I've heard thru the grapevine that sheesh was cool to say. True? No clue but I'm rolling with it and hope that I used it right.
ANYWAYS - let me start another episode of baseball talk with a quick shoutout to TA/Timmy Babe/Timmy BoomBoom for carrying the club the last week plus. Dude is an animal. Fighting the (almost) dog days of summer to bring you excellent takes. Can't wait for him to switch to football mode soon. Starting this blog in the end of January gave him ample time to get back in writing mode and he is going to light up the charts with his scorching hot football talk.
Back to baseball. 12 days after writing about the Sticky Stuff era of baseball, we had our first checks of the year and boy was it magical. Mad Max Scherzer looked like an escaped convict on the prowl for blood. Sergio Romo dropped trou' right at the end of an inning.
It's only going to become more exciting from here. The anger that is going to flow from both dugouts for these sticky checks is going to only increase. For context, Joe Girardi asked for checks on Scherzer a couple times last night which led to a nice bickering back and forth and could lead to a small fire getting fanned in the future.
Really think this is going to get much worse rather than better but there is a slim chance that the anger it builds up creates something exciting on the field that the non-baseball fan could enjoy. Slim.
This is just another opportunity for us to say "Good luck baseball" and mainly MLB. Should be fun to have umps, who already get criticized non-stop for their work, be the ones to check if someone else is doing something they aren't supposed to. This will definitely make it easier to like them.
I saw an idea floating around from a couple MLB guys, think Will Middlebrooks tweeted it, that there should be a limit of checks each game and should be a challenge style for coaches to call for a check. You get one or two a game and that's it. Seems like it could work? So baseball will stay away from it even though their apparent goal is to make the game "more fair". Who knows. Not this guy. I just know they have a bigger problem now than they did before.
Here's what I would do if I was Commish Manfred:
1- Can this checks and balances policy until next year.
2- Tell pitchers to quit using it this year and let it ride out.
3- In the offseason, get baseline numbers of SPIN RATE on every pitch in every pitcher's arsenal. You could do this WITH EASE during spring training. With monitored bullpen sessions or during spring games.
4- You have meatheads in New York watching every game anyway so they monitor the spin rate of pitchers and when/if it starts to float out of their baseline average then you check them. Use the technology you have to work for you.
4a- I know for a fact that they have the tech that helps the statistician upstairs entering each pitch into MLB.com see what the spin rate is. He/She could see the difference which is what this whole sticky stuff situation is really about... spin rate.
8- Then while you are at it, have the umpires get an earpiece that goes directly to a person watching the camera feed for balls and strikes. Still need the human element for foul tips and calls at the plate which could be reviewed after but balls and strikes is instantaneous and can get an instant YES in the ear of the homeplate ump just from watching the strike zone on the feed.
Good luck MLB.