I'm not saying that the Tampa Bay Rays should be resentful. Although MLB might love to portray them as the underdogs, they are the model that nearly every owner of a team has pointed out while screaming at their front office, "Why can't we win that cheaply?" While simultaneously trying to take two cities hostage in exchange for a new stadium. Let's square it.
Joe Sheehan was the one who got it after last night's bizarre adherence to the rules that benefited the Red Sox in Game 3s, 6-4 Boston.
I will reiterate my position: the argument for human element in automatic strike zones has always looked like a steaming pile dung. It really means that anyone who argues for it loves making mistakes. They enjoy missed calls.
They think they are arguing for but they don't. It is the chance for umpires make logical calls when presented. This doesn't apply to strikes and balls. Even though the zone is vaguely defined, it doesn't matter if it's a strike or not. Since the invention of the game, umpires have been trying to guess the zone. They are standing five feet from the imaginary plane with a rock being hurled at it at ridiculous speeds and angles.
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Yes, it was at the bottom of last night's play (above), where Kevin Kiermaiers 12th-inning pitch hit the top of Fenway's short right-field wall. Hunter Renfroe, right fielder, was on the plate and the ball ricohed over the wall. It is a rulebook double if a ball hits a fielder and lands in the stands, as this one did.
It's stupid, but it is because an outfielder wouldn't just throw the ball over the wall if he suspects that a runner from the first base might score. We saw in Game 3 with Yasmani Grandeal for the White Sox against Astros that umps don't have the same level of intelligence as Sherlock when it comes decoding intent.
The umps could have used common sense and pointed out that YandyDiaz would have scored walking backwards on this play. This was enough to give the Rays a run. They might lose in the bottom 13th, but no one would be particularly upset.
This rule will likely be changed in the offseason and it is possible that we won't see it used. Only a handful of parks allow a ball to deflect like this off of a player.
Moreover, there has never been a sport that was proactive or visionary in changing rules that don't make sense. You are welcome, tuck rule.