris in ga on October 23, 2006 at 1:05 pm (#145579)

    WHaaaaaaaaats upppppppppppp!

    Sooooooooooory I haveeeeeeee Shhhhhhhhhhhhoe Polisssssssssssssshhhhh on mmmmmmyy fingeeeeeeers…. Makkkkkkeeesss it reallllllly hhhhharddddd ttoo ttttyyyyppppeeee

  68. Comment posted by RobbieB on October 23, 2006 at 1:12 pm (#145580)

    I was at Game 1 and 2 NLDS, unbelievable games…..and I was at Game 2 and Game 7 of the NLCS…i didn’t know if I wanted to cry or puke.

    I attended at least 25 regular season games this year at Shea and went to see them play in Philly, Pitt, and Chicago and I must say that although we came up short in a gut wrenching game 7 loss, I enjoyed this season more than any other season outside of 1986.

    I have talked to alot of Non-Met fans since the Game 7 loss and they tell me that us met fans are so lucky because unlike their team (whether they be the yankees, the red sox, etc.) we have a great core of guys, on and off the field. They tell me how they wish they had guys like that on their team and telling me how much fun they had watching our team, the mets, play. If you take a step back from the heartbreak you will see that this is true. We have the most entertaining team there is in MLB. And all we have to do in 2007 is add some cocky-ness and we will have a 2007 Met Team that will be the most envied, hated, exciting team to watch and play against………just like our 86 Mets!!!!!!

    LETS GO METS!!!!

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  70. Comment posted by chris in ga on October 23, 2006 at 1:15 pm (#145583)

    *washes off SHoe polish*

    So I opened my paper this morning and they say here in Georgia, the Braves even if they dump Giles’ contract on someone or non tender him, they won’t have much money for Glavine.

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  72. Comment posted by chris in ga on October 23, 2006 at 1:16 pm (#145584)

    MOyer just signed on with the Phillies for 2 seasons. Delgado is already licking his chops

  73. Comment posted by RobbieB on October 23, 2006 at 1:25 pm (#145587)

    I bet you the Endy catch and the LoDuca 2 outs at home would have cracked the top 10 best plays in playoff history

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  75. Comment posted by 86Forever on October 23, 2006 at 1:36 pm (#145589)

    I don’t think it was shoe polish … I think it’s left over residue after he crapped his pants against the Braves in ‘99.

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  77. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 2:01 pm (#145597)

    2 Things:

    Who honestly believes Kenny Rogers is dumb enough to have a foreign substance be so visible? I don’t. If he was gonna cheat, he’d be smart enought to do it in a way the cameras cant pick it up.

    I dont view doctoring the ball on anywhere even close to the level of steroid abuse. I just don’t. doctoring the ball has been part of the game for a loooong time, and its something on the field that you’re doing that can easily be caught by the umpire, its not something that medical tests are needed to get caught. I’m not saying I’m right, but that’s just the way I view it.

  78. Comment posted by Danny on October 23, 2006 at 2:10 pm (#145601)

    Who honestly believes Kenny Rogers is dumb enough to have a foreign substance be so visible?

    **raising hand**

    Only because I hate Kenny Rogers. I also agree that doctoring the ball falls behind steroids. The fact is, he washed it off after the first inning, and then shut those guys out for 7 more innings. What is St. Louis’ excuse for that? I am pretty sure that is why LaRussa told the guys not to bitch and whine about it.

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  80. Comment posted by 86Forever on October 23, 2006 at 2:13 pm (#145602)

    Who honestly believes Kenny Rogers is dumb enough to have a foreign substance be so visible?

    First off, Dpty, I completely agree on steroids and doctoring the ball. There is no comparison in my mind.

    Frankly, I don’t really care much what was on his hand, or whether or not he was doctoring the ball. That said, let’s not overestimate the intelligence here. Most of these guys aren’t missing MENSA meetings to play these games. See Joe Neikro have a nail file drop out of his back pocket. See Jay Howell have pine tar dripping off his glove in the ‘88 playoffs. See Graig Nettles have superballs floy out of his sawed off bat. See Sosa — well, for anything. You get the point.

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  82. Comment posted by 86Forever on October 23, 2006 at 2:13 pm (#145604)

    Oops - I reversed the block quotes there … guess I’m not missing any MENSA meetings either …

  83. Comment posted by SoCal Metfan on October 23, 2006 at 2:35 pm (#145609)

    For the record, I’m not saying doctoring the ball is the steroid abuse. I’m saying that the permissive, look-the-other-way attitude that “It’s just part of the game” is similar to the way baseball dealt with steroids for many years. It’s troublesome, and I hate it.

    And I do believe Rogers is dumb enough to have it visible. He got away with it for 2 games, why wouldn’t he believe he could get away with it again? In fact, he did get away with it again. The rules don’t say, if you get caught, you wash it off. It says you get tossed. Rogers shoulda been tossed.

    On a positive note, reports are that the new collective bargaining agreement has been tentatively approved. First time in that an agreement has been made before the previous one expired. Haven’t found any news of whether FA compensation is in or out.

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  85. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 2:39 pm (#145612)

    word is FA comp is out.

    I refuse to defend the intelligence of the Gambler. So I’ll roll with y’all and agree he’s dumb enough.

  86. Comment posted by Nick in Westchester on October 23, 2006 at 2:55 pm (#145617)

    RE: Rogers, I really do think they gave him a shot of something going into the ALDS… There’s no other explanation for his postseason performance. Pine tar only helps to much.

  87. Comment posted by udamnwright on October 23, 2006 at 3:23 pm (#145638)

    2:10 pm (#145601)

    Who honestly believes Kenny Rogers is dumb enough to have a foreign substance be so visible?

    **raising hand**

    Only because I hate Kenny Rogers. I also agree that doctoring the ball falls behind steroids. The fact is, he washed it off after the first inning, and then shut those guys out for 7 more innings. What is St. Louis’ excuse for that? I am pretty sure that is why LaRussa told the guys not to bitch and whine about it

    I agree Rogers had pine tar on his hand and may have had some hidden on his hat somewhere and doctoring a ball is very different than steriods.

  88. Comment posted by Future on October 23, 2006 at 3:24 pm (#145639)

    Yeah, I don’t know how his fastball jumped to 92-93 on the gun.

    Of course, Fox’s gun looks off to me, but Kenny wasn’t like this at all during the reg. season.

  89. Comment posted by Randy on October 23, 2006 at 3:35 pm (#145640)

    I agree about the Fox radar gun. Zumaya is a stud, but according to them, he breaks the speed of sound regularly.

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  91. Comment posted by David Lee Roth (Metsfan since 9/28/06) on October 23, 2006 at 3:47 pm (#145643)

    I rewrote the lyrics to a queen song. This one goes out to the Gambler

    “Kenny you’re a boy make a big dookie
    Playin’ in the Park gonna be a big man today
    You got crap on yo’ hand
    You big disgrace
    crapin’ your crap all over the place

    We will we will warn you
    Singin’
    We will we will warn you

    Kenny you’re a young man hard man
    Shoutin’ in the street gonna take on cameramen some day
    You got poop on yo’ face
    You big disgrace
    cuttin’ your baseball all over the plate
    Singin’

    We will we will warn you
    We will we will warn you

    Kenny you’re an old man poor man
    Pleadin’ with the umps gonna make you some crap some day
    You got crap on your face
    You big disgrace
    Imodium A.D put you back into your place

    We will we will warn you
    We will we will warn you”

  92. Comment posted by Mike on October 23, 2006 at 4:00 pm (#145650)

    Maybe The Gambler was just scraping the bowl before he took the mound. That’s a controlled substance, but not sure if it’s foreign or not.

  93. Comment posted by Nick in Westchester on October 23, 2006 at 4:05 pm (#145652)

    annnnnd I’m officially grossed out!

  94. Comment posted by fredct on October 23, 2006 at 4:20 pm (#145658)

    The thing that no one can answer, is that after he had to get rid of whatever it was, he pitched *better*. He gave up a walk and a hit in that first inning. And gave up only one hit and two more walks. That’s WHIP of 2.0 in the first inning, and 0.42 in the next 7.

    It may not make it technically a moot point, as the rule is still the rule, but it seems to make it one from a practical perspective. You can say he cheated, but you’d be hard pressed to argue that it made a darn bit of difference.

  95. Comment posted by Jessica on October 23, 2006 at 4:23 pm (#145661)

    The Fox gun definitely has its issues. The new advanced version of Gameday uses a different sort of technology to determine pitch speed (there’s a whole article about it here), and it had Rogers consistently in the high 70s/low 80s last night, with maybe a couple of 90-mph pitches per inning.

    As for the debate between steroids and other forms of cheating, there are no long-term health consequences to smearing pine tar on your hand or hiding a piece of sandpaper in your back pocket. Players who do those sorts of things are violating the rules, but at much less risk to themselves than those who are taking performance-enhancing drugs.

  96. Comment posted by udamnwright on October 23, 2006 at 4:37 pm (#145665)

    Comment posted by Nick in Westchester on October 23, 2006 at 4:05 pm (#145652)

    annnnnd I’m officially grossed out!

    Wrong bowl Nick!!!!

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  98. Comment posted by Craig on October 23, 2006 at 4:54 pm (#145674)

    Tony La Russa just gave a press conference in which he said that he detests gamesmanship that interferes with the game. Read that again. This is the same guy who went out in the middle of Carpenter’s at-bat against Maine in game 6 to argue that ball 3 was actually ball 4. I could have forgiven that if it was just gamesmanship to rattle a rookie pitcher. But since he “detests” gamesmanship, I guess that means that he’s simply an idiot who can’t count.

    This is also the guy who complained to the umps and made Pedro change his shirt in the middle of a game because “the sleeves were distracting.”

    No matter how you look at it, La Russa has mishandled this Kenny Rogers situation egregiously. If you have a chance to get your opponent’s ace out in the first inning, you take it even if his manager happens to be a good friend of yours.

    I have lost a ton of respect for La Russa this month, that much is sure.

  99. Comment posted by Nick in Westchester on October 23, 2006 at 4:54 pm (#145675)

    ahhhhhh…. now I get it. Hey, if he’s able to smoke up and still pitch a game like he did last night, he deserves an olympic medal.

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  101. Comment posted by Craig on October 23, 2006 at 4:57 pm (#145679)

    ahhhhhh…. now I get it. Hey, if he’s able to smoke up and still pitch a game like he did last night, he deserves an olympic medal.

    If that’s the case they’d take the medal away. Just ask the Canadian snowboarder.

  102. Comment posted by Jessica on October 23, 2006 at 5:04 pm (#145680)

    This is also the guy who complained to the umps and made Pedro change his shirt in the middle of a game because “the sleeves were distracting.”

    Wasn’t that Joe Girardi?

    Oh, and of last night’s starting pitchers, I think Weaver’s the one more likely to have been smoking weed before the game.

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  104. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 5:14 pm (#145685)

    someone on the Pirates once threw a perfect game while trippin’ ballz on acid.

    Lets see Kenny do that.

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  106. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 5:14 pm (#145686)

    the snowboarded got his medal back.

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  108. Comment posted by Craig on October 23, 2006 at 5:21 pm (#145689)

    the snowboarded got his medal back

    I know, but only after they then decided that Mary Jane didn’t actually help him win. As Robin Williams says, “the only way that marijuana is a performance enhancing drug is if there’s a big f***ing Hershey bar at the end of the run.”

    And Jessica, I think you’re right that it was Girardi. But the fact remains that La Russa is the ultimate in gamesmanship and saying that he detests it is just the height of hypocrisy.

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  110. Comment posted by 86Forever on October 23, 2006 at 5:23 pm (#145691)

    Oh, and of last night’s starting pitchers, I think Weaver’s the one more likely to have been smoking weed before the game.

    I hear FOX had a closeup in the dugout that featured Jeff and brother Jarred firing up bong hits and watching “Chicks Who Love Guns.” They didn’t air it because it was in family hour.

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  112. Comment posted by Craig on October 23, 2006 at 5:24 pm (#145692)

    Oh, and of last night’s starting pitchers, I think Weaver’s the one more likely to have been smoking weed before the game.

    I would agree with that as well. There’s no way that anyone who’s high on weed would be screaming at everything like Rogers has been doing. Actually, it might help explain why Weaver looks so much more composed out there rather than having a meltdown every time a call doesn’t go his way.

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  114. Comment posted by 86Forever on October 23, 2006 at 5:27 pm (#145694)

    The AK-47. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every mofo in the room, accept no substitutes.

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  116. Comment posted by 86Forever on October 23, 2006 at 5:33 pm (#145697)

    I also found it curious that after every one of Weaver’s inning, the grounds crew came out and cleaned up the Mallomar wrappers he left around the mound.

  117. Gravatar
  118. Comment posted by 86Forever on October 23, 2006 at 5:37 pm (#145698)

    Does anyone else find it odd that Weaver comes into the game with Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” on the loudspeakers?

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  120. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on October 23, 2006 at 5:40 pm (#145699)

    I see F-mart has a HR for Mesa today

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  122. Comment posted by chris in ga on October 23, 2006 at 5:57 pm (#145702)

    fmart hit a homer off of Dustin Mcgowen, the international leagues number 15 prospect. Big ups

  123. Gravatar
  124. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 6:01 pm (#145705)

    So um this F-Mart kid seems to be pretty good.

    lets keep him.

  125. Gravatar
  126. Comment posted by chris in ga on October 23, 2006 at 6:10 pm (#145708)

    This just made my day. I have a junk email account that I use to sign up for stuff that will get me spam. Do you guys remember the Rockies game where we all tried to get a question answered from the booth. Well, they responded to one of my emails

    The email I sent

    >From: Jack Meoff
    >To: rockiesbooth@msn.com
    >Subject: Will the Rockies be regulated
    >Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 04:02:44 +0000 (GMT)
    >
    >Will the Rockies be regulated if they have a losing season?
    >HOMETOWN:Intercourse, Pa

    The email I got back

    Please don’t offend our viewers with your crudeness. If you have a
    serious
    e-mail question for the booth, we will gladly respond.
    Thank you
    Rockies Booth

  127. Gravatar
  128. Comment posted by chris in ga on October 23, 2006 at 6:15 pm (#145709)

    list of our minor league free agents

    New York Mets
    C Yunir Garcia
    C Sandy Martinez
    C Kelly Stinnett
    1B Tagg Bozied
    1B Jose Offerman
    2B Enrique Cruz
    3B Edgardo Alfonzo
    SS Chris Basak
    OF Elvis Cruz
    OF Jacob Cruz
    OF Rashad Eldridge
    OF Jonel Pacheco
    OF Jorge Padilla
    RHP Rafael Cova
    RHP Kevin Deaton
    RHP Bryan Edwards
    RHP Tim Lavigne
    RHP Marcelo Perez
    RHP Miguel Pinango
    RHP Orlando Roman
    RHP Lino Urdaneta
    RHP William Vazquez
    RHP Brandon Wilson
    RHP Mitch Wylie
    LHP Rich Rundles

  129. Gravatar
  130. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 6:17 pm (#145711)

    LOL Chris, I can’t believe they wrote you back.

  131. Gravatar
  132. Comment posted by chris in ga on October 23, 2006 at 6:19 pm (#145712)

    LOL Chris, I can’t believe they wrote you back.

    and I wrote at least 5 legitimate questions, got pissed off and wrote that one. Granted all my questions were about their thoughts on signing STeve Trachsel during the offseason but still

  133. Gravatar
  134. Comment posted by Wdwrkr35 on October 23, 2006 at 6:29 pm (#145715)

    lol thats funny chris, they didnt even bother to answer mine

  135. Gravatar
  136. Comment posted by dptydwg420 on October 23, 2006 at 6:29 pm (#145716)

    lol chris, did you use normal names on the other 5 questions? I didnt even notice the name you wrote it under at first, I was like what’s so crude, then I was like oh yea

  137. Gravatar
  138. Comment posted by chris in ga on October 23, 2006 at 6:48 pm (#145719)

    I was only crude once

  139. Comment posted by metsfansince62 on October 23, 2006 at 8:13 pm (#145735)

    dptydwg420 I think that pitcher was Doc Ellis.
    http://www.sirbacon.org/4membersonly/docellis.htm

    Someone called into M&MD and claimed that Rogers used something that is used by the medical profession to help close cuts and that it is sticky and after you wash it off it leaves a sticky residue for 24 hrs. He claimed if not washed off thoroughly it leaves a dark shadow. He also claims that other pitchers and wide receivers in football use it. I didn’t check it out so I don’t know whether he is pulling it out of his you know where.

    My feeling on game 2 of the LCS is the same as before that fateful pitch. Mota’s history starting after he left the Dodgers and until he joined the Mets was one of meltdown. After the two guys got on base I was screaming for Heilman to come in. I don’t know what Heilman would have done there but he was the guy who helped us get to where we were and he was warm and ready to come in.

    Since a lot of you guys like to take a point and exaggerate it to the point it becomes ridiculous or correlate it to something it doesn’t relate to I don’t blame Willie for leaving Heilman in game 7 nor would I have blamed him if he brought Wagner in. Nor was Willie wrong in bringing in Wagner to pitch the ninth in game 2. All these moves are sound baseball moves. So I am not a Willie basher and I know he led the Mets to 97 wins during the regular season and I am not calling for him to be fired.

  140. Comment posted by udamnwright on October 23, 2006 at 8:16 pm (#145736)

    That is f’in funny Chris.

  141. Comment posted by Ray S. on October 27, 2006 at 5:22 am (#148562)

    Talking about doctored balls. Remember Mike Scott in the ‘86 NLDS and the infamous “Scuff” ball to Gary Carter. These pitchers will do anything for an edge, any fine or ejection is a slap on the wrist. The MLPA is so powerful, its a joke.

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