Thursday, April 28, 2005

Troublesome news

Apparently, in yesterday's whitesox/A's game, Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt actually called Joe Crede back to the batters box after a hit-by-pitch, ruling that he had made no effort to avoid the pitch. It's rule 6.08(b), but it seems like it's almost never called.
On the one hand, I'd hate to see increased focus on this rule effect Biggio, but on the other hand perhaps better enforcement of the rule will make the record that much more meaningful since people won't accuse him of diving over the plate to get hit - sort of like how the new steroid policy will legitimize a Barry Bonds home run record. Okay, bad example.
Anyway, I hope there's room in the rules for a little bit of plunk gamesmanship. Just as the pitcher has a right to brush back a batter in the fight for the inside of the plate, I think the batter has just as much right to take that pitch for the team, and send back the message that he's not going to be intimidated. Like if "Moonlight" Graham could have taken the pitch in the ear, gotten up, and THEN winked at the pitcher (he was a ghost anyway, right? so it's not like he could get hurt...).

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