Monday, September 1, 2008

Sabathia's Latest Masterpiece---A No-Hitter Or Not?

  • Should the official scoring be changed in C.C. Sabathia's no-hitter/one-hitter?
In case anyone missed it, C.C. Sabathia pitched a one-hit shutout over the Pirates yesterday in which the sole hit was a little dribbler in front of the plate by Andy LaRoche that
sabathia one-hitter pic.jpg
was ruled a base hit----ESPN Story and Video Clip. The Brewers were livid after the game with manager Ned Yost being the most vocal about wanting the scoring changed so Sabathia is awarded a no-hitter. I don't see any way possible that this can be done and still have it considered a genuine no-hitter. There's a big difference between a pitcher going for a no-hitter and going for a one-hitter with or without a big lead on the scoreboard.
So what's the etiquette here? Is the MLB commissioner's office supposed to make the change on an official scorer's judgment call and "award" Sabathia a disputed no-hitter? If the change is made, what's going to happen? Before the next game immediately following the scoring change, are the Brewers going to gather on the field with Sabathia on the mound, pause for a moment and have Sabathia jump into the air as some sort of continuation of the game as it should have been with a canned celebration for the highlight reels?
Never mind the fact that the official scorer, Bob Webb, has twenty years experience in official scoring and made the call immediately; or that the no-hitter would forever be disputed as to whether or not it was a legitimate no-hitter; is this even that big of a deal? A no-hitter, as great an accomplishment as it is, isn't seen as a huge career highlight for most pitchers
seaver pic.jpeg
who've had great careers. Tom Seaver has always said that the no-hitter was way down on his list of milestones. Sabathia's not some journeyman who'll have nothing else to look back on in his career; the guy has a Cy Young Award and is putting himself into contention for the award this season in the opposite league based on his dominating work since joining the Brewers; and he didn't even seem all that bothered about the scoring himself, so why are his teammates and management going so crazy?
Truth be told, in watching the replay of the call, I would've ruled it as an error, but it's a call that the official scorer is responsible for and he said it's a hit, so it's a hit and should stay that way; and if it was such a problem the umpires have the power to make the change in scoring if they deem it necessary, so why wasn't that change made by the umpiring crew if it were such an egregious call? I don't know how this is going to turn out, but if I were in the MLB front office, I would save all the grief that comes along with making such a change and awarding a post-game no-hitter by standing by the official scoring because it was a call that could have gone either way with a justifiable argument for both sides. What's done is done.
  • Could Sabathia steal the Cy Young Award from Brandon Webb?
A more fascinating debate is going to be held if Sabathia continues his current dominance over the last month of the season and ends with a record of 14-1 or 15-0 for the Brewers and if
brandon webb pic.jpeg
Brandon Webb continues to struggle----could Sabathia, based on a half-season of work win the National League Cy Young Award?
Such an occurrance (a pitcher traded at mid-season and being so brilliant that he wins the Cy Young Award for half a season) isn't unprecedented. Rick Sutcliffe went 16-1 after being acquired by the Cubs from the Indians in 1984 and won the award over other qualified candidates like Dwight Gooden and Bruce Sutter based on his flashy record, brilliance and that he carried the Cubs to their first playoff spot in 39 years.
Even if Webb goes, say 2-2 the rest of this season, he'll end with a record of 21-8 and will
sutcliffe pic.jpeg
get some votes based on that and because he was so brilliant early in the season; but he's been awful over his past two starts (lending credence to the implication that he's not 100% healthy). If Sabathia is as great as he's been so far and leads the Brewers into the playoffs and Webb continues to pitch poorly and the Diamondbacks miss the playoffs, Sabathia might steal the award from him and there would be good reason to give it to him. It's one thing for a pitcher to win back-to-back Cy Young Awards and to even do it in different leagues with different teams, but for a guy to win the second of the awards only after joining the new team in mid-July would be unbelievable, but it's becoming more possible by the day.
  • From this week's Joe Morgan files of "What is he talking about?":
I used to live in an apartment near the elevated trains in Brooklyn and people would ask how we used to deal with the noise, but after so many years, we didn't even notice it. I've gotten to the point where Joe Morgan is like background noise that I hear every day and has turned into something that is easy to ignore as if it doesn't even exist, but he still has that
morgan pic.jpeg
uncanny ability to say something that is so completely absurd that I have to stop, scrunch up my face, shake my head, look around and say, "What?!?"
Morgan and his partner Jon Miller (who must have the patience of Gandhi) were discussing the Sabathia no-hitter/one-hitter and Morgan came up with a new interpretation of the rules that I'd never heard before. Morgan's asserted that there was a "rule" that the official scorer was required to make sure that the first hit recorded is a "clean" hit. By that logic, the Andy LaRoche grounder to Sabathia would've been recorded as an error whether it was an error or not; by that logic, if a guy like Jose Reyes leads off the game with a bunt, then it's not allowed to be a base hit because it was the first hit of the game and the scorer is under the edict that the first hit of the game has to be a line shot to center field or something of that nature; by that logic, if a guy takes a home run cut, hits the ball off the end of the bat and has it bounce thirty times down the third base line and stay fair, it's not a base hit no matter the inning or situation whether it's the first inning, the fifth inning or the eighth inning.
I have no response to this. There's really nothing to say other than perhaps Joe Morgan
gorilla monsoon pic.jpeg
should consider moving to the broadcast booth for professional wrestling because he's starting remind me of the late former wrestler/broadcaster Gorilla Monsoon who would say things like "Hulk Hogan has literally been on the shelf for the past month" meaning that Hogan was physically sitting on a shelf. I don't know where or what to say or do with Joe Morgan other than shake my head in bewilderment and laugh because the man's in a world all his own.

No comments: