Nationals Baseball: Mets won't lose 'em all

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Mets won't lose 'em all

Sorry.

Otherwise the Nats were resting. Taking one of those ill-advised days off that the MLB slaps into most teams' schedules in the first week. Why does a team need a day off after just one or two days? They don't. But it does allow them to stagger 3 "Opening Days" in a row. Though someone should tell them that people only care about that third Opening Day if it's something more compelling than Tigers v Marlins.

It should be pretty easy for MLB to get this right. Traditionalists want Cincinnati to have the first pitch, but it's completely understandable that MLB and their TV partners want eyes on TV the Sunday night before. This is the world we live in now - probably should have been living in for 50 years if executives were smarter. So have your Sunday night game (featuring playoff opponents from year before - they got lucky this year but it could easily happen every year. Just wait a month longer to put out the schedule) then Cincy gets the first game on Monday at Noon and everyone else plays. See easy? If you want to have a "third Opening Day" then since you wisely waited until after at least the regular season was over to make your schedule, you can present a good match-up. Cubs Pirates? Blue Jays Rangers?  I'd watch those. Detroit Miami? I made a token pass at attempting to care but failed.

Speaking of traditionalists vs modern takes, yesterday we got to see the slide rule not only in action (we saw that Game 1 for the Nats) but actively decide the end of a game. It wasn't a hard call. Bautista did slide off the bag and grabbed at the fielder. You can't do that now, you couldn't do that before. What's changed now is the expectation of the call. Before the onus was on the fielder to make the play no matter what and only the most egregious tackles or slides into the infield grass would be called out by interference. Now anything that isn't a slide straight into second is up for grabs.

This speaks to the inherent issue with replay on judgment calls. It doesn't create fewer judgment calls. While it provides clarity on some calls, it opens up new ones to judgment that otherwise would have been left alone. All in all you get a few more right at the expense of time and the overall flow of the game. It's an odd path to go down for a sport seemingly so concerned with the speed of their game.

Oh well. Game tonight. Win it! 

16 comments:

John C. said...

The first "rest day" after a team's home opener (whether "Opening Day" or not) is completely understandable. Fans for whom Opening Day is a BIG DEAL pay extra for the OD tickets. Having an extra day to increase the chances that those fans get to see the actual first home game of the season (whether played on schedule or after a one day postponement) is catering to the fans. I'm not going to get worked up about that at all.

Now, the Mets' schedule this week makes no sense at all. Play Sunday night, off Monday, OK. But then two days off before opening against the Phillies? Weird.

Mythra said...

Day off after the Opener is for weather cancellations, something that still happens as Boston/Cleveland can attest to. Reds get the 1st pitch by traditions of being the first club to join MLB. One tradition I am fine with. It's also why the Nats will always play a day game on the 4th of July. Again, a new tradition, but one I can agree with. I like traditions like those in baseball. It ties us back to those greats who are played the game a century ago.

If you want to play the last world series teams against each other as the Sunday night opener, why not have it at the Hall of Fame as the last Exhibition game? Play a Field of Dreams style game for the Opener. Reds still get the opener and Baseball gets a version of hockey's 'Winter Classic' with a sandlot game.

I'm all for the new slide rule, and think runners were almost getting away with murder before. Some made only a laughable attempt to reach for the bag. Maybe they should toss the neighborhood calls now that the slide rule is in play.

Hoping for a Nats win tonight. Start building distance between us and the Mets as often as we can.

Booyah Suckah! said...

I actually just read an article about the seemingly random Tuesday day off that most teams have, although I can't seem to find it to link to, now. Apparently it's weather related. The idea is unlike the other 161 games a year, people buy a ticket for opening day because it's Opening Day. If they had to postpone to late April, people would be pissed. This way they can usually just bump it back a day and people can still go. Makes sense. And you notice the teams that DON'T have a Tuesday off mostly play in domes or in places where there's very little chance of a rainout like LA.

Booyah Suckah! said...

Hahaha. I think we've established that it's weather related :)

John C. said...

Maybe they should toss the neighborhood calls now that the slide rule is in play.

Mythra: they did exactly that.

Fries said...

I like the slide rule, but you're going to see A LOT more calls like yesterday before people settle down about it. What Bautista did was hardly egregious, he went into the bag but "fell" sideways and threw out his arm. That would be considered mild a year ago. I'm curious to see what the borderline call will end up being. Something like yesterday or hard and fast "keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times"

1natsfan said...

Watched two cringe worthy moments in the opener when both Harper and Zimmerman slid head first into second base. Cannot understand why the coaching staff tolerate this. I remember Zimmerman pulling an oblique one year doing this which put on the DL for months. Also, remember Nyjer Morgan breaking his hand sliding this way when he first came here from the Pirates. Growing up the only person who ever slid face first was Pete Rose. This is not what is taught at any level from Little League to the Pros so why do these players continue to do this when the risk of injury is so much greater.

Harper said...

OK I guess I never thought about it that way. I still don't like it but I can see more reason in it.

Mythra / John C : yeah neighborhood play was actually never a rule, and is now subject to replay meaning at some point managers are going to start asking for review on all those DPs and they're going to have to step on bag or at least look like they are touching it.

No one wants to tune into an exhibition game to start the season. Winter Classic counts. Winter Classic also gets big crowads - FoD type would have a prohibitively small one. It would be an interesting gimmick though - for a major league team winding down Spring Training.

Harper said...

Fries - I don't know. He reached at the fielder. It wouldn't have been called last year, because nothing ever was but it's clearly an extra attempt to interfere.

1natsfan - head first slides are the worst. well check that ANY slide into first is the worst - it SLOWS YOU DOWN. After that head first slides. the tiny speed - better reaching you get isn't worth the increase in injury potential.

JE34 said...

In case you missed it... there's an interesting 30-for-30 short film about the old MLB schedule makers.

http://espn.go.com/30for30/film?page=the-schedule-makers

(Please note that "interesting" is a relative term.)

Bjd1207 said...

One simple sentence that already puts Baker lightyears ahead of MW in my book. Dusty's currently at 1 WAMW on the season:

With right-handed hitting Braves' third baseman Adonis Garcia due up, Baker went to the 'pen again for right-handed reliever Shawn Kelley.

He was asked after what ended up a 4-3 win, if he considered leaving Rivero in to face the righty?

"No, because I left him in there before," he explained. "He faced righties before. He wasn't that sharp."

Source: http://www.federalbaseball.com/2016/4/6/11377818/dusty-baker-talked-about-washington-nationals-bullpen

Bjd1207 said...

Revere out with an oblique strain...

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.......

Old Man River said...

......UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!

It appears we echo each other :) unbelievable. $5 Revere's out til Independence Day. Any takers?

Bryceroni said...

Now we pray for werth to stay in one piece and be worth playing...

Anagramsci said...

I really don't see any way that Den Dekker can be worse than Revere. No loss there. Plus, I want to see MAT get another extended chance in CF. What I don't want is to see the new full-time centerfielder leading off ever again.

DezoPenguin said...

Well, I give the new medical staff this: instead of screwing around, claiming that Revere was "day-to-day" for a week or two as it became increasingly obvious that he wasn't, they said right away, "He's hurt, DL him." The medical staff can't really do much about players getting injured while playing; they *can* do a lot in terms of correctly diagnosing and treating those injuries.

The good news is, Revere going down isn't that serious. He's not that much of an improvement on Taylor (average-driven OBP versus better defense and power) and Taylor has upside while Revere is what he is. The real benefit Revere provides is insurance against Werth either getting hurt or being generally toast, and no one will conclude that he's toast until May at the earliest, probably more likely June or later given what he's owed and Dusty's veteran love. With luck, Revere will be back before the returns are in on that, and as a bonus MAT gets the chance to win the CF job (and I think we'd all agree that the preferred outcome is for MAT to show enough improvement with the bat to claim that job for his own). The major downside is that now the 4th OF at-bats go to Heisey (or, if we're lucky, den Dekker), or if Werth gets injured. (I don't count Harper here, because if Harper gets a serious injury, we're screwed no matter who the next guy up is and that was always the case.)