Who says the new rules and replay are taking away from the game? What is baseball without a little controversy? It is as big a part of the history of the game as the records and memorable games. There's Merkle's Boner, the Homer in the Gloamin', The Pine Tar Game, The AJ Pierzynski Dropped Third Strike, and now, the Posey Rule Game. If you were watching or listening like I was during this game, you heard both sets of announcers pretty much lose their collective minds at the interpretation of the rule. If you missed it: with one out in the seventh, Joe Panik hit a grounder to Jose Abreu who threw home to get Henry Blanco at the plate. After review, it was deemed that Tyler Flowers had illegally blocked the plate according the the relatively new rule, 7.13, better known as the Posey rule.
Ed Farmer was adamant that Blanco was at least nineteen feet away from home plate, most commentators put it at about six feet. Either way, there was still a fair amount of space before any collision could take place so to call what Flowers was doing was a block is a pretty literal interpretation of the rule. Blanco would have been out without much of a play. The play was reviewed, the out overturned and the run scored. What's more, the Giants tacked on 6 more, leading to a 7-1 loss.
It's apparent that the rule needs some tweaks. I don't think more discretion on the part of the umpires is the way to go, or the review will constantly be second guessed, compared to similar plays. I think something along the lines of making it illegal to go in above the waist would be a good start. It would still require the runner to slide, but the runner couldn't come in like a linebacker with the sole intent of trying to dislodge the ball. It wouldn't stop all contact, require skill on the part of the catcher to get the tag down and skill by the runner to either get under or around the tag.
As far as the White Sox are concerned it would be too little too late, at least for this game. But let's face it: this was the most national press the White Sox have had in a long time. The star players make a little ripple here and there, but the whole "Flowers Fiasco" made one of their games the topic of discussion for a few days, pretty much the better part of the week.
As for our heroes and devils? Not a lot to pick from in a two game series, but here you go:
Best Offensive Performance, Single Game: Adam Dunn
Dunn got the scoring started in the first game with a two run bomb and that almost held up for the entire game, until the meltdown in the ninth.
Best Starting Pitcher: Chris Sale
Great stuff by the lefty as usual: 8 innings, 12 strike outs, and only allowed four hits. Jake Petricka almost gave it away.
Best Reliever: Zach Putnam
Zach came in and saved Petricka's bacon with an inning and and a third to get out of the ninth and nail things down in the tenth.
Best Offensive Performance, Series: Adam Dunn
Not only did Dunn hit a two-run homer in the first game, he hit a solo shot in the second game and accounted for 3 of the 4 runs that the White Sox scored in the two-game series.
Worst Pitcher: Jake Petricka
It is bound to happen from time to time, but a blown save, especially after getting the first two out in the ninth s a bitter pill to swallow. The White Sox bats managed to pull it out, but still not a good outing for Petricka.
Worst Offensive Performance: Alexei Ramirez
0 for 6 with only a walk to show for the series, not so hot. The entire offense though, only managed 10 hits for both games, so plenty of guys could be in this spot.
Worst Hissy Fit By A Broadcaster: Hawk Harrelson
Hawk couldn't just complain about the call, he had to start talking about having the catcher wear a skirt and complain that their making it a little girls game and that their ruining other games. I'm not sure "they" are, but in Hawk's mind I'm sure there is a collection of people sitting around trying to figure out how to ruin all of the sports in America. If you'd like to hear how the situation should be handled, take a listen to John Miller's call of the whole affair. I will give Hawk credit for one thing though. At least he knew that the people making the call in New York were umpires, unlike Ed Farmer who was under the impression that it was made by people who had no business making calls on the field because they don't understand baseball.
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