Recently I bought a hobby box of the new 2013 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects for $55, which contains 24 packs with 7 cards per pack. Every year I look forward to these cards the most. The cards are all young players who just broke into the MLB or were just drafted in the last year or two. I really enjoy these packs as each pack contains 2 Bowman Chrome cards and Hobby boxes contain 1 autographed card. Jumbo boxes contain 3 autographs.
Once again this year’s cards don’t have the facsimile autos on the bottom. The design is very similar to last year’s design, which is fine. I personally like the white borders. However, one thing that has been missing from this year’s design is the Bowman 1st stamp but from what I understand it will be back for next year. Why it’s gone this year I don’t know. They don’t sell these packs or boxes in retail stores so unless you live near a card shop you are going to have to buy a box online like I did.
Last year I pulled my autograph card in the first pack I opened and this year I pulled my autograph card in my last pack which is nerve racking. The auto I pulled was a Riley Unroe Refractor, he was a 2nd round pick for the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2013 MLB Draft. I also pulled 10 refractors and 3 serial numbered cards. Some of the better rookie cards I pulled were Sonny Gray, Gerrit Cole, Shelby Miller and Wil Myers.
Different this year than last year is that they have top prospect cards that include Byron Buxton, Addison Russell, Xander Bogaerts, Jorge Soler, Corey Seager and many other of the top prospects in the game, those cards are numbered TP-1 through TP-45. Of course they have the cards of some of the players just recently drafted such as Austin Meadows, Clint Frazier, Colin Moran, Jonathan Gray, Hunter Renfroe, Braden Shipley and many others, those cards are numbered BDPP1 through BDPP130.
I have heard that a lot of people are disappointed that Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs didn’t have an autographed card in this set but they have to save something for the May release. Some of this year’s insert sets are Bowman Scouts Breakouts, Dual Draftees and the Future of the Franchise Minis which I pulled a Javier Baez.
My favorite card I pulled was a Mariners 1st Round pick D.J. Peterson Chrome, which hopefully I will get autographed at Fan Fest. A few of my other favorites are any Dodgers cards I pulled and a Tyler Skaggs RC Orange Border 173/250 which I plan on taking to Spring Training with me next March.
(If you are a baseball fan and you know that your friends and family sometimes have troubles getting Christmas gifts for you then this is the blog post to share with them. This might even spark some more ideas for you and for others.)
The craziness of Black Friday has come and gone. Small business Saturday has past by and now it is Cyber Monday and you still aren’t sure what to get the baseball fan in your life for Christmas. It is the offseason so you can’t just go buy them tickets to a game because they would have to wait months before they can use them and you want to get them something sooner.
So what do you do?
Here are a few ideas to help you get through this Christmas season and come out a champion of gift givers.
-Favorite Team Apparel: Getting a hat, shirt or sweatshirt of your baseball fans favorite team is a safe play, but a good one. You know that they will like it because it is their favorite team and it is going to be easier to find. The one downside to this is if everyone knows your baseball fan loves a certain team then the chances of them getting similar gifts from people increases. Getting a gift like these is great, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box some.
-BaseByPros membership: Do you have a young player in your family that wants to learn as much as they can, so that they can be the best possible player. Here is your chance to get them signed up to get tips and instruction from professional baseball players. For only $49 a year your young player can learn from players who have played at the highest level. http://basebypros.com/
-One of a kind gifts: For Christmas last year my dad actually made a baseball related gift for both myself and Kelly. They were chairs that were transformed/decorated with wood bats and magazine covers. A gift like this takes some time and planning but if you really want to give the baseball fan in your life something special think of something you can do. Even just cutting wood bats in half lengthwise and then attaching the pieces to the front of a book shelf to give it a fun baseball appearance can be great.
-Movies: Baseball fans often go into depression from the end of the World Series until spring training starts because they miss the game so much. One way to help the baseball fan in your life make it through the offseason is to get them some of the great baseball movies to watch. 42, Moneyball, For Love of the Game, Bull Durham, Mr. Baseball, Major League, The Natural and so many other movies can bring a smile to the face of your baseball fan. Check out their collection of movies and find out what they are missing. I’ve never seen a baseball fan be sad over getting a good baseball movie to add to their collection.
-9 Inning Know It All Gear: If the baseball fan in your life enjoys our blog, radio show, and/or Facebook page get them some of our gear. We have shirts, sweatshirts, and drawstring backpacks. Help the baseball fan in your life show everyone that they are a 9 Inning Know It All.
Just remember that in the end for the baseball fan one thing matters. If it’s baseball, it’s good enough for them.
I came across Asad and Project Enlighten on Facebook. I chatted with Asad a few times and ended up buying a lot of cards from him for $40. Well worth the money. I received Topps cards ranging from 1968-1984. I ended up buying a second lot for the same price and was very happy with what I got. If your looking to complete sets this is a great way to do it. The money goes to a great cause. Thank you Asad for taking the time to chat with 9 Inning Know it All.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak with 9 inning!
I have been a firefighter for over 25 years. Started right out of high school and never looked back! I founded my own Charity called “Project Enlighten” in 2006 after being inspired by a group of children in Cambodia who lost their limbs to land mines.
What’s your baseball background?
Pretty marginal really. I remember when we played baseball after hours on the fire crews I was the last to be picked!!
Do you have a team or player you like to watch?
SF Giants, was the team I grew up on. As for this year’s World Series, Ortiz is remaking the record books with his tear.
What was the best advice someone has given you?
“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”
What advice would you a young person?
“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”
Really is such a profound statement to push the envelope, yet strive to be aware. This is sage advice at any age!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spare time is hard to come by. But one of my hobbies has been sorting through over one million cards and sports memorabilia that was donated to our organization. I have been trying to sort through a box a night. Ask me in five years how I’m doing with this! Seriously epic amount of cards!
Please tell us about Project Enlighten? How did it start and why you’re doing it?
You know my wife Olivia encapsulated this story of how it came to fruition. I am pleased to share with you!
The Story That Started the Dream
I am amazed by people in this world and commend a man named Aki Ra for the work he is doing; this man is bound for Nobel Peace Prize Nomination. While traveling in Cambodia, I had the opportunity to visit the Landmine Museum just outside of Angkor Wat. What initially was to be an educational experience became more emotional and home hitting. In 2004, I met Asad, my sweetheart, just after he returned from his first visit to Cambodia (late Dec. 2003). He sat me down and shared with me stories of his time spent there. One story in particular left a lasting impression on me, but also more importantly – on him. While in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Asad had encountered a group of street kids begging for food and money. If ever you’ve traveled to Asia, you know this is part of the norm – seeing kids on the streets selling stuff and badgering you for money. I’m not just talking about teens either, there are little kids – two, three, four years on up starving or in need of warm clothes or shelter.
On this particular trip for Asad in 2003, he had met a lively group of youths, among whom was a young boy 13 or 14 years who was missing part of his left leg – a landmine survivor. He didn’t have too many words to share – about living on the streets or about what happened to him – but an artist he was. I suppose it was one way he could escape the reality of being homeless and hungry? At any rate, Asad and his friend Reed spent time with the homeless children – feeding them, buying clothing for them, etc. The young artist drew a couple pictures and Asad purchased them from him saying, “all fine artwork must be purchased, I cannot accept your artwork for free!” Leaving Cambodia was heartbreaking, but Asad promised to return and find the boy…he wanted to know that he was all right. Back at home, as a gift to Asad, I had the picture of the boy artist from Phnom Penh and his artwork framed. Asad had previously kept the drawing and pictures of the boy and his street friends on his refrigerator as a reminder of how thankful we should all be for what we have; the children in the pictures don’t have that same simple luxury that we have – to be able to get food with ease whenever we want. The frames sit displayed in our home, a constant reminder of how fortunate we are.
A Second Chance Encounter
Two years after his first visit to Cambodia, Asad and I returned together. This was my first trip to Asia. I was awestruck by everything I saw. Beautiful places, beautiful people, wonderful experiences. We were in Siem Reap visiting one of few extraordinary man-made wonders of the world – Angkor Wat, and surrounding temples. We decided to spend Christmas there, and then we were to go to Phnom Penh and spin our luck on finding the young artist and the other street children Asad had previously met. It was our last day at Angkor Wat and we had planned to visit a somewhat controversial place, The Landmine Museum. We had been told it was a “must see” place by various travelers.
It was our last stop before returning to our lodging and packing for our boat trip the following day. We arrived by tuk-tuk (motorbike with passenger cart attached) and were greeted by a young Cambodian girl clad in the old Khmer Rouge uniform – black peasant clothing, a military style hat and a red and white checkered scarf. She was standing under a blue sign that read, in multiple languages, “Welcome to the Landmine Museum.” Our tuk-tuk driver (an old friend of Asad’s) commented in awe, “…that’s the Khmer Rouge soldier uniform, look what she’s wearing!” The girl lifted a makeshift stick barrier that had a Cambodian flag attached to it, along with a red and white sign that stated, “DANGER! LANDMINES.”
Passing through the gates, old relics of a war still fresh in the many hearts, minds and lives of Cambodian people are everywhere – landmines, more than I’ve ever seen in my life. They are hidden in places one would not see, I walk on a few before I even notice them – thank God they’ve all been made safe by Aki Ra. I begin to see how easy it is to detonate a landmine without even seeing it. I am sickened, BUT even more so when I watch a video on Aki Ra and learn what he went through during the time of the Khmer Rouge. Walking through the landmine exhibit, I am furthermore saddened, even humiliated to learn of the United States’ role in landmine production and storage, AND their lack of involvement in signing treaty that would ban the production and use of landmines. Although the U.S. is not alone in this, they are one of a handful of countries that has continued to produce landmines since 2002. (Big surprise – Iraq, China, the Russian zone, India, Burma, Indonesia, Cuba, Egypt, Nepal, Iran, Pakistan, Vietnam and N. and S. Korea are also in this category).
Part of the irony, to me anyway – is that more than a handful of these countries (the U.S. included) are not directly affected by landmines unless their soldiers are at war on land that is not their own. In stark comparison, civilians in Cambodia are directly at risk. Over 21,000 people in the surrounding area of Siem Reap alone (not including undocumented cases) have been injured, maimed or killed by landmines. A dark part of the world’s history continued to be unleashed as I made my way around the museum. Caught up in a world of my own, my thoughts were broken by Asad yelling over, “Hey Liv, come here quick, I need you to tell me something…this is him, right? The kid?”
I walked over to a section of the museum where they have profiles of the children who live at the Landmine Museum. There are about twenty kids there who have encountered landmines and have been disfigured in some way. Their stories, along with a photo, are attached to trees and wood posts. I took a look at the second profile – low and behold there was a familiar face, a boy named Chet – the same artist Asad had met in Phnom Penh two years prior! Asad immediately found Hourt, Aki Ra’s wife, and inquired about the boy in the picture. Hourt is a sweet woman whom all the children there call “Mom.” In Chet’s biography, there was no mention of his artistic ability, so when Asad asked about the boy and his art, “Mom” was moved by Asad’s story. She confirmed that Chet was indeed an artist, and that two years ago he had been living on the streets of Phnom Penh. Asad asked to see Chet, but to both our disappointment (and joy), he was still in class at school a mere ten minutes away! Although we were not able to exchange our boat ticket (for the following day) for another day, Asad and I were able to return to the museum that evening.
It was a beautiful and emotional reunion for both Chet and Asad as we arrived. I can’t explain it any other way than to say that there was an intense, magic like energy fusing the two together – there were tears in both of their eyes. Aki Ra offers the youth at his Landmine Museum Relief Center happiness, hope and a positive future.
Asad and I wanted to do something more for the youth at Aki Ra’s Landmine Museum, and upon returning home from our trip we began setting the foundation for Project Enlighten. Originally, we created our scholarship program for university and vocational school for Aki Ra’s kids, but after some time, we felt we could offer more to the world. We have funded scholarships, built free-education schools in Cambodia, Laos and in Burmese Refugee Camps. We’ve continued our educational support to refugees who have transitioned to living in the United States, and help communities impacted by natural and human caused disasters. As the years have passed, we feel so proud to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
You’re selling sports cards to raise money. How can someone buy some from you?
Great question. We just built an Ebay page last night to sell these cards. I will start posting cards this week!
You can also write me directly and I can see if I can help fill your requests.
What are your top five songs of all time?
Oh this is so subjective depending on my mood. But as of tonight!
1) The Invisible Man by Marillion
2) Losing it by Rush
3) We Float by PJ Harvey
4) Sigur 7 by Sigur Ros
5) Illumination Theory by Dream Theatre
How can we find out more about Project Enlighten?
You can always find us @: http://projectenlighten.org/
or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/projectenlighten
For baseball fans across the country there is always a desire to catch one more game and extend the baseball season just a little bit longer so there isn’t as big as a gap until the next season. Last week Kelly, my dad, and I found a way to watch some more baseball and enjoy some amazing weather.
We took a trip to Phoenix, AZ to watch 4 days, 8 games of Arizona Fall League baseball.
The Arizona Fall League is easily baseball’s best kept secret. With weather in the 80’s, two games on most every day and future major league talent everywhere it was amazing. In fact I can honestly say that I have never been more relaxed at a baseball game.
The stands were practically empty, allowing fans to sit anywhere they want. There were great seats in the shade at every game, and the focus being on the development and scouting of the players on the field, you didn’t have to sit through special promotions or failed attempts to get the fans excited in the game. This was baseball at its purist form.
Without a doubt in my mind Kris Bryant was the best player I saw in the eight games I went to. His glove at 3rd base is solid but his raw power at the plate was unmatched. I watch him have what should have been a three homerun game (one was robbed by the umpires), and one of those blasts included a monster bomb out of the park.
His swing was just pure power but at the same time he wasn’t fooled by junk pitches. He was patient and smart at the plate. Easily the player I came away most excited about having the chance to watch play.
Austin Hedges is a top level prospect so I can’t say that his ability really surprised me but his defense was far better than I had expected. He has an absolute cannon from behind the plate. Base runners beware he can gun anyone at any base. He was also a pretty cool guy, as I was able to talk with him for a few minutes after a game and even get a photo with him for the 9 Inning Album.
Least Impressive Player
I actually have two players for this category. The first is Byron Buxton who looked nothing more than average when I watched him play. I know he is young and he may have just had a bad couple of games but I really wonder if he is just being overhyped. He may end up being great but he sure didn’t show it when I saw him.
Alen Hanson was the second player that really did not impress me. Hanson had one of the weakest looking swings I have seen in all of minor league baseball. On half of his swings he appeared to just halfheartedly drop the bat through the strike zone so that he could say that he attempted a swing. For a guy who is one of the Pirates top prospects I sure don’t have a lot of hope for the future of the Pirates if they are hoping he becomes a foundational piece of the team.
Being able to catch baseball in some beautiful weather with my dad is always a great moment. Seeing one of our younger 9 Inning Know It All fans, Connor, get to be batboy for the Scottsdale team one game was cool.
However, I think two moments that stick out to me the most would be meeting Rangers catching prospect Jorge Alfaro and Red Sox 3rd Base prospect Garin Cecchini. Alfaro was amazing, polite and interactive with fans. I was able to shake his hand and get a photo with him. He seemed excited to meet every single fan that had come to the game.
Cecchini I had the opportunity to do an interview with and just the passion and excitement that he had for the game, and for the Red Sox was evident. I’m not a Red Sox fan, never will be, but I can honestly say that when Cecchini makes the major league team I will root for him as long as his career goes.
The Arizona Fall League isn’t for the fans, as much as it is for the players and scouts. The concessions are limited, the souvenirs are even more limited, but the baseball is fun. If you go don’t expect to do the wave, because there aren’t enough fans to do one, but if you just want good weather and baseball, I encourage you to go to baseball’s best kept secret.
Three things to keep in mind on the game-ending obstruction call
There’s a lot that’s been written about the obstruction play that ended Game 3 of the World Series, most of which explains why the call was right. If you haven’t read one of those pieces, do that to get the background on the play then come back here.
After reading the opinions of fans, there’s three big details that seem to trip up people who can’t wrap their head around the accuracy of the call:
1) A runner’s baseline and the physical, drawn line between third base and home plate are different things.
The chalk line between third and home is the foul line, which exists solely to determine whether a ball is fair or foul. A runner’s baseline is a straight line between a runner and the next base he’s running toward, and exists only when a play is being made on that runner.
This is an important distinction because I’ve seen a lot of people arguing that Allen Craig was “out of the baseline” when he made contact with Will Middlebrooks. That’s totally wrong. Craig’s baseline is the line from wherever he is to home plate. He’s allowed to run three feet to either side of that direct path. The location of the foul line has absolutely zero to do with this rule.
This rule applies almost solely to a player who’s attempting to avoid being tagged out between two bases. As soon as the defensive team gets in position to make a play on a runner, that’s the moment a runner’s baseline is established. It exists from wherever the runner happens to be at that moment to the next base, and is not necessarily a straight line from one base to another.
Ultimately, this rule was never even a factor in the play at the end of Game 3, because the obstruction occurred just beyond third base and before the Red Sox were able to make any sort of defensive play on Craig.
The idea behind the obstruction rule is to award a base to a runner who would have made it to that base if they weren’t impeded in some way. This does not require the obstructing fielder to be actively trying to do something to obstruct the runner.
I have read arguments that it shouldn’t be obstruction because Middlebrooks had nowhere to go after the ball sailed past him. There’s no doubt that he had no chance to get out of the way. That also doesn’t matter at all. Craig only fell down because there was somebody between him and home plate. It’s irrelevant whether or not that guy was trying to be in the way, and he doesn’t get excused even if he’s in the process of attempting to get out of the way. He’s either in the way or he isn’t.
The relevant question is this: If Middlebrooks hadn’t been lying there, would Craig have scored? The answer is yes, so it’s obstruction and the runner is entitled to that base.
The fielder is only allowed to be in the way of a runner if he’s actively trying to field a batted ball or catch a throw. The second the ball goes past him, he’s just in the way.
This actually is a pretty easy call to make for an umpire, and it happens a lot at lower levels of baseball.
3) Obstruction does not make the ball immediately dead
I’ve seen some people ask why the play wasn’t immediately called dead as soon as the collision happened, but that’s not actually the way to call this play.
When obstruction is called, an umpire points to where it takes place and shouts the word “obstruction” (Jim Joyce did this). The play, however, is allowed to proceed to its conclusion to allow other runners to advance as far as they can. The call is only enforced if a play is made on the obstructed runner.
Many times, the obstructed runner makes it to the next base anyway and the obstruction is called off. Since the initial ruling is often not enforced, it’s viewed as a rarer call than it actually is.
This was an unusual play, of course, because it was in the bottom of the ninth inning in a tie game, and there was nothing else that could happen once Craig was allowed to score. Still, the procedure is to let the play go until a play is made on the obstructed runner. In this specific case, the game was over as soon as Jim Joyce pointed to the collision. Craig was either going to score or he was going to be awarded the base if he was thrown out.
Unfortunately for Middlebrooks, because of the way the play ended up, he was charged with an error for obstruction and Saltalamacchia was let off the hook. Had Craig scored safely after tripping on Middlebrooks, the error would’ve been charged to Saltalamacchia for his bad throw.
Planning for the trip I was most excited to see Camelback Ranch. I have been there a few times and it’s by far my favorite Spring Training Stadium but for the sole purpose of this trip I’m going to say Hohokam Field in Mesa was my favorite. It always had the least amount of autographers, I’m not sure why either because it was the best stadium for autographs. You had access to each team and the bullpens were right next to each other so all the bullpens pitchers walked by the same place. The concessions had an option besides hot dogs or nachos. They had a really good chicken breast sandwich.
I didn’t think it was going to be Mesa with all their top prospects but they were awesome. Bryant was great, Almora signed 2 or 3 things for everybody each game we saw him. Jorge Soler signed, Brian Goodwin signed, C.J. Cron signed, Tyler Collins signed, Devon Travis signed, Max Muncy signed and they all signed at each game I was at. Addison Russell signed but we weren’t lucky enough to get one. From what I heard from other autographers was that you could tell he didn’t like to sign but was still nice enough to do it.
Worst Team for Autographs
Can’t really pick a whole team because every team had guys that signed. The group that I was most disappointed in was Glendale’s position players. We called it the “Buxton Effect”. Byron Buxton is baseballs #1 prospect and didn’t really sign much which I don’t blame him because when he did it was pure chaos. But for some reason the other position players Corey Seager, Eddie Rosario, Micah Johnson, Brandon Jacobs, Jared Mitchell and probably a few other thought they are too good to sign and be somewhat sociable with the fans.
Best Player for Autographs
I’m going to pick 3. The first 2 are Richie Shaffer of the Rays and Garin Cecchini of the Red Sox. Shaffer probably had the nicest signature of any of the players and he took a picture with me. Cecchini was very friendly and very honest with the fans. At the first game we saw him he was in a hurry but still stopped to sign. For the fans that had cards he would ask which one we wanted signed. He also promised to come sign more after the game and he did, which a lot of players said but didn’t do. My absolute favorite player was Jorge Alfaro of the Rangers and 1 of the top catching prospects in MILB. We saw his team play 4 games. He signed before and after each game. Not only did he sign but he took pictures with the fans, he shook hands and thanked us for coming. He was by far the most polite ball player we met. I will be watching and rooting for all three of these players to make it all the way to the BIGS.
Worst Player for Autographs
Alen Hanson of the Pittsburgh Pirates. A friend of ours came down for Fall League with his son and his son is a huge baseball fan and autograph collector. Hanson was 1 of the guys he was looking forward to seeing and getting an autograph from. Well he saw Hanson and there was no one else around him. He tried to get him to come over but he wouldn’t, instead he went signed for an adult. For that reason alone I think he was the worst player for autographs. He passed up a kid for an adult, not to mention we saw him 3 games and not once did he go over to the fans.
Overall we met a ton really nice true fans of the game, autographers and only a few not so nice ones. I do believe four days is the perfect amount of time to spend here. Anymore time and you would need to do other things besides just going to the games. We did get tons of pictures, a few videos, an interview and talked to someone that may be able to get us a tour when we return in March for Spring Training. A couple of weeks off and the planning for that trip will begin.
We were able to go to 9 games in 4 days. We went to 2 games a day except the last day where we made it to 3 games. All the people that we talked to that have been going for years just told me to not tell anyone about the best kept secret in baseball, the Arizona Fall League. Well I’m sorry but the secrets out.
This was an easy choice and we accepted it when the rosters came out. Mesa is stacked, from Addison Russell of the A’s, the trio from Chicago Bryant, Almora and Soler, C.J. Cron of the Angels has incredible power, Brian Goodwin from the Nationals is lightening quick. We saw Matt Purke, also of the Nationals, throw 4 innings of no hit ball and he was making the opposing team look silly. We saw Tyler Collins and Devon Travis each hit a moon shot in a game. Each of them are in the Tigers organization. The Mesa team was extremely impressive and I expect them to challenge for the 2013 AFL championship.
I could have chosen any number of players but I’m going to go with Tommy La Stella of the Atlanta Braves. I haven’t heard much of him before seeing him play in Arizona. In the 2 games when saw him he went 3-6 with 2 doubles and 5 walks. Besides having the good numbers he passed the eyeball test. I could just tell he had the confidence at the plate and at 2nd base.
Most Disappointing Player
This is tough for me to say or admit but it was Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are always great with the fans and Corey was not. We saw him 3 times and only once did he go over to the fans and there wasn’t any interaction. He just signed for the “auto-weasels” for a moment with his head down. His play on the field wasn’t much better either.
Best Overall Player
Without a doubt is was the Cubs #2 prospect Kris Bryant. He has unbelievable power and a pretty decent glove at 3rd. We saw him play three times and in one of the games in his first at bat he hit a towering ball that looked to bounce of the top of the wall but the umpire said it was a ground rule double. I thought it was a homerun as did everyone else in the stands including all the scouts.
It didn’t phase Bryant though because in his next 2 at bats he hit a HR that easily traveled 430 feet and an opposite field homerun that was a laser that went over the fence in a blink off an eye. On top of all that he was great with the fans signing and talking with them at each game we saw him. Cubs’ fans should be excited about him and I can’t wait to see him in the Majors.
In one of several inept defensive displays by the Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series last night, pitcher Adam Wainwright allowed a pop-up by Stephen Drew to fall right in front of him despite being in position to easily make the play.
Cards catcher Yadier Molina was also in the area when ball dropped, but seemed to think it was Wainwright’s ball the whole time. Often, in an infield pop-up situation, another defender will call off the pitcher, but this particular ball wasn’t hit high enough to allow a teammate to get into a better position to catch the ball. Wainwright was right there, called for the ball, then, for some reason, declined to catch it.
The official scorer ruled this play a single, as the ball dropped in safely without any defender making a play on the ball. The conventional wisdom in this situation is that because no player touched the ball, an error can’t be awarded. This isn’t true, and if I were scoring this game, I would have given Wainwright an error. Here’s why:
There’s contradictory information in the rule book about what to do in these situations, and many baseball people advance the myth of “you can’t award an error when a guy doesn’t touch the ball” (I heard Orel Hershiser do this on the radio while analyzing this very play) despite the presence of this passage in Rule 10.12(a)(1):
It is not necessary that the fielder touch the ball to be charged with an error. If a ground ball goes through a fielder’s legs or a fly ball falls untouched and, in the scorer’s judgment, the fielder could have handled the ball with ordinary effort, the official scorer shall charge such fielder with an error. For example, the official scorer shall charge an infielder with an error when a ground ball passes to either side of such infielder if, in the official scorer’s judgment, a fielder at that position making ordinary effort would have fielded such ground ball and retired a runner. The official scorer shall charge an out- fielder with an error if such outfielder allows a fly ball to drop to the ground if, in the official scorer’s judgment, an outfielder at that position making ordinary effort would have caught such fly ball.
In other words, if you can easily field a ball, but decide not to, it’s an error on you. This seems pretty clear, but later in the very same comment section, there’s this:
The official scorer shall not score mental mistakes or misjudgments as errors unless a specific rule prescribes otherwise.
This sentence is the reason that many “catchable” balls turn into hits rather than error. For instance, when an outfielder misjudges the flight of the ball and it lands 10 feet in front of him or behind him, the batter is awarded a hit even though logic would dictate that the ball should have been caught. This was a misjudgment by the fielder, and a misjudgment is not an error.
Official scorers tend to lump miscommunication between fielders under the “mental mistakes” clause. If one guy backs off because they think the other guy has it, and it falls between them, this is usually scored a hit because of the defenders’ inability to communicate and the difficulty in assigning blame to one player.
In the case of Wainwright last night, he clearly called the ball and admitted after the game that he had called the ball. He also claimed he was waiting for a teammate to call him off, but that never happened. Here’s what he said:
“That’s my ball, I called it and I waited for someone else to take charge and that’s not how you play baseball.”
In my opinion, no miscommunication took place on this play. Thus, the first passage I quoted above should be applied. Wainwright was in the position to handle the ball with ordinary effort, but allowed the ball to drop to the ground. He did not misjudge the ball, and thus should have been charged with an error.
Your first homerun trot is almost exactly like your first kiss…it’s awkward but fun. You’re not quite sure what you’re doing. Am I going to fast? Am I going to slow? Do I need to do something more flashy? Do I need to lean a little to the left?
There are lots of things that go into that first homerun trot.
My first homerun was when I was 12 years old. I hit it to right field. Didn’t even feel it hit the bat. It was one of the easiest swings I’d had, and I didn’t know what I was going to do for my trot.
I sprinted towards first base because I never thought I’d hit a homerun. Then the ball left the field. I didn’t know I had time to jog around the bases, so I ran around them pretty fast. I didn’t enjoy the time around the bases. I didn’t enjoy the first trot.
I remember that when I got into the dugout one of my coaches looked at me and said, “You need to enjoy the trot! You sprinted around the bases!” I remembered that for the rest of my career. I wasn’t much of a homerun hitter but I had sneaky power. You only get one first homerun trot. Just remember, it’s fun and it’s great, don’t over think it, and take it nice and slow! Enjoy the moment. Look at it fondly, like you do for your first kiss…but just work on getting better at it!
The baseball season is in its final week, as the World Series begins tonight, but baseball doesn’t stop at the conclusion of the World Series. No it only just begins for the next season. The Winter Meetings, the Hot Stove and Spring Training are just around the corner.
This also means that just around the corner is Christmas. We at 9 Inning Know It All Know understand that it can be hard to get presents for the baseball fans in your life. Whether that fan is yourself, your kids, or your spouse, we have a few suggestions for things to get.
Have you thought about getting a 9 Inning Know It All t-shirt or sweatshirt? We have all different colors and sizes to choose from. T-shirts come in Blue, Black, White, Pink, Purple and Red. Sweatshirts come in Gray or Black.
T-shirts are $12 for sizes S-XL and $13 for XXL-and up. (Women’s cut shirts are available.)
Sweatshirts (hoodies) are $30 for sizes S-XL and $32 for XXL- and up.
Shipping is $4 for the first item and $2 for each additional item.
Also check in soon as we are trying to add an additional item or two before Christmas.
Here are a few photos of some of the items and colors that we offer.