Thursday, August 12, 2010

Catcher's Stupidity

Quick rant here while I calm down from that ninth inning in Kansas City. The Yankees were up 4-1 and the Royals had runners at first and third and two outs. The runner at first, Mitch Maier, took off for second and was safe without a throw because of something called catcher's indifference. What the hell is this, who invented it, and why does it happen?

Here is the argument for catcher's indifference, which as far as I can tell is, by definition, "a catcher not caring about the runner, so he lets him take second base without a play":

1. Well, that run doesn't matter.

Wrong. The run matters. Every run matters. I can't score the tying run if the runner before him doesn't score first.

Yet catchers let it happen night after night. When did this become the Sparta (NJ) Little League? I probably stole 417 bases in 1992, mainly because when I was on first base and a teammate was on third, I would take off for second and the catcher would hold the ball. It's not because I was fast, it's because it was noodle-armed Chris Cronin behind the plate and he knew if he threw to second my teammate would score and I would be safe at second anyway. But Chris Cronin wasn't a big league baseball player, he worked part-time at Mastandria's Sandwich Shop and shared a bike with his sister.

And apparently it's not a stolen base because the catcher is indifferent about the whole situation. Well, this afternoon I was indifferent about what those two double cheeseburgers might do to me later on the evening, but I ate them anyway. The guy running from first is the double cheeseburger.

And don't be fooled: that's a stolen base. I ran towards second, you didn't care to try and get me out and I was safe = stolen base. The other team is given 27 outs to play with; why you wouldn't try and record one of them is baffling to me.

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