The Baseball Desert

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Two sets of rules?

I missed this when looking over the scores this morning, so I logged on to to see what happened. The Rogers Centre is pretty well miked, so everybody watching could hear exactly what Johnson said to Fielden Culbreth after not getting the strike call on Frank Menechino, and it was pretty clear he said some stuff that you're not supposed to say out there.

The Condensed Game was put together using the YES Network's feed, and I almost jumped out of my chair when I heard the end of a sentence from home town apologist Michael Kay following the ejection. We didn't hear the whole sentence, but the end went something like this: "...throw out Randy Johnson in the middle of a pennant race, that is hard to understand..."

Erm, could you just run that by us again, please, Michael? So, in your narrow little Yankeeography view of the world of baseball, an umpire is supposed to ignore the fact that a starting pitcher came off the mound to 1) argue balls and strikes, and 2) shout expletives in his face, simply because the team is in a pennant race? The umpire did his job, which is more than can be said for Randy Johnson. Be pissed at Johnson for failing to keep his temper in check, but don't start using the old "it's a pennant race - he shouldn't have ejected him" line. What the hell has the pennant race got to do with anything? As far as I'm aware, there is only one rule book, and those rules apply from March through October - there are no special rules for teams in a pennant race, and there are no special rules for the Yankees.

I don't know if Johnson will be sanctioned for yelling at Culbreth. If I were Commissioner, I would suspend him just for being stupid enough to get himself thrown out in the first place, but, hey, no-one's asking me...

Okay - rant over. Please continue talking amongst yourselves.