…may you be thoroughly drubbed in the World Series. I had a few thought while watching last night’s deciding ALCS game 6. What better way to get them off my chest than to make you all read about them?
There was a video making the rounds not too long ago showing Mariano Rivera apparently spitting in the direction of the ball while on the mound. I haven’t seen the video myself, so can only say what I’ve heard. It sounds like the video shows Rivera spit, and it may have gone near the ball. People were claiming that it amounted to Rivera throwing a spitball, and action should be taken. MLB ruled that there was no infraction. Now, I don’t think that Rivera was trying to throw a spitball. I agree with people saying that if you wanted to throw a spitter, you wouldn’t just spit onto the ball in full view of a gazillion cameras. But, wouldn’t you think there’d be a rule against it? Pitchers can’t blow into their hands unless it’s really cold, just in case some moisture is transferred from hand to ball. So, there’s a rule for that, but not a rule against randomly spitting all over the mound when the ball is in the line of fire? That’s just odd. Why bring that all up now? Because Andy Pettitte was pitching last night. His routine on the mound has bothered me for years. When he’s in the stretch, he takes the sign with the ball in his glove. The glove is then placed against his face, so the tip of the glove, with ball inside, is covering his mouth. How is that allowed? Pitchers can’t blow into their hands, but Pettitte is allowed to blow directly on the ball? And, not that I’m saying he’s sitting there licking the ball…but who knows that he’s not? How that continues to be allowed is beyond me.
Fox made an interesting comment following the blown ball four call to ARod that forced in a run in the 8th. They noted that it was a blown call. I’ll give them some credit for even mentioning that the Yankees got the huge break. But, they immediately tried to diffuse it by saying that it really doesn’t matter since the correct cal would have just made it a 3-2 count to ARod. Am I missing something? Is a full count with no run scoring the same as ball four, and a run in? Seems to me that there’s about a run difference between the two. Sure, ARod would have gotten a chance to get a hit, and the run would have scored anyway. But, he may have made an out without the run scoring. I’d much rather have a 3-2 count without a run on the board. If the Angels didn’t feel that way, they would have walked him intentionally.
Later in the game, Mark Teixeira came to the plate with the bases still loaded. One of the Yankees biggest power threats, frankly one of the biggest power threats in the AL, was coming to the plate with a chance to break the game wide open. A single scores two runs. With the speed on the bases at the time for the Yanks, a double probably scores three. What does Teix do? Flies out to center. So, a single run is allowed to score in exchange for the out. Naturally, Teixeira is upset with himself, and walks dejectedly back to the dugout. Wait, no he’s not. He’s jumping back to the dugout, looking like his wife gave him permission to stay out late. He’s celebrating with his teammates, slapping high fives, smiles all around. So, basically, the high-paid power hitter batting clean-up for the New York Yankees is thrilled that he flew out? Heck, I’d expect Alex Gonzalez to fly out to center. If Jason Bay lofts a ball to center in that situation, I’m upset about the wasted opportunity. Why weren’t the Yankees?
If the Angels were going to completely implode and hand the series to the Yankees, couldn’t they have done it a series sooner?