Sunday, June 26, 2016

Two Wrongs Don't Make it Right or Dave Eddings is on the Wrong Side of Balls and Strikes

On June 26, 2016, at AT&T Park, the home plate umpire was Doug Eddings. It is possible the baseball gods made what must seem like a typographical error in judgment when Paul Emmell got bonked in the head by the backswing of an Angels' batter. I think by seeing the job Doug Eddings did today and the recent Paul White article that lists Eddings as tied for first for most calls overturned that a mistake has been made. It was Eddings not Emmell who needed the gentle reminder.

Umpires with most overturned calls:
Seth Buckminster: 7
Doug Eddings: 7 
Angel Hernandez: 6
Bill Welke: 6
Adrian Johnson: 5

Jim Reynolds: 5

Much like the Warren Beatty movie, "Heaven Can Wait," I think the powers that be got their facts jumbled or transposed the information. For shame. 

Eddings is as confused a balls and strikes umpire as there has ever been. In fact, he is so wishy-washy I actually was empathetic towards one C.B. Bucknor. (No worries, moments after the Giants won this game on a walk-off double by Conor Gillespie my angst and total dismay of Bucknor instantaneously returned as his is still the top competition for Eddings as the league's worst at deciphering balls from strikes.)

The capacity crowd that filed in for the Giants/Phillies game got to witness for themselves how a bad balls and strikes umpire can change the complexion of a game like nothing else.

After an inning when the Giants scored 4 runs to take a 5-1 lead it was duly noted by starter Johnny Cueto that three of his teammates had been hit-by-pitches. So in the next inning Cueto did what old school ballplayers insisted he do and that was to plunk a Phillie batter. And he waited until there were two out. When it happened Eddings did the appropriate thing which was to issue warnings to both benches because that is the MLB procedure umpires must follow when the beanballs are flying. But it did not end there.

Eddings is not only a poor judge of what makes a pitch a strike or a ball but he also gave this listener (of the broadcast) reason to believe he has rabbit ears. According to play-by-play announcer, Dave Fleming, after the Phillie batter was struck coach Larry Bowa barked incessantly at Eddings. Meanwhile, the next batter at the plate became a lottery winner of strikes allowed  during his at-bat which exceeded the rulebook number of three. And if you, like I, pay attention to these intricate details you'll know that big leaguers generally take advantage of any "extra strikes." 

The Phillies would score 2 runs that inning making the score 5-3. And eventually would tie the game 5-5. The game was tied at 6-6 and 7-7 before Gillespie's walk-off double in the bottom of the 9th inning. AT&T was the house of thrills ONLY because the Giants won. Had they lost Eddings would have tossed momentum and victory into the salivating jaws of defeat. Because Eddings' interpretation of a strike is NOT in the rulebook and to make matters worse he appeared to "even things up" to appease the bellyaching Bowa. 

Kevin J. Marquez

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pence on the Bench (Due to Injury)

Who are the Giants going to replace Hunter Pence with aside from the cups of coffee Mac Williamson has received? I don't think Williamson is MLB ready. Heck, Johnny Depp lookalike Jarrett Parker is far more advanced than Williamson and I still the book on him is humongous.

Just as the bullpen is having May, June, and July to mold into form while Bruce Bochy, Dave Righetti, Mark Gardner, Vice President and Assistant General Manager of Player Personnel, Dick Tidrow, and, of course, Brian Sabean figure out who stays on the roster and who needs to be replaced. A lot of this, we the fan, will be able to determine based on what we see the relievers do when they are called upon. Or seeing the outfield of below average arm strength (Span and Pagan) get run on it seems likely that something will happen during the trade deadline. Somewhere, at some time, a decision to make a move to snag some talent that is not wearing orange and black now or in July may need to happen.

It's a long season and the brass has time to make this very important decision that will go a long way into how successful the San Francisco Giants will be in this 2016 season.

Kevin J. Marquez

In today's game at Turner Field (Atlanta Braves) Madison Bumgarner hit his 13th career home run. That ties him with "Fat" Freddie Fitzsimmons in the NY-SF Giants history.

"Caveman" Don Robinson, a guy I once saw hit a pinch-hit home run from the right field nose-bleeds at the 'Stick, hit 13 career rocks over the fence.