The Absurdity of Pitchers Hitting (Bring It On, Haters)

I have been mulling over my stance on the Designated Hitter for a while, and hashing it out on Twitter with other diehard types leads to some good discussion. I always stall on one thing that’s too long to describe in 140 characters: Pitchers hitting is completely absurd in comparison to other sports. It’s its success in spite of that absurdity that I think draws so many people to keeping the DH out of the National League. But the charming 13 out of 100 successes NL pitchers enjoy in order to maintain an OBP of .133 thus far in 2015 is not enough for me. American League DHs average a .332 OBP. That’s significantly better (I did the math in my head) and more fun to watch than mostly hoping for a stroke of luck. Continue reading…

Crash Bag, Vol. 87: Blizzard Shopping with Ruben Amaro

Hey, hey hey, interrogate me hey…

@mdubz11: “your hall of fame ballot, opinions, etc etc”

I’m shocked that nobody asked me this before now, but I guess there’s a certain point past which nobody cares about my opinion. Anyway, I answered this last year, and nobody got in, so a lot of my answers are the same…actually, look at that, it was Dubs who asked for my hypothetical Hall of Fame ballot last year too, the sneaky bastard.

Continue reading…

A Hockey Post? Really?

Yes, really. I just had to comment on it, as I’m sure millions hundreds of not just Philadelphia Flyers fans, but hockey fans, are as well: the Flyers got jobbed in Game 1 against the Montreal Canadiens.

The Flyers went into the second period with a 2-0 lead and looking much better than the Canadiens, but the crap was only beginning to hit the fan when Alexei Kovalev used his stick to bat down the puck into the net behind goaltender Marty Biron. Everyone who isn’t a Canadiens fan could clearly see that it was a high-stick (above the crossbar) simply by the fact that… his stick hit the crossbar. The referees’ whistles, however, were silent.

That stuff happens, karma, yada yada yada…

With about a minute left in regulation in the third period and the orange and black up 3 to 2, center Mike Richards clearly knocked Kovalev down with his shoulder, but the refs claimed that Richards kneed him, and the Canadiens got a power play with 1:09 remaining on the clock. Unsurprisingly, they pulled their goaltender to create a 6-on-4 advantage, and, as luck would have it, Jeff Carter’s stick broke on the face-off — essentially making it 6-on-3 — and the puck glided right over to Kovalev who promptly tied the game at threes with 29 seconds left in the third period.

The Flyers’ bad luck continued when Tom Kostopoulos scored 48 seconds into overtime.

So, we can say that the referees were responsible for two Canadiens goals and indirectly responsible for another (Kostopoulos’).

Even worse is that Gary Bettman, commissioner of the NHL, calls the officiating “good” according to an article by Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald:

“You know what? I think the officiating is good,” said Bettman. “I think it undergoes intense scrutiny this time of year. Of all the people on the ice and surrounding the ice, our officials probably make the fewest mistakes. This is a game of mistakes, including the officials, and we hold them accountable.”

It’s not just the labor issues that have the NHL lagging well behind the other three major sports organizations — it’s the blatantly awful officiating, and the commissioner of it all has not a clue.