Lose Appeal … pay the price by Bob Ryan

You know one of my favorite topics is the MLB appeal…..I don’t agree with the assumption that each “call” must be perfect….I mean…what else in life is perfect?….all the MLB pitchers make bad pitches… all the MLB batters swing & miss…why do we expect the umpires to be perfect?  It’s called the human element. I don’t like managers making us wait while some computer guy is watching the replay. Meanwhile, the Manager is standing on the top step of the dugout holding up the …..already slow….game…if he’s so sure that it’s the wrong call… have him appeal it immediately….and aren’t the games long enough already with plethora of commercials choking off your interest?  With those as my backdrop, I was very surprised to see while watching the Blues that when their appeal was denied..they were penalized due to the incorrect appeal….they put any man in the penalty box…well….why not use that same principle in baseball & football….make it simple…and make the team losing the appeal…pay a price for their “mistake”

…in baseball….if your instant appeal…no more pontificating on the top step…is wrong…the offensive team loses an out….if the appeal was the 3rd out…it’d be the 1st out in the next inning….if a defensive appeal is ruled incorrect…that runner is awarded a free base …for example…if the appeal pertained to a runner at 1b…that runner is awarded 2b…if @2b…then runner is advanced to 3b due to the incorrect appeal….other runners move up if forced to do so…. Some objections that I hear about awarding bases are that it may skew the ERA of the pitchers….well….since it’s an error…the Manager’s error….treat it like any other error with respect to earned runs.

…in football….if the appeal is wrong…the other team gets 10 yards…in other words….if the offensive team is incorrect in their appeal…the football is moved backwards 10 yards….if the defensive team is incorrect in the appeal…the ball is moved forward after the spot….simple…..

Around the MLB….in the…it’s too early to say….

….I can practically guarantee that none of the top 4 RBI leaders as of April 15th will be there on September 15th! All four of these players have 15 rbi’s—Mitch Haniger (Seattle), Gregory Polanco (Pirates), Jose Martinez (StL Cards), Hanley Ramirez (Boston)…sorry….I haven’t jumped on the Martinez band-wagon yet….he DOES look good….but…. he HAS played in the Home run derby field….Cincinnati …4 games already. Heck…I even saw little bitty Billy Hamilton hit a HR yesterday!

…Shohei Ohtani has displayed good “stuff” on the mound and has been a sharp hitter…. in 30 AB, batting average .367,3 HR , his OPS (on base + slugging %) 1.191, as a pitcher 2-0, 2.08 era, whip (walks +hits per innings pitched) 0.46 and the batting average against him as a pitcher is .093…He isn’t another Ichiro…who was an unbelievable “slap-hitter”

….apparently a  rebirth for 32 year old Bud Norris has taken place….I remember him as being a soft-throwing guy who seemed like he could beat the Cards…but hardly anyone else.  He gave himself a “re-make” last year… he moved to the bullpen … notched 19 saves last year for the Halos…. He did have an ERA of 4.21 last year while recording a good strikeout to inning ratio…74: 56…it’s just too early

….Dominic Leone’s early stats might suggest to space him out a bit….pitching on back-back days(1 time)….ugh….no outs, 2 hits (1 a HR), 2 runs..pitching with 1 days rest—3different times…3.2 inning, 3 hits, 4 runs…pitching with 2 days rest..1.1 innings, 1 hit no runs…..it’s too early to reach definitive conclusions….but  I’d try holding him to pitching with 2+ days rest and looking for strong performances from him…..that shouldn’t be hard with the 8 man posse in the bullpen waiting for action….we’ll see

….maybe this one isn’t too early to tell…on opening night, the Miami Marlins drew 6150 people… meanwhile…on the same night, the AA affliliate minor league team in Jacksonville…the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp….I couldn’t make that name up.  drew 6960 fans…btw…Jacksonvile was playing the Mobile BayPears…luv those minor league names……currently Miami has drawn an average of 13,403 per game in 11 home dates….for some reason…Miami has hosted the most home games to this point..at that rate…Miami would draw just under 1.1m for the season….ugly….but deserving to management.. meanwhile….the Cards have drawn 234,316 in 6 home games…that averages to a bit over 39,000/game thus far in 2018….and…I’m hearing how attendance is down @ Busch…too early to tell…

….the Mets don’t seem too concerned about closer Jeury Familia….last year his season was shortened due to arm issues after 26 appearances….so….take it easy on him in 2018…..not so much… he’s pitched in 8 of the first 14 Met games…sure….he has 7 saves out of the 8 appearances….but what’s the over/under on him in games pitched this season….especially at this rate?  30?  40?  50?…..too early to tell…..but at this same rate…he’d pitch in 92 games this year…it’s not too early to say ….NO WAY.

…it maybe too early to tell but….there has been an increase in the number of batters being “hit by pitches”….it’s up by 17%…..is it because batters have controlled  the attention in the last few years with the increase in home runs…or is it due to the many rivalries scheduled early in the season…or is it due to pitchers trying to pitch inside….or is it due to batters lunging into the pitch and not being able to get out of the way of he pitches…..whatever…..keep a watch on it

….speculation is hovering around the LA Dodgers clubhouse….although he has 2 years & $65m left on his contract, Clayton Kershaw also has the option to “opt out” after this year. Many are speculating that he’ll opt out….I’m not so sure…look how the 30 year old free agents fared this off season….and…would he want to leave the glamor, winning records, high profile of LA for another market…time will tell..

….when experts claim that the LA/NY markets are special….many agree…to a point…but how about Aaron Judge being listed as a category in a Jeopardy show?   I doubt that any Cardinal…Stan, Gibby, Albert, Yadi…any will ever have that claim.  I guess…ya never know…

In our effort to find high school teams who may have been overlooked while enjoying outstanding seasons…..

…the Union HS Girls Soccer team is 8-0 this year…the Wildcats have outscored their opponents 52-3 for the season!!! Emily Gaebe has scored 26 goals already in 2018. Keeper Lexi Garlock  has all 8 wins with 5 shutouts recorded this year under Head Coach Matt Fennessey. Last year Union was 14-5 for the season so the 8-0 start is a real improvement for the squad.

….it’s good to see that Valley Park….a powerhouse baseball program in the 90’s in the Class 1 level under Head Coach Brent Gregston…VP went through some tough years…as all schools do in the cycle of sports…. but now has rebounded.  The Hawks…still a small school but no longer a class 1 school ….are 6-3 for 2018 with losses to powerhouse Vianney and large school Hazelwood West. Jr Brandon Spawr leads the team in power production with 3 HR, 3 doubles, .469 average and a team leading 24 RBI’s.  Sr Austin Schmitt holds the highest average on the team at .483 and his 12 steals are also #1 on the team. Soph Ethan Schmitt holds a 3-0 record on the mound for the Hawks.

Thanks for making it to the bottom…..YOUR comments are always invited…agree…disagree..little of each… doesn’t matter…put it right under this article….thx for reading..



  1. One of the Schmitt brothers (& I always forget which one) on Valley Park is going to University of Louisiana-Monroe for baseball and they are as solid a hitting team at that level as I’ve seen and have more depth on the mound than most anyone else in that classification. They should make a pretty good run in the playoffs again this year.

  2. Another great blog, Bob. I like your solution to the appeals process in MLB. It definitely detracts from the game. I would hate to be an offensive team with momentum with the opposing pitcher on the ropes and have it grind to a halt with an appeal. I’m starting to wonder if Matt Carpenter is the rebirth of Alan Craig.

  3. I must be one of the few people not worried about the length of games. I am worried about the changes to the game the fear has created. Never been a fan of appeals in any sport. The human element belongs in the game which is why umpires on the field need to help each other out more often.
    When did baseball games get to be too long? Situational pitching/hitting has slowed the game down. Allowing the ridiculous shifts of defenses has created the boredom. Baseball has always espoused its beauty because there was no time clock. Now we install artificial clocks with a perceived perfect playing time.
    I agree about Jose Martinez. Beyond his current hitting success, his abilities at first are questionable. Either he or a runner is going to be seriously hurt because of his awkward play at the base. Went to spring training for a week and he seems clueless about footwork and positioning. Hopefully Oquendo can work it all out with him.
    Enjoy reading your thoughts! JW

  4. Hi Bob, I also hate the manager on the top step thing. I think at a minimum they should have a time limit, say no more than 10 seconds, to either signal an appeal or not. No more stalling on the top step. I’d say to give that a try at first. That may cut down on the number of appeals. JH

  5. I like your suggestion to penalize wrong appeals in MLB. The way it is now, why not question a close call late in the game. Any idea on the percent of appeals that have changed the call? I also agree with you on the idea of leaving the human element in the game. Pretty soon we will have an electronic way to call balls and strikes. Are we moving in the direction of E-sports and let the computer make our decisions for us. Nice of you to notice the Union Girls HS Soccer team. They don’t get the publicity that the STL teams get. Thanks for your blog.

  6. Hey Bob
    Seems like a lot of baseball parks there are a lot of empty seats maybe because the cold
    & wet spring or the games are taking so Long to play and it is alreeady a very slow sport.
    Even my Padres threw inside to a batter…result…. bench clearing brawl. Padres pitcher
    throws his glove to protect him from the running & raging batter!! MB

  7. Jim Pleimann says:

    Although I dislike the length of replay, and the fact we can see what the result should be and half the time it is ruled the other way, I am too much of a purist to go with all you propose and quite honestly I am surprised you’d be for all the gimmicks it would bring to the game. Call me a purist, but those proposals would not be “appealing” to me. (See what I did there?)
    Way too early for too much analyzing. But… Carp? can he really only be productive as a leadoff man? Fowler? Never been too impressed – but he did hit better lower in the lineup. They say he is leading odd for his speed – You have to get on base to use it, and then maybe try to steal a base or two. Wong? Maybe he is the next Dal Maxvill except he’ll be at 2nd base! I am willing to give the boys some time before I condemn them too harshly. Ha! But anytime the great Jose Oquendo wants to teach Martinez the ins and outs of first base, I am all for it! Thanks Bob! See ya next week….

  8. Carter Cassell says:

    I agree with the penalty if you get the challenge incorrect. Also I think there should be a limit on extra innings; for instance, when get to the 11th or 12th, you start putting a runner on 2nd base.

    I also agree it is too early for me to hop on the Jose Martinez train. Defensively he struggles and that’s why he’s at first base but as you said he’s now played a third of his games against probably the worst team in baseball in the Cincy Reds.

    Lastly, I think it is too early to tell for the attendance at Busch. My dad has had struggles the past two years trying to sell his tickets for what they actually go for because of how the Cards have played. Also the games during the week are hard to sell out since school is still in session so we’ll have to wait for the summer.

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