Major League Baseball has a problem. That problem? Umpires who like to inject themselves to ballgames and affect their results. As a whole, MLB protects their umpires from the negative side of getting a major call wrong. Unfortunately, few learn from their mistakes and just continue the same pattern of behavior.
A couple of events over the last few days have really brought this to mind, but I’ve been meaning to write something to this effect for awhile. Two just in this last series, a series that is one of the Cardinals’ most crucial series’ the rest of the way.
On Monday night with one out and the bases loaded in a 5-2 ballgame, the Cardinals were threatening to put a big number up on Brewers starter Zack Greinke. Skip Schumaker grounds a ball to second base and the Brewers turn two. Or did they? Replays show that Schumaker was safe. Clearly safe, even to the naked eye. So how did the first base umpire, Rob Drake, miss that one? There’s no excuse for a missed play like that. Skip Schumaker didn’t argue the call, though he stood there in disbelief for a moment and later talked about it to the media. Continue reading
The MLB non-waiver trade deadline came and went at 4 p.m. eastern time yesterday afternoon. It seemed like every contender added pieces from non-contenders as they attempted to solidify their position on top, or as a challenger of, a division. After the dust has settled and the moves have had a chance to percolate, who made the best moves in the NL Central? Certainly the Cardinals were active, but so were the other teams in the NL Central. Each one making a trade over the last week. Let’s take a look at their moves and determine who was the big winner. We’ll start at the bottom, just to build up the suspense.
Houston Astros (24.5 games back)
The Astros were one of the busiest teams on deadline day, but they weren’t buyers. The NL Central’s cellar dwellars made big moves, dealing both Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn over the last three days. The Astros made out like an arms dealer selling to both sides, sending Pence to NL East leading Philadelphia and Bourn to NL East runner-up Atlanta. The two trades will bring the Astros a total of eight prospects, seven of them named and one other that will be named later.
They were even very close to dealing their #1 starter, Wandy Rodriguez, to the Indians at the deadline before that deal fell apart. However, many expect that Rodriguez could still be moved during the waiver trade deadline. However, with that contract, I’m thinking he will have a hard time reaching a division leader. He has a very club friendly contract and may not be heading anywhere this year because of that. A pitcher with his history, talent, and contract will be very attractive to a handful of clubs, some of which may not even be in contention.
For the Astros, this won’t help them this year, but there is hope that it will help them in the years to come. Houston is clearly rebuilding right now and 3 years down the road, this trade could pay off big time. The question will be, will Ed Wade and Brad Mills be around to reap the benefits? Continue reading