Sunday, May 29th, 2005
11:54 am - Bend, Don't Break...  
I used to play softball with a guy who made a habit of throwing his glove at line drives over his head. Oh, he made it look accidental, just letting the glove slide off as he leapt and extended his arm, but we all knew what he was doing. The thing is, if he ever had hit the ball, it would've been a disaster, something of which we could never quite convince him. Here's why:
Rule 7.05
Each runner including the batter runner may, without liability to be put out, advance_ (a) To home base, scoring a run, if a fair ball goes out of the playing field in flight and he touched all bases legally; or if a fair ball which, in the umpire's judgment, would have gone out of the playing field in flight, is deflected by the act of a fielder in throwing his glove, cap, or any article of his apparel; (b) Three bases, if a fielder deliberately touches a fair ball with his cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its proper place on his person. The ball is in play and the batter may advance to home base at his peril; (c) Three bases, if a fielder deliberately throws his glove at and touches a fair ball. The ball is in play and the batter may advance to home base at his peril.

The reason I bring it up is that last night the DBacks' Luis Terrero hit a high chopper just out of reach of the Dodgers' Duaner Sanchez, and Sanchez threw his glove at it, knocking the ball down. Terrero was awarded a hit, Sanchez a two-base error, giving Terrero a free pass to third, giving up what was essentially an infield triple. (Vin Scully reportedly had never seen the rule invoked before in 55 years of broadcasting games.) Terrero then scored on a ground out, after which Sanchez gave up a home run to the DBacks' pitcher, which tied the game at 4-4. Gio Carrara then walked in the winning run with no outs in the bottom of the ninth, and the Dodgers lost, wasting a good effort by Derek Thompson in his first major league start after being called up from AA. Feh.

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If Sanchez broke the rules, DePo merely bent them a little bit this past week. DePo was faced with a tricky situation when Antonio Perez was ready to come off the DL. The guy who needed to be sent to the minors to make room for him was Jason Grabowski, who was out of options. That means that if the Dodgers did send him down, they risked losing him to another team on waivers. (I don't know who'd want him, because I've never been impressed with Grabowski, and he's hitting .152 so far, but he's apparently one of DePo's favorites.) To get around this, Grabowski mysteriously came up with a sore shoulder, was put on the DL, and then was immediately given a rehab assignment in AAA. Very clever, our Mr. DePo. What happens when the rehab is done I don't know. Everybody else on the team, including the guys with options, like Repko and Edwards, are better players.

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The other DL news of note is that Paul Bako sprained his knee in a run down, so now Dioner Navaro is up with the big club.

Really having a hard time working up enthusiasm for the team lately. DT is annoying, because everybody over there seems to be jumping on the "Fire Jim Tracy" bandwagon, and the negativity during game watch and posts is something to see. Feh.
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Veejaneveejane on May 29th, 2005 - 09:11 am
Huh. The umpires seem to be really rule-happy this year, or else it's just a weird year. I heard a couple of weeks ago that someone invoked the "it only counts as a HBP if you actually tried to get out of the way of it" rule, and refused to award the batter a base. (Of which I approve, but, wow.)

> Very clever, our Mr. DePo.

Almost as clever as thw gymnastics Theo has done, two years running now, picking up a Rule V guy and then keeping him technically with the ML club the whole year. Adam Stern (from Atlanta) has been on various DLs since spring training -- where he did really break a thumb -- and only just arrived at Pawtucket for 20 days of rehab starts. This stint will be his first ever experience of AAA, since he was plucked from Atlanta's AA affiliate.

Last year, the Rule V gymnastics were all about Lenny DiNardo, and wouldn't you know Theo managed to keep him. And this year, sent him down to Pawtucket, where he belongs.
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DXMachinadxmachina on May 29th, 2005 - 09:40 am
It's a weird year. They called two balks in one at bat on DeLowe the other night, and I still don't no the reason for the second one. Last night the umps missed Terrero running way inside the 45' line to first on a sac bunt, interfering with the play. No call.

DePo hasn't had to resort to gymnastics yet with our Rule 5 guy, Houlton, because he's had Carlyle and Schmoll to move back and forth. Of course, I'm not sure he's all the worth keeping.
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deborah gdebg on May 29th, 2005 - 10:32 am
The Giants had an incident a few years back, when Terry Mulholland fielded a hot grounder; the ball got firmly stuck in the webbing of his glove, he threw the ball to first and got the out.

Looking at Rule 7.05, I'm thinking Mulholland's play was recorded as an out because he had actually fielded the ball with his glove while still wearing the glove.

Nic says the rule is there in softball, as well, and that it's most often invoked when the catcher takes off his mask and tries to knock down errant throws to home with it.
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DXMachinadxmachina on May 29th, 2005 - 10:48 am
You're exactly right about Mulholland (I remember the play). His play was legal because the glove didn't leave his hand until the ball was in it, thus he got no advantage.

There's a scene in A League of Their Own where Madonna fields a ball with her cap, also illegal. It always takes me out of the movie.
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