Posted in Baseball

Enjoy baseball marathon memories while you can…

On the second day of the 2018 baseball season, I got to watch the last couple of innings of the New York Yankees’ 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays and just enough of the San Francisco Giants’ 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers to see Chris Taylor end Johnny Cueto’s perfect game bid.

That’s probably a lot more baseball than I will find time to watch today, but it’s a lot less than fans who were attending the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves (11 innings), the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-10 win over the Detroit Tigers (13 innings) or the Miami Marlins’ 2-1 win against the Chicago Cubs (17 innings.)

In the not-too-distant future, games like those will probably be unimaginable. Minor League Baseball is already testing a rule change that puts a runner on second base at the start of each extra inning.

Friday’s marathons are sparking more discussion about making a rule change at the Major League level. It’s coming and I hate it.

One of my favorite baseball memories is a game that didn’t want to end between the Miami Marlins and New York Mets. On June 7, 2013, young stars-to-be Jose Fernandez and Matt Harvey matched up and left with a 1-1 tie. By inning 13, journeymen Kevin Slowey and Shaun Marcum were pitching for the two clubs, respectively. They’d been scheduled to start a game that had been rained out the night before, and they took the game to the 20th. It was awesome – the only part I would’ve changed was the end result (the Mets lost.) If tinkering with the rules brought the game to an end in 11 or 12 innings, I guarantee you I wouldn’t remember it five years later.

Sports reporters and baseball managers hate extra innings, because it makes it more difficult for them to do their jobs. I think most fans like them – sure, there’s a point where you have to leave the game or turn off the tv. But that could happen anyway – the deciding game of last year’s World Series lasted over five hours and only took nine innings to play. But if you get to stay for a marathon, you get to see something special and I hate to see that get tossed away in some misguided pace-of-play initiative.

So here’s my compromise proposal: save the extra runners for the All-Star Game, and start inning 10 with the bases loaded. Regular season games that remain tied after 12 innings go in the books as a tie. Playoff games are played to their conclusion without any gimmickry.

It still sucks & fundamentally changes the way baseball is played, but it does so in a way that I can live with.

Other odds & ends:

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

So I went to the Yankees vs. Mariners game last night, and guess who I got to see pitch?

Oliver Perez

I went to the Mariners vs. Yankees game with a friend last night. For a little while, I wondered if I’d get to see C.C. Sabathia pitch a no-hitter. After Casper Wells hit a home run, I wondered for a while if I was watching s bizarre one-hitters. It turned out that C.C. was just pitching a complete game victory.

A 21-year-old rookie named Carter Capps made his major league debut for the Mariners and was throwing 100 mph fastballs. And after 12 years, I finally saw future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki play in person.

But the on-field highlight of the night? Watching Ollie Perez come in out of the bullpen to face Robinson Cano, Mark Texieira, Raul Ibanez and Nick Swisher. After all the times I got stuck watching him pitch (terribly) for the Mets in 2009 and 2010, it was fitting to see he’s still the same old Ollie in a new jersey.

Here are some pics: Continue reading “So I went to the Yankees vs. Mariners game last night, and guess who I got to see pitch?”