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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

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This was not a bad call. This was a wrong call. The Mealsy-mouthed apology is not good enough. This action is one that can not be forgiven. This action calls into question the integrity of MLB officiating. No one who could be this bad deserves to be a major league umpire. I can't wait for the hand waving from Selig and other umpires trying to disguise this wrong call. Of course the laughable theater of umpire "controversy" will still be with us, after all the dust settles. Next move, make Vince McMahon MLB's Supervisor of Officials.

That's a funny scene and all, but the subtle nuance of the Spanish translation takes it to the next level.

Assuming Hurdle is giving McKenry the day off after catching 19 innings, I'd send him out with the lineup card today and tell him to ask Meals what he thinks of that call today.

Pirates pitcher for the last 6 innings of the game (McCutchen) was quoted after the game as saying something to the effect that the game was the most fun he's had in the majors. Great attitude in the aftermath of that loss.

Heather: My trade Worley mentality is a hope that a GM who doesn't understand all the statistics he has available to him looks at Worley and sees a breakout.

Hell, five years ago, before I myself started to understand all this wonderful information, would of saw a young kid who is 7-1 with a 2.02 ERA. Maybe some GM somewhere thinks Worley is the real deal.

With a tag that close you have to err on the side of calling the out when the ball is there that far ahead of time. Would have been an easy double play too since the runner fell flat on his face out of the box.

Can anyone explain what exactly is meant by an "ole" tag or that he "oled" him?

Ole tag = he didn't touch him. Think of a bullfighter's cape.

As long as the umpires have a union and they have shown themselves committed to protect all of their brethern, nothing will ever happen to Jerry Meals and his ilk.

Emmett: "He's fearless."

I said the same thing.

That Boston start Worley made - you could almost see it on the faces of their all stars when he'd jam a fastball right by them in a hitters count....like who is this kid?

Good to see someone else notice the same thing.

The umps overall get 99.9% of all calls right. This was a major blunder though...it happens.

I wonder if Meals is scheduled to ump in Pittsburgh sometime soon. Even if it isn't soon, that's a pain that's gonna linger. Some fan might hold a grudge.

Thanks Hugh! So it is pronounced also like the Spanish ole? I have only seen it written, never heard it spoken.

Umpires wanted to go home.

Happens all the frigging time from teeball to the Show. Extra innings, umpires want to go home, umpires blow calls to end game.

yes, it sucks, but when you play 162 games a year, this stuff happens.

I have to say it was a bad call, but until the third replay I also thought it was an 'ole.' Agree that context dictates that the ump err on the side of 'out' on that one, but I think pitchforks and torches may be premature.

We need a nice heavy hit win today so Rube can negotiate nonchalantly for the rest of the week. I like to be on the right side of the "take it or leave it" end of things.

Yeah, Worley has some of that Pete Rose thing going on (for lack of a better way to describe it.)

Utley has it too (in spades). Utley always looks like he would have no problem ripping your head off if it would help him win the game.

Kind of buried in all this - both McCann and Jones to the DL.

Totally agree with templin's post.

This wasn't a blown ball-strike call & it wasn't a bang-bang play like the Armando Galarraga play at 1st base. It was a slow-developing play which unfolded 3 feet away from the umpire, and which no sane person could have disputed. It would be like an outfielder catching a routine fly ball without incident, only to have the umpire rule it a hit.

They SHOULD replay the inning, but they won't.

***Yeah, Worley has some of that Pete Rose thing going on (for lack of a better way to describe it.)***

Well, you know how those Asians are...

You have to think in the 19th inning, you better make sure you get the out because the umps are looking for any reason to end the game. I bet he is out by a mile in the third inning; 19th inning, safe.

"***Yeah, Worley has some of that Pete Rose thing going on (for lack of a better way to describe it.)***

Well, you know how those Asians are..."

That sound you heard was this completely flying over my head...

"Umpires wanted to go home.

Happens all the frigging time from teeball to the Show. Extra innings, umpires want to go home, umpires blow calls to end game.

yes, it sucks, but when you play 162 games a year, this stuff happens."

Not THAT badly

MG in the previous thread accurately summed up how CBP plays and why:

"CBP is HR-friendly:

Once it warms up a bit and it gets humid/muggy by late May or early June, CBP is a HR-friendly park. Really no arguing that. It is also a park that is harder get XBH though especially 3Bs. Forget where I read it but the OF sq ft. at CBP is slightly smaller than the MLB average (clout note: This is true. CBP is one of the harder parks in which to hit a non-HR XBH.)

CBP isn't quite the band box that people make it out to be, especially when it gets cool here early in the year or in late Sept./October.

There are more HR-friendly stadiums than CBP including US Cellular Field (White Sox), Coors Field (Rockies), Great American Ball Park (Reds), Rangers Ballpark at Arlington (Rangers), and the new Yankee Stadium (Yanks)."

Crazy stat of the year: Joe Blanton is the only player to have started a game for Philadelphia with an ERA+ under 100. The other six are as follows:

Halladay: 150
Lee: 125
Hamels: 146
Oswalt: 102
Worley: 190
Kendrick: 111

Absolutely incredible.

NEPP - thanks for reminding me about that idiot post by King of the Bop last night. I wish that jerk would be banned.

***That sound you heard was this completely flying over my head...***

Some guy made an asian racial slur in a post about him in last night's game thread...

Can't find any word on Jones to the DL.

On Monday night, Jones hit a homer late and was doing a Kirk Gibson shuffle around hte bases. Stole a base earlier. Some kind of muscle pull, I think.

My error - Jones not on the DL. Just "side lined" for a couple days.

lorecore,

Indeed. It's like the antithesis of Kendrick or Happ; he commands the moment unlike always teetering on the edge of collapse when something doesn't fit perfectly. His aggression counters any of that mental resistance that affects most young pitcher's control of the moment. He and the moment become one instead of being at constant odds in the place of inferiority.

um, yeah - what you said.

McCann to DL is huge, they'd trade that in for the blown call a million times overs.

"His aggression counters any of that mental resistance that affects most young pitcher's control of the moment. He and the moment become one instead of being at constant odds in the place of inferiority."

Whatever, dude. He's pitching well and getting some nice breaks.

Why would the Blue Jays want Edwin Jackson? Why would the Natinals want Jonny Gomes? This trade deadline makes no sense.

Worley certainly looks in charge out there. He wants every close pitch and he seems to get a lot of them. Probably because he's on the black almost all night. I did think he got away with 4 or 5 hanging breaking balls and flat fast balls up in the strike zone though. Pitches that could have been pounded but weren't. The guy's definitely got moxie though. That's somehting that can't be taught.

The mound presence crap is the same stuff that was spouted about Kendrick in 07 and Happ in 09.

Although some at Talking Chop say McCann will be back "just in time to over take the Phillies."

How come we aren't that blindly optimistic?

NEPP The point is it doesn't need to happen. The umpire made the wrong call. Replay shows it. The bad part is Meals doesn't suffer any repercussions or even feel badly about doing this.
It is unforgivable that a business worth billions is hog-tied by an umpires union and a handful of "purists" from employing technology to get the other .1% of the calls right.

bap,

Yeah not saying his stuff is incredible by any means, just stating that his approach and presence will help him much more at sustainability and can be a deciding factor in whether he fades in a year or has stability for years to come. Not saying he looks more than a consistent 4 at this point, but I think he may be surpassing the Happ comparisons.

Salisbury Steak now on the "we gotta have a right-handed bat" mantra?

Maybe somebody ought to clue in Jimmy on how many LH starters the Phils will see in the playoffs.

You don't trade Dom Brown and you don't trade Vance Worley. Period. End of story. And if that means no 2 month rental of an aging and fragile Beltran or Hunter Pence or whoever, that's fine. You don't really need them anyway.

Jim also seems to have no thought on the luxury tax, which Phils ownership does NOT want to go over. Not now and not next year.

I think now they are focusing on one more relatively inexpensive bullpen arm. But even that isn't a huge neccesity, if Lidge is OK. I'd go to battle in the playoffs with Madson, Bastardo, Stutes, Lidge, Contreras, Worley and Perez in the pen.

***NEPP The point is it doesn't need to happen. The umpire made the wrong call. Replay shows it. The bad part is Meals doesn't suffer any repercussions or even feel badly about doing this. ***

I agree with that but overall sometimes bad calls happen and honestly, depending on the angle, this call might not have been that bad. It could be an Ole tag attempt. At full speed, those calls are tough to make.

One more point on CBP:

The wind almost NEVER blows in that strongly for an entire game. I can't remember ever going to a game where the wind was blowing in for 9 innings.

Wind generally isn't that big of a factor but if anything the general pattern seems to be that it generally blows from LF to RF helping to push balls out in RF a bit.

"yes, it sucks, but when you play 162 games a year, this stuff happens.""

Actually, no, not something that egregious. That wasn't a blown call on a bang bang play. If you saw the replays on the call that Jim Joyce missed on the Galarraga play, you can see where he might have thought the runner was safe from where he was standing.
On this call, Meals was in perfect position and could see it clearly, as well as 10 different camera angles in the ballpark. He may have been exhausted after 19 innings behind the plate, but that's no excuse. Even if he thought he saw an Ole tag, he still should have called him out.

lorecore, Emmett:

"...I love Worley. He pitches smart and is fearless. But I don't see the same huge gap between him and Kendrick or Happ that others do.

Stutes is another pitcher, albeit a reliever, who can be put into that average-stuff, must have command, category.

Posted by: clout | Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 11:26 AM"

If I could amend that post from 2 weeks ago I would add the words "in stuff" after the word gap. While Emmett's emotional, heroic vision of Worley is inspiring, the gap that exists between Happ and Kendrick on one hand and Worley on the other has nothing to do with their stuff: All 3 have only MLB average pitches. But, so far, in performance, there's been a huge gap and it is because of this:

Since being recalled to the majors, Worley's command has been near perfect. That is not true of Happ or Kendrick. And if Worley is able to maintain near perfect command for the rest of his career he will be a great pitcher and there will be a very large gap between the results of average command, mediocre stuff guys like KK & Happ and a near-perfect command, average stuff guy like Worley.

Worley is fearless, ok. Maybe that's why he's getting so many called strikes - hitters can't believe he's throwing strikes in such counts, I don't really know. All I know is Utley has moxie - and a HUGE amount of talent. Worley has moxie - and while a heck of a lot more talent that I'll ever have, not a lot in terms of major league pitchers.

Talent >>>>>>>>>>>>> Moxie at the end of the day.

NEPP,

Kendrick never had a run like this before and Happ while successful was never tauted for his agression and confidence. Happ was mostly labeled a smooth operator and dictated the game with a calm tempo. Worley's the oppposite of that; his style is in fact more alpha than anything, he takes the mound ready to attack actively rather than passively paint.

Sure, his performances could be another brick in the wall that rival past youngsters but I think his style is completely different.

#1 thing is saying mistakes happen, but saying that it might not have been that bad of a call is completely bullshit.

The player slid directly into the catcher as he possessed the ball about 3ft in front of homeplate. A runner is auto out right there, and then the catcher made the tag anyway, and then the runner gave up and walked away without touching home.

There was 0 angle u could have to suggest he was safe.

denny b: If Salisbury said he'd go to battle in the playoffs with Perez in the pen, he's a moron.

Emmett, I agree on that (about KK & Happ) but I'm just leery of comments about presence and poise, etc. I think Worley is a solid 4th starter when its all said and done...likely a Joe Blanton type of pitcher (a guy who will give you an ERA+ of 100-110 consistently).

I love his willingness to challenge hitters too. Watching him throw at Big Papi and Dustin Pedroia was awesome. No mercy, no fear!

Its got to be great to learn your craft in a rotation potential future HoFers and 3 of the best pitchers in the entire game.

All of us arguing that Worley will crash back down to earth at least have the consolation that what we are predicting will actually happen, even if we fail to convince others before the fact...

IMO, Worley would make a GREAT bullpen piece for the playoffs, assuming he isn't traded.

I think he'd be a fearless setup guy, and his stuff would play up in the bullpen too.

"Jim also seems to have no thought on the luxury tax, which Phils ownership does NOT want to go over. Not now and not next year."

Didn't they just say they could go over the luxury tax?

***Maybe that's why he's getting so many called strikes - hitters can't believe he's throwing strikes in such counts***

If that's the case, hitters will soon adjust. His 2 seamer is a very tough pitch on LHBs and his 4 seamer and curve have been solid too. Nothing is fantastic but he locates well and that 2 seamer really hurts LHBs (huge for him). I mean, he literally throws it right at them and it drifts back over the corner. That's a tough pitch to hit.

I think the talk about trading Worley now because his value is high is just crazy. Worley is needed for the regular season as part of the rotation, even if Oswalt comes back strong. He also could be valuable in long relief during the playoffs.

If his value is still high, the Phils always can trade Worley in the off-season, after they determine who their starters should be in 2012 and who should be the sixth and seventh starters.

I'm sure that the GMs around baseball recognize what an immense talent Worley is and will be falling over each other trying to get the Phils to trade Worley in return for either All-Star talent or a can't-miss prospect.

"Talent >>>>>>>>>>>>> Moxie at the end of the day."

Entirely true, but I think you take 2 guys with similar talent, one with moxie and one without, and the guy with moxie is going to go farther.

Also, the guy with moxie is much more entertaining to watch from a fan perspective.

I think all people were trying to do is celebrate his moxie and why they liked him. Not saying his moxie is going to turn him into the next Roger Clemens.

"At full speed, those calls are tough to make."
Huh? There are probably 10 calls a game that are tougher to make than that one. In fact, it went fairly slow because Lugo knew he out so he kind of gave up until he was called safe.

I thought this was a funny comment-
"I guess Lugo feels comfortable going to hell as a liar over a mere baseball game."

Dan: Please find a poster that has said they believe Worley will be a career 2.02 ERA pitcher.

Dan: Nothing beats Moxie. Especially on a hot summer day.

Oswalt is almost certainly gone in 2012...we'll need Worley as the 4th starter at that point.

Also, we'll likely be paying KK nearly $3-4 million if we bring him back. Unless we non-tender him and try to resign him (though if that happens, I suspect he'll end up getting snatched up by another club that would happily take him as a 4/5 starter).

Moxie cola or A-Treat?

Which is better?

I'm going with A-Treat

He barely grazed the guys uniform on the leg, and then completely whiffed up top in an ole fashion, and I had to watch the replay 5 times to make sure he in fact touched the guys legs with his glove.

But it's ok, it was so OBVIOUS in real time that he got him. Overblown reaction is overblown. How about the catcher next time not look like he is a matador, and the runner is a bull, and it will be a "guarenteed" call. BTW, I hate that saying anyway. The catcher still has to tough the f'n guy.

"Jim also seems to have no thought on the luxury tax, which Phils ownership does NOT want to go over. Not now and not next year"

Thought I read a report recently stating they would go over the luxury tax threshold for the right guy/right fit.

ugh..*touch

I think what Emmett is saying is that Worley has the Eye of the Tiger.

Not like like that Mr. Softee, Nice Guy, Mellow Fellow Cole Hamels. What did he ever do....Oh, wait.

"All of us arguing that Worley will crash back down to earth at least have the consolation that what we are predicting will actually happen, even if we fail to convince others before the fact..."

Good for you, buddy. Enjoy the fall.

***I think he'd be a fearless setup guy, and his stuff would play up in the bullpen too***

When Worley was originally drafted in 08, the comments were that he'd likely end up as a Steve Shields type reliever. The thought with both him and Stutes was that they could be fast-tracked to the Majors as relievers. So, even then, his upside was considered MLB pitcher...just not as a starter.

I dont recall his Stuff out of the Draft or whether or not he had 3 solid pitches then.

***Not like like that Mr. Softee, Nice Guy, Mellow Fellow Cole Hamels. What did he ever do....Oh, wait.***

Hamels hasnt carried a team to the world series in like 3 years...freaking bum.

Do they even make Moxie any more?

"Jim also seems to have no thought on the luxury tax, which Phils ownership does NOT want to go over."

The significance of the luxury tax is being a little bit overstated. Like the marginal federal income tax rates, the luxury tax only applies to the amount by which the tax threshold is exceeded. So if the threshold is at $175M, and you make a trade which boosts payroll to $178M, you've got to pay a 22.5% tax on that $3M excess -- which would be a pittance to the Phillies.

The bigger issue is that, once you exceed the luxury tax threshold in a season, the amount of the luxury tax increases to 30% for the next season in which you exceed it. For the 3rd time, and all times thereafter, it's 40%. Even at 40%, though, a team would have to go a good $10 or $20M over the tax threshold before they'd start paying out what a big-market team would consider big dollars. A team which is willing to pay $2.5M per year to Danys Baez would probably not be terribly concerned about having to kick in $2M extra bucks to get a key player who puts them $5M over the luxury tax threshold.

"Even if he thought he saw an Ole tag, he still should have called him out." - Old Phan

In Old Phan's world, as long as the ball reaches the plate early before the runner, the catcher doesn't actually have to touch the runner to be called out.

***Do they even make Moxie any more?***

I think they sell it at Wal-Mart...

NEPP: Tough call, but Moxie is A-Treat for grownups. The secret: Gentian root.

On Worley:

What Clout said: Average stuff, great command so far. However, I'll count command as a skill, and if he keeps it, he will stay good. Based off his history in the minors, not this good, but who knows. I hope for the best.

If the catcher had properly blocked the plate, none of this would have happened.


I blame Buster Posey.

NEPP - I agree. It will be interesting to watch how VW's story unfolds, in the meantime I'm enjoying the ride as everything seems to be going right for us right now. This guy was not highly tauted coming into the year, at all, so again we're spoiled to have this fall in our lap amidst our rotation.

Heather the comparison wasn't two guys with similar talent, one with moxie and one without. The comparison was that a guy with talent is usually going to produce more consistently than the guy who is solely relying on moxie with minimal-average talent. Obviously moxie+talent > talent on numerous levels, entertainment included.

Also that Utley inside the park is exactly what exhumes my love for this core/team when I become complacent for whatever reason. Utley's relentlessness is what brings the passion from the fanbase out everytime, it's such a joy to witness those type of plays as a reminder of how special we have it here.

"A runner is auto out right there" - lorecore

In lorecore's world, as long as the ball reaches the plate early before the runner, the catcher doesn't actually have to touch the runner to be called out.

Worley is addicted to Moxiecontin, according to his B-Ref page.

lorecore, nobody thinks Worley will be a 2.00 ERA guy, but personally I wonder if he'll be in the starting rotation next year. I keep remembering how KK looked fearless, etc, then was back in the minors the next year. Happ? Everyone wondered why Charlie didn't put him on the postseason roster. Now Worley?

I disagree with those who think he's a #4 starter ala Blanton. Blanton, for all the grief he gets here, was a reliable innings eater - 200 IP and 4.0 ERA until he got hurt. I have serious doubts that Worley will put up a 4.0 ERA next year for 200 innings. I see Worley as a #5/#6 pitcher, for all him moxie and for all his initial success. I hope I'm wrong to the extent that maybe he'll stick, but when I say crash to earth, I mean crash, not a gentle glide, is what I expect sooner or later.

What's so hard to understand that different guys have different personlities (at least those that are presented on the field/in interviews) and some guys are more entertaining than others?

What's wrong with the fact that, as a fan, I take into account these factors when deciding how much I like a player?

For example, Hamels is a great pitcher and Cy Young frontrunner. I'd also enjoy watching him some more, if, in addition to his tremendous performance, he also had the personality of a Nolan Ryan.

I like stats as much as the next guy, but I don't have to like all the guys on the team in order of their WAR.

The talk about Worley is the exact same as it was about KK and Happ.

Do I think he's better than them? Maybe, although Happ's numbers were pretty similar. Worley walks less guys but strikes out less guys.

He's a 4th or 5th starter. I'm thrilled we're getting this run out of him, but I'm not convinced he's suddenly a stud by the same "he's got poise and a bulldog approach" language as was used with both KK and Happ. Guys with under 2 K/BB ratios don't usually hold 2.00 ERAs for very long. He's a 4.00 ERA pitcher.

"All of us arguing that Worley will crash back down to earth at least have the consolation that what we are predicting will actually happen, even if we fail to convince others before the fact..."

Oh, my goodness. Here we have a victory lap for a prediction of doom even before the prediction comes true. Nicely done!

.

Worley would give the bullpen in the playoffs but I don't understand why people think he would be a great setup man.

- Does he have 'swing and miss stuff?'

No. 5.5% rate which is well-below the 8.5% MLB average.

- Does he have a plus offspeed pitch to get outs or a blazing fastball?

No and No. His slider is probably his best offspeed pitch at this point but it isn't anywhere near the caliber of Bastardo or Lidge's slider. His fastball is average too at 90. Assuming he could dial it up from 91-92 it helps but not a real difference maker at say 94-95.

Contrary to what Clout might state, there has been a fair amount of research that has come out lately that relievers who throw at less than 90 MPH on their fastball have some high FIPs.

- Does he have an ability to get Ks?

No. His 6.69 K/9 is below 7.02 K/9 MLB average. Assuming he could rear back a bit more I doubt his K/9 rate would increase that much.

- Does he have great command?

No. His 3.41 BB/9 is below the 3.14 BB/9 MLB average.

I would like Worley more out of the pen than say a KK or Herndon but he isn't an ideal setup guy either.

that Drebin scene is one of my favorites of all time.

some Mayberry talk. i found this quote by Heather to be interesting:

"I have no idea if his newfound hitting ability is attributable to luck, a new batting stance, a "new batting stance" or something else."

b/c we all know that a change in batting stance can't possibly lead to significantly different results. see Bautista, Jose.

i'm really just kidding about this, but this guy is really killing the ball since he's changed his stance. he's covering the whole plate now, and roping everyting he sees.

i have no idea if he can keep this up, but how freaking awesome would it be if he can?

3.5 BB/9 is perfect command? What does that make Halladay? Godlike I guess.

Worley is also at league average on Zone% which measure pitches in the strike zone.

For the posters who are bending over backward to try to justify a call that can't possibly be justified . . . what you're essentially saying is that the umpire has unlimited power to decide the outcome of a game, even if his call defies any semblance of common sense. The shortstop catches a routine pop-up; the ump calls it a hit. The batter hits a 450-foot homerun to dead centerfield; the ump calls it a foul ball. It's all ok because umpires make mistakes & bad calls are part of the game.

This wasn't a bad call. This was, as Old Phan says, a call without any possible justification. As a criminal defense (appellate) lawyer, I'm well acquainted with the idea of defending the indefensible. But we're not in court now so come on, people: there is no defending or explaining that call.

Squads is right. McKenry was thinking double play because pitcher Proctor who hit the ball did a header a couple of strides out of the box. That was going to be a rare tag at home to first - inning ending double play until Meals got hungry. That quick tag was pure greed.

Heather, in regards to the Nats, when you're 10 games back in the WC, with 7 or so teams in front of you, don't you just HAVE to trade prospects for a bench bat?

"Happ while successful was never tauted for his agression and confidence."

Of course he was. Aside from "he hides the ball well", it was the go-to justification for thinking that he was almost as good as his results.

I think Worley's better than Happ -- has none of Happ's control issues (which were evident from the first). But he's hardly the first player to be touted as being mentally exceptional -- until results "prove" otherwise.

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