Tagged: Bud Selig

Carl Crawford May Be Fined for Honoring Jackie Robinson With Cleats

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles DodgersThat is not a typo. According to Yahoo! Sports, which quotes a report from ESPN’s Mark Saxson, the powers that be at MLB contacted Crawford’s agent about the cleats he wore in Monday’s loss to the Padres.

As you can see in the picture, Crawford (who, like many players on the team, received one pair each of blue and white cleats emblazoned with “42”) chose to wear one shoe of each color on Jackie Robinson Day. At the time it didn’t seem like a big deal. Actually, it seemed really freakin’ cool to everyone not wearing suits at MLB headquarters.

According to Saxson’s report, Crawford said he was trying to have a little fun with it after seeing Jimmy Rollins change cleats mid-game earlier in the day. Then he added: “But I guess the league doesn’t want us to have any fun.”

For those of you who watch the NFL regularly, this stinks of a Roger Goodell influence. As a master conspiracy theorist, I will presume that Goodell got bored in the offseason, noticed Crawford’s cleats on TV, called Bud Selig, and threatened to put a bounty on him if he didn’t do something immediate, drastic, and douche-y about it.

The more likely scenario, though, is that MLB struggled with a decision of whether to uphold their wardrobe policies, or ignore it as an exception for a special day. The fact that they gave Crawford a warning instead of immediately doling out the fine makes me think that a fine is less likely to come.

We’ll see if Crawford is taking out his checkbook in the next few days, so stay tuned. But for now, we’ll add this latest nonsense to the long list of mishaps the Dodgers have accumulated as a clear target of MLB, the Diamondbacks, and Carlos Quentin’s. My team just can’t catch a break. If we could, we’d be 14-0!

Shoot, there’s that conspiracy theorist in me again. Carry on.

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Follow @3u3d on Twitter and like Three Up, Three Down on Facebook for all your 2013 MLB news!

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If Baseball Had Replacement Umps…

Unless you live under a rock, have no access to technology and cut off all communication with other humans, you know what happened on Monday Night Football last night. Actually even if you qualify for all three, you might still have heard the screams coming from Green Bay, WI flying through the night air like dementors heading straight for Roger Goodell’s office.

Normally on Three Up, Three Down we stay away from sporting events involving anything but America’s pastime. But last night’s egregious call (or if you prefer, “tragesty” as a radio caller said on a local station this morning – it’s actually a pretty solid made up word!) against the Packers that cost them a game can arguably be dubbed “The Worst Call in NFL History.”

And since the event nearly caused Twitter to cave in on itself, we know it’s noteworthy enough to draft a blog around for our baseball-loving fans. Without further adieu, here is what would happen if Major League Baseball were to hire replacement refs:

May 2nd, 2012 – Dodgers @ Rockies, runner called out

June 27th, 2012 – Indians @ Yankees, ruled a catch

July 27th, 2011 – Pirates @ Braves, called safe

Oct. 14th, 2003 – Marlins @ Cubs, foul ball?

Oct. 20th, 1991 – Braves @ Twins, called out

June 1st, 2012 – Cardinals @ Mets, ruled foul

Oct. 12th, 1997 – Braves @ Marlins VIDEO HERE, strike 3 way outside

Oct. 9th, 1996 – Orioles @ Yankees, ruled a home run, not fan interference

Oct. 10th, 2009 – Twins @ Yankees, called foul

June 2nd, 2010 – Indians @ Tigers, perfect game ruined on last out, called safe

June 11th, 2012 – Royals @ Pirates VIDEO HERE, called a catch, ball dropped

August 6th, 2010 – Phillies @ Marlins, called foul

October 20th, 2009 – Yankees @ Angels, both tagged out, only one ruled out

October 17th, 1999 – Yankees @ Red Sox, ruled a tag-out

Well, that was way too much fun. I highly suggest you give quickmeme.com a visit and play around in your spare time. As you can see, baseball has had its fair share of blown calls in big games too. But we’re living in the moment and the fan fury is directed at Roger Goodell, the replacement ref crew, and everything that remotely looks like a Seahawk.

Comment below and let us know if we missed a call – heck, send us a meme of it! And just for fun, vote in the poll:

If you LOL’d, you can follow @3u3d on Twitter and LIKE Three Up, Three Down on Facebook!

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Do Any NL Teams DESERVE the 2nd Wild Card?

As you’re well aware by now, there is quite a heated battle for both newly instituted second Wild Card slots. With just about ten games remaining for everyone, there are no less than four teams in each league fighting for that last spot and a one-game playoff to move to the Divisional Series.

Let me first acknowledge a few things so you can’t yell at me later:

1) Yes, it has made the stretch run much more exciting. Just like the doctor ordered.

2) I understand that most professional sports leagues have at least 12 teams total in the playoffs, still more than MLB.

3) Every team that is still in the chase for that second spot, regardless of league, is a “good” club.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s cut to the chase. Is there really a National League team that deserves the second Wild Card? After all, the division leaders have all already clinched a playoff spot, and the Atlanta Braves are six games better than the next best contender.

The defending champion St. Louis Cardinals are currently holding the coveted fifth seed, 2.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers and 3.0 ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks are barely hanging on, 4 and 5 games back, respectively.

Of those five, only the Cardinals have clinched a .500 season with a week and a half of games remaining. Again, don’t get me wrong. Those are some good teams. Among them we have the third-best team ERA in the league (L.A.), an offense led by the reigning league MVP (Milwaukee) and a team with the most dangerous starting rotation in baseball (Philadelphia).

But all these teams have seen their fair share of struggles. Hitting rough patches isn’t anything new – eventual World Champions will take their lumps over a long season as well.

If the Cardinals, Brewers, Dodgers, Phillies or D’Backs are going to sneak into the playoffs on the strength of a new Wild Card spot that was likely designed with the intention of getting the Angels, Rangers, Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers into the A.L. postseason most years (Oops!), why do they get a do-or-die opportunity against a far superior team?

There is no question that the Braves have been a better team than all the above listed. You can’t really argue with that large of a gap in the standings, but I can argue that it’s absolutely ridiculous that they will face one of the lesser teams in a one-game playoff that determines who continues on in the playoffs. 

Putting such a fantastic season on the line in a one-game playoff where literally anything could happen seems crazy to me. Not that Bud Selig has ever done much to dispel the notion that he’s a little cuckoo, but this one is just too much. I appreciate the excitement the new Wild Card spot is bringing to the pennant chase, but I’d be pretty annoyed if I was a Braves fan.

Atlanta has arranged their schedule to send either Kris Medlen or Tim Hudson to the hill in a must-win. Both are great pitchers, but just because of the new rule, you could see them facing Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay…a whole slew of starters who have huge-game experience and success to their names.

The Braves could legitimately take that Wild Card spot by nearly ten games over the fifth seed and get sent right back home because of one, single game. As we’ve seen a million times in the past, anything can happen in a baseball game. The Astros beat the Reds a couple of weeks ago – why couldn’t that happen in a one-game playoff?

A bizarre error could change a game. A bad call. One wild pitch. In such a long season, it seems preposterous to allow a team that really earned a postseason berth to be in peril of going home at the hands of an 82-win team based on one game. At the very least, it should be a three-game series to truly determine (in most cases) a winner.

And don’t you even get me started on the fact that the Braves or whoever beats them in the one-game playoff will get the first two Division Series games at home. That’s a whole different beast.

So, it’s a very legitimate question that I’m posing here: Do any National League teams deserve that second Wild Card spot? And does the new postseason structure get re-thunk if the Braves get worked in the one-game playoff? We would love to hear your take on the issue, so comment and VOTE below!

If you like what you see, you can follow @3u3d on Twitter and LIKE Three Up, Three Down on Facebook!

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

**UPDATE: Melky requests to be ineligible for batting title** MLB Unlikely to Interfere If Cabrera Wins NL Batting Title

UPDATE 12:30 p.m. 9/21/12: According to multiple sources, Cabrera has requested that he not be eligible for the NL batting title, and the league has obliged in a one-time exception!

First of all, let me give Melky the thumbs-up for a very smart, classy move. He knows he did wrong and doesn’t want to earn a rare honor based on a tarnished season. No matter how much I despise the guy, I can appreciate and respect this act.

Now the question becomes, why is this a one-time exception? If a player knows he cheated and the league has recognized that with a suspension, why not let them request this in the future? Why not make it a policy, in fact, to banish suspended PED users from award consideration anyway?

That’s all for now…check out the new poll below and let us know how you feel!

——-END OF UPDATE——-

…what? No, no. This must be a joke. BLAST! It’s no gag:

“We’ll see how it all plays out,” baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday after taping an episode of “CenterStage” for the YES Network. “We generally don’t interfere in that process. We’ll take a look at it at the end of the year.”

That quote comes directly from this Fox News story posted earlier today, and also includes this gem:

During the YES interview, scheduled to air for the first time Sept. 27, Selig was asked whether records set during the Steroids Era should be revisited.

“You can’t change records because once you get into that it would never stop,” Selig said. “It would create more problems than it would solve.”

Okay, first things first. It’s not “if” Cabrera wins the NL batting title. It’s “when.” And everyone knows that. I’m sorry, but Andrew McCutchen is not going to hit nearly .500 over the final 14 games of this season and overtake Cabrera. If he does, this blog becomes pointless and worthless and I will gladly eat my words.

“It would create more problems than it would solve?” The problem is that it isn’t being solved! SOLVE THAT, BUD!

Technically, Cabrera stands at 501 plate appearances, one short of the 502 required to qualify. But according to some rule in the rule book of rules locked deep within the rule hall in the annals of Major League Baseball’s rules department, the rule troll himself points out that an 0-for-1 can be added to the average to make Cabrera qualify, as long as it’s still above the second place finisher.

So it sounds as if Cabrera’s testosterone-induced .346 average will stand, no matter how much people like me cry and kick and scream. What I don’t understand is this: how can a Commissioner, so hell-bent on saving his own reputation by instituting one of the harshest drug-testing penalty systems in modern sports, just ignore this incidence?

Selig put so much work into creating a fair, stringent testing system to catch all those Popeye-lookin’ sluggers who were breaking home run records left and right. And now he’s going to let one of the players his system caught make a mockery of it?

And this isn’t Ryan Braun or Barry Bonds – both innocent, technically. This is a guy who was caught this year and said “Sorry I’m not sorry, dudes. I cheated.”

Okay, I’m sure Melky’s admission was a little more professional, but you get my point.

While Selig is in a giving mood, let’s pass out some other free milestones, shall we? Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline both retired with 399 home runs. Screw it, they get 400! Miguel Cabrera needs two more home runs to be leading the Triple Crown categories in the American League. All yours, Miggy! Or this, from Twitter:

Baseball is a hard-fought game in which accolades and milestones are earned, not given. And when a player directly, unabashedly disregards the integrity of the game for personal gain, it’s like a slap in the face.

Would you give someone who just slapped you in the face a diamond ring right after? It’s like Paul Edgecomb in “The Green Mile” (R.I.P. Michael Clarke Duncan) letting Wild Bill Wharton out of prison to accept a Nobel Peace Prize.

Give me a freakin’ break, Selig. Man up and make the move. Cabrera should absolutely not be allowed to win the NL batting title, based on three things:

1) Common sense

2) The integrity of the sport

3) More common sense

All I know is that this is an awful idea. And that Selig would not want this to be his last move as Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

End, rant. Let us know what you think about Melky Cabrera’s likely NL batting title in a PED-tainted season in the comments below. And VOTE in the poll!

Don’t forget to follow @3u3d on Twitter and LIKE Three Up, Three Down on Facebook.

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

New Replay Rules! Where Would it Have Been Used?

Today, MLB commissioner Bud Selig announced on ESPN Radio in New York that MLB would expand the use of instant replay. Selig said that the new instant replays would be instituted on fair/foul calls down the outfield lines and on trapped balls to see whether or not they were actually caught for an out. This implementation is easy enough.

We will see umpires more than likely lean towards to calling close plays down the line fair balls and letting the game play out. If they’re wrong it can be reviewed and changed into a foul ball. It would be easier than calling a ball foul and have it actually being fair. Trap plays are already written into the rule book that the umpires can place batters where they believe they would have ended up is they needed to change a call. We actually saw this in a recent Mets/Braves game. (We’ll get to that shortly) No time table has been set for when the expanded replay rules will go into effect. In my opinion, the sooner the better.
Where would we have seen the new replay rules come into play?

The first and probably biggest example is from Johan Santana’s recent no-hitter. Carlos Beltran hit one down the left field line that was called foul, but upon further review was actually a fair ball.

If these new replay rules were being used. Mike Matheny simply had to ask for a review and the Mets fan base would still be starving for the franchise’s first no-hitter.

Our second example takes us to July 14th of this season. Jason Heyward hit a liner to left field and was trapped by Jordany Valdespin of the Mets. There was some confusion as one umpire called it an out, another called it a trap. They huddled up and got the call correct. It would’ve been nice if they had instant replay to make sure that the call would be right.

Our last example is an infamous one. I’m not completely sure if it falls into the new trap rules. Dewayne Wise “caught” a ball as he jumped into the stands. The umpire called the play an out when clearly Wise had dropped it. Could umpires use the new replay rules to review this type of play if a manager asks if Wise trapped it as he jumped into the stands?

These are just a few examples of where the new replay rules could be used. Plays like this could have been “the straw that broke the camel’s back” an led to the newest extension of instant replay. What are your thoughts on the new replay rules? Fair? Foul? Should there be even more replay implemented? Let us know in the comments!

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)