Thursday, October 11, 2012

Let's Get 'Er Done

Henry Schulman made the comparison that Barry Zito's first inning was like Ryan Vogelsong's in Game 3, in 3 different ways.
1) Both threw 30 pitches
2) allowed 1 run
3) made a huge strikeout to keep the Reds from running away with the game.

Then to rub a little salt in Zito's wound Schulman went on to say:  Unlike Vogelsong, Zito could not pitch hitless ball thereafter. 

Meanwhile listening to KNBR (680AM) former 20-game winner Mike Kruko was lambasting the home plate umpires from Tuesday (Gerry Davis) and Wednesday (Dan Iassogna) for being unbelievably inconsistent and hitter's umpires.

You may remember, those of you who tuned into 680AM for the 2010 Giants run to the World Series championship, that Krukow's critique of the umpires was spot on with pinpoint accuracy and a heartfelt sense of fairness that allowed the home plate umps more leeway than they probably deserved.

The thing about announcers is all the time they are expressing their dislike of a home plate umpire's ability to call balls and strikes they aren't giving any leeway to the person pitching. In one breath they're saying how the pitcher is getting SQUEEZED!!  Then with the next gulp of air the same guy is moaning about how Cain or Bumgarner or Lincecum or Vogelsong is "not even close."   I mean, "What the hell?"  Is it the pitcher or the ump, I gots to know!

How can you blame the pitcher for something he has absolutely no control over? 

Now this morning, before the game starts, Krukow says that Tom Hallion (today's home plate ump) has a pitcher's strike zone.  Which in Krukow's very words, "Cain will have a chance to see just how wide Hallion's strike zone can get."

What is it with the home plate umpire?  Why can't they follow the rulebook description of what a strike is?  Isn't the rulebook the umpire's Bible?  As for the announcers, if you are going to the 'home plate umpire is inconsistent card' stick with it for all 9 innings.  I expect consistency out of you like we expect consistency out of the home plate umpire.  If you're going to bluff your way through the game you aren't going to earn my trust.  Because you the play-by-play blowhard are not respecting my knowledge and understanding of the game.  Know what I mean?

* Speaking of questionable announcers.  I recall reading something about former Kansas City/Oakland Athletics announcer Monte Moore.  You remember this guy?  Talk about a homer.  And he had a nickname for every Athletic player.  Captain Sal Bando, Campy "Beep Beep" "the Roadrunner" Campaneris, Vide "True" Blue, John "Blue Moon" Odom.  This list was like a top 20 list because the names went on and on and on and on.  Anyway, Monte was said to be the pipeline between Charlie O. Finley and the players. He would pass on inside clubhouse information to the owner.  In one case specifically details of a drunken incident on a team flight in 1967, which likely led to the release of first-baseman Ken Harrelson and the dismissal of manager Alvin Dark.  "It's an automatic $500 fine if anyone punches Monte," said then A's catcher, Dave Duncan.

Note:  Schulman mentions that if the Giants do win their third in-a-row they will become the first major league team to overcome a 0-2 deficit in a five-game postseason series by winning 3 consecutive games on the road. But, and I must emphasize this the Giants also need to reverse one trend.  They have been 7-12 when they had a chance to complete a sweep.

(Thanks to the notes from Henry Schulman and his insight.)

Kevin J. Marquez