OK, now that that’s out of the way here we go. If you couldn’t tell, I’m mad, real mad. MLB has thrown out the rule book and decided to cater to a team in the hunt for the playoffs. Why? Well, because, well I don’t know why. So let’s start at the beginning, last night’s [Tuesday] Giants-Cubs game at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first off an absolute blast of a HR by Anthony Rizzo. It easily left Wrigley Field and then some finding a new home out on Sheffield Ave. beyond the right field wall. It’s measured distance… 466 ft. Goodbye baseball. See the video below. Also, not the way a team in the hunt should start a game against a team who was out of playoff contention two months ago.
“An examination of the circumstances of the game has led to the determination that there was sufficient cause to believe that there was a “malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club” within the meaning of Official Baseball Rule 4.12(a)(3). Available video of the incident, and conversations with representatives of the Cubs, demonstrate that the Cubs’ inability to deploy the tarp appropriately was caused by the failure to properly wrap and spool the tarp after its last use. As a result, the grounds keeping crew was unable to properly deploy the tarp after the rain worsened. In accordance with Rule 4.12(a)(3), the game should be considered a suspended game that must be completed at a future date.
In addition, Major League Baseball has spoken with the crew chief, Hunter Wendelstedt, and has concluded that the grounds crew worked diligently in its attempt to comply with his direction and cover the field. Thus, there is no basis for the game to be forfeited by the Cubs pursuant to Rule 4.16.”
OK now to the second part with which I have a problem. The rule clearly states that “mechanical issue” must have occurred to lead to suspension of a game instead of a weather-shortened game end. Let’s have a look at the actual rule:
(a) A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if the game is terminated for any of the following reasons:
(3) Light failure or malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club. (Mechanical field device shall include automatic tarpaulin or water removal equipment)”
Finally my third issue with upholding the protest. Back on July 23 The Yankees beat the Rangers 2-1 in a 5 inning rain shortened game after the grounds crew failed to cover the infield due to heavy rain and winds. Yankees won, nobody questioned it. Teams moved on. So why change course now? Is it because the prevailing team is a basement dweller instead of a contender (the Yanks are hanging on by a thread and the Rangers are and were the worst team in baseball at the time in the video below). The Giants are in the hunt; that fact was said last night and was brought up again today. I'd like to point out that one of the best parts of being a fan of a team out of the hunt, is watching your team play the spoiler. My point, though, is that this happens, rainstorms like this happen and if you let it go a bit (like Wendelstedt did) before signaling for the tarp the field is going to get really wet, the tarp isn’t going to be easy to drag and more and more water is going to pile up on top of it and God forbid they make a mistake while trying to hurry to get it on the field because the umpire waited so long. I think MLB has now set a dangerous precedent and will almost certainly have to update this rule in the future because this has now happened twice and each time has had a different outcome. While I think it’s good that the game will be resumed, I’m not convinced that the reasoning for it is sound.
Just to summarize, I'm not so mad that the game is being replayed because it sucks that a game had to end like that. I'll be a little more mad if the Cubs end up losing tomorrow. What irks me the most is that MLB bent the rule.
Alright, I’m done ranting. Thanks for stopping by on this Thursday. We haven’t publicized it much this week or at all for that matter, but last week Those Sports Guys turned 2! I would like to thank every one of our readers who stop by every day, each week, or even just from time to time. We enjoy expressing our opinions about the sports we love and really hope you guys enjoy our opinions, ramblings and rantings. Have a great Thursday and great rest of the week. If I’m able, I’ll have another post up on Friday so come back for another round. Also, if you haven’t followed us on Twitter or Facebook then you should (click the links, do it, I triple dog dare you). We’ll post a lot of our pictures from our different sporting events and travels on these sites. For those of you that do…I apologize for going crazy on Instagram on Sunday. Not really. Have a great one!