Nationals Baseball: Wednesday Quickie

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Wednesday Quickie

Heavy work load day but gotta weigh in on last night. 

Everything that everyone did last night was understandable. The ump, told to make shows of the enforcement of the rules, took admitted tack user and checked him twice during the game. Girardi, looking for signs of Max doing something different possibly hiding tack somewhere and unsure of how good these ump checks actually are, asked for another check in the fourth after seeing Max go for his head. Max explained later that he WAS doing something new, going to his head for sweat to mix with rosin since he didn't have whatever he might usually use. All sort of makes sense in the cool calm light of day. 

It was still a big mess. 

You can't be checking a pitcher several times a game. It disrupts the rhythm and flow he might have going. He is rightfully going to get upset. If this is to continue you are going to have to either have the umps do random checks or let managers ask for them (which is kind of the way it has been) but not both. And presumably MLB wants these ump checks so manager checks have to go. 

As for the game - Max wasn't at his best but kept the Phillies off the board. Wheeler was iffy and only lasted 3. The Nats did enough to win and now are basically* in second place. Do they keep it going?

*Braves lead the Nats/Phillies by percentage points


Anonymous said...

Most balls aren't used a second time -- the average major league game goes through about 70 of them every game. MLB should randomly check balls after they've been thrown, doing any examination in the clubhouse rather than the field. If they find evidence of doctoring, then, only then, should they start patting down the pitchers.

Jon Quimby said...

I've got an idea... The catcher catches the ball and hands it to the ump to check. The ump has nothing better to do since balls and strikes should be called by the robot. Done - MLB solved. Nobody had to lose their job.

elchupinazo said...

I'm fine with the ump checks and fine with the pitchers throwing hissy fits. Agreed that the manager checks have to go. First, third and maybe fifth inning checks between frames are plenty. These umps have been around for a while and know where guys put stuff, it would not be easy to hide.

As for checking the balls, there's no guarantee that you'd find much of anything assuming that it's about making their fingers stickier, not the ball. Maybe in extreme cases, but a little dab of pine tar or even the spider tack stuff might not be evident.

Robot said...

I, for one, want to see more umpire involvement in all aspects of the game. If my dollars as a fan aren't going to rigorous officiating of the minutae, then what am I paying for?

Robot said...

Has anyone considered the possibility that the catcher is fixing the ball on behalf of the pitcher before throwing it back? Who knows what sort of substances Realmuto could be hiding under all that gear?

I think, ar minimum, once per inning catcher are appropriate.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Well, what about those pitching coach mound visits where the whole infield gathers? Seems pretty sinister to me. Who knows what changes hands in there? For all we know, those guys could be passing around a bucket of roofing tar.

On all such mound visits, the umps should inspect every single infielder plus the pitching coach. All of them should pass through a stickum detector in order to to gain access to the mound, with players randomly pulled aside for full-body wand scans.

I mean, it's a darned shame to waste this perfectly good opportunity to develop in our rules enforcers the qualities that make a great ump, namely arrogance and bad temper.

JE34 said...

Remember how Mike Maddux would lovingly rest his hand on the pitcher's shoulder while talking to him? FRISK THAT DUDE.

Ole PBN said...

I'm sorry, but that wasn't understandable the other night. That was laughable. Baseball has made a mess of this "scandal." I put scandal in quotes because its been a problem that MLB has ignored for 50 years. Now we get a massive overcorrection because, well, Rob Manfred doing what Rob Manfred loves doing. He has to leave his mark on the game somehow, right? I would prefer he just take a dump in one of the locker room stalls and call that his legacy. It hurts no one. Ironically, these checks ruin his brainchild of shortening the games. Oh the horror!

On a funnier note (because it was funny), this a great breakdown of what happened in case anyone missed it. Great to see this brilliant policy play out EXACTLY the way everyone thought it would >:)

Anonymous said...

Nats now in second place with three more games versus the Marlins. I think they need a sweep to maximize their position going into 14 games against top NL teams. I hope they split those 14 games and are somewhere between 2 in front and 2 in back. That should set them up to compete for the division the rest of the season. They made up a lot of ground in a short time--I think they're a good bit ahead of Harper's reasonable (and I even thought optimistic) projections. At least they're in the hunt. NL East is decimated by injuries, so Nats have an opening.

billyhacker said...

If they are ahead of Harper's predictions, then some bad news is ahead because Harper is never wrong (and typically optimistic). They seem to have a couple more cylinders firing, Soto is OK in away games (miserable at home), Turner is going good. I don't see where the offense comes from when Schwarber normalizes, maybe Soto...

G Cracka X said...

Take 4 out of 6 against the Phillies/Marlins?


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DezoPenguin said...

Check another one off Harper's list.

This is an ugly stretch of games coming up, against some of the best competition in the league. If the Nationals are generally going to make a run, they need to show that they are in fact capable of playing with this level of competition. The good news is that most of these games are not against divisional opponents, so if the Nats falter there's at least the chance that the other teams may as well (because, after all, "disappointment" and "underperformance" are the words describing EVERY NL East team's season thus far). Winning tonight's game against the Mets would of course help things along immensely. On the other hand, actual success in this stretch of games--even going 7-7--would be huge.

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