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That's CS - E1 for those of you scoring at home.
December 23, 2010 9:44 AM   Subscribe

ESPN baseball writer Jayson Stark presents his Strange But True hitting feats of 2010. Only in baseball's...umm...unique scoring system could someone get caught stealing 3B, and then safely steal 3B on the next pitch. Warning: both links contain auto playing video with ads at the top.
posted by dry white toast (24 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
It appears to me as if he wasn't safe in the "safe" steal. Are my eyes lying to me or did the ump make a bad call?
posted by 47triple2 at 9:50 AM on December 23, 2010


Bengie Molina hit for the cycle this year (on July 16, to be exact). Bengie Molina.

And of course, his final hit in that cycle was a triple.

In a season in which he hit no other triples in 416 trips to the plate.
Bengie Molina got 416 trips to the plate?!

That is strange.
posted by Flunkie at 9:55 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ichiro: 74 runs, 214 hits
Mark Reynolds: 79 runs, 99 hits


This is slightly misleading as Reynolds had 38 more walks and was hit by 6 more pitches. Add in the fact Ichiro was on an historically bad offense and it starts to not be so amazing.
posted by yerfatma at 10:05 AM on December 23, 2010


Yeah, a lot of these aren't really strange-but-true and rather more statistical flukes. It's a little like making a big deal out of the hypothetical fact that two guys with the same birthday got a hit on the same day.
posted by klangklangston at 10:07 AM on December 23, 2010


Loved the article.

But no rookie beat Starlin Castro for Strange But Trueness. Not only did the first major leaguer born in the '90s get a hit off a guy who was 27 years and 8 months older than him (Jamie Moyer)...

Holy crap, the first major leaguer born in the 90's? I am so friggin old. I have socks older than that. In fact, I am downright close in age to Jamie Moyer. I love baseball.
posted by AugustWest at 10:07 AM on December 23, 2010




could someone get caught stealing 3B
Well, he got caught in a rundown, but I would not say he got "caught stealing" unless he was thrown out, which he wasn't. Errors are part of the game.

Are my eyes lying to me or did the ump make a bad call
Yes, he did. Even with limited freeze-frame capability watching this on a computer screen, the ball is in the glove before Bourn touches the bag. But bad calls are part of the game, too.
posted by beagle at 11:22 AM on December 23, 2010


Beagle, because it was not a force play the runner needed to be tagged out. Just having your foot on the bag while catching the ball is not an out in this play.
posted by Gungho at 11:30 AM on December 23, 2010


Well, he got caught in a rundown, but I would not say he got "caught stealing" unless he was thrown out, which he wasn't. Errors are part of the game.
A runner, attempting to steal and then caught in a rundown, who is safe but who, in the judgment of the official scorer, would have been out if not for an error, is by definition caught stealing.
Are my eyes lying to me or did the ump make a bad call
Yes, he did. Even with limited freeze-frame capability watching this on a computer screen, the ball is in the glove before Bourn touches the bag. But bad calls are part of the game, too.
The ball being in the glove before the runner touches the bag does not mean the runner is out.
posted by Flunkie at 11:31 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


The caught stealing thing is a rules and stats loophole. "Caught stealing" is a stat to differentiate it from someone getting picked off, so plays can be described and scored as persnickety as possible. So, yes, a steal was prevented, but there was an error on he play -- he *should have been* tagged out. The fact that he retreated to second is strangely, yet legally, irrelevant; unless you backtrack over another runner (or another runner passes you, which is the same thing), there is no rule preventing you from going backward on the bases.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:38 AM on December 23, 2010


There actually is a rule preventing you from going backwards on the bases, but only if you have legally reached a further base.

There used to be no such rule, but it was created in the 1920s or something like that after a guy stole second, then stole first, then stole second again. The reason he did that was because another runner was on third, and he wanted to draw a throw from the catcher so that that runner could have a chance to steal home.
posted by Flunkie at 11:49 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, that's right. Herman "Germany" Schaefer was the guy that did that. Yeah, once you get a base you can't occupy a previous base, but you can go backward in a rundown.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:54 AM on December 23, 2010


The ball being in the glove before the runner touches the bag does not mean the runner is out.

This is not due to any arcane rule variation. It just means you have to tag the guy. Unless of course there was a "ghost-runner" on third. In which case you just argue about it until someone gives in.

I actually would start watching baseball again if MLB would institute ghost runners into the game. Also if they played with tennis balls, and put a grumpy old man's house in center field, and if the ball went over the fence, the game would be over and both teams would have a dirtbomb fight until it was time for dinner. Oh...And from now on, it's called "The World Serious"
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:09 PM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


A runner, attempting to steal and then caught in a rundown, who is safe but who, in the judgment of the official scorer, would have been out if not for an error, is by definition caught stealing.

The reason for the caught stealing is to make the scoring of the error make sense. He started on 2nd, he finished on second, the ball was not hit, so, why was an error scored on the pitcher? An
has to grant an advantage to the batting team.

Answer: he was caught stealing, until the error occured, which prevented the out - so, instead of one out and nobody on, there were no outs and a man on 2nd - so, the error prevented an out, and the official score reflects what happened. If he'd made it to third with the error, it would have been scored as FC+E1, I think - I don't think it would be a SB because you advanced in an error.
posted by eriko at 12:26 PM on December 23, 2010


Love baseball. Used to be a pitcher named Bob Walk (became an announcer, I think) I remember him facing a batter named Walker. Utterly unimportant and I don't know why I remember it, but on that day, Walk walked Walker.
posted by Tokarski at 12:36 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


• On the very first pitch thrown to him in the big leagues, fabled Chico Outlaws alum Daniel Nava hit a grand slam. So how many home runs did Nava hit in his 187 trips to the plate for the Red Sox after that fairy-tale moment? Zero, of course.

And Joe Castiglione, one of the radio announcers for the Red Sox, said after the fact that he had seen Nava before the game and told him "Swing at the first pitch, kid--you'll never get it back," advice he in turn had heard from a retired major leaguer (I forget who).

Also, there was an Asian player (Taiwanese?) with the last name of Hu, who made it to first base in a game against the Red Sox this past year. Castiglione had the presence of mind to say "Hu's on first." He is a treasure.
posted by A dead Quaker at 1:23 PM on December 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


During Lou Pinella's tenure as Mariner's manager, there was a play where a Mariner runner left for second from first with the pitch, the catcher threw the ball to second, and the ump called the runner out even though the pitch was called ball four for the batter by the home plate umpire.

Nothing Pinella was able to say changed the ump's mind, either.
posted by jamjam at 1:35 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


How did George Brett have only two grand slams in his career??
posted by dry white toast at 1:39 PM on December 23, 2010


Also, this reminded me of how Joe Torre set an NL record for grounding into double plays in a single game in 1975, doing that in all four of his at-bats. According to Wikipedia he said afterward, "I'd like to thank Félix Millán for making all of this possible." Millán was the guy ahead of Torre in the order, and singled in all four of his at-bats.
posted by A dead Quaker at 1:55 PM on December 23, 2010


How did George Brett have only two grand slams in his career?

Probably because he didn't come up to bat with the bases loaded very often, or the opposing pitcher walked him, forcing in a run.
posted by jlkr at 2:23 PM on December 23, 2010


My brother was asking me last night, "Did you read the Jayson Stark column (not the column in this post) on hitting feats? Did you see the part of the Mariners? Man, I didn't know they were that bad on offense last year!"

Yes, because you didn't BUY SEASON TICKETS just to watch THAT GIANT PILE OF SUCK completely FRITTER a good year from Ichiro with YET ANOTHER RUNNER ON THIRD NO OUTS AND NO RUNS SCORED inning.

Sigh. And yet, I bought another 16 game pack. Baseball fans are the original masochists.
posted by dw at 3:33 PM on December 23, 2010


Oh, that's right. Herman "Germany" Schaefer was the guy that did that. Yeah, once you get a base you can't occupy a previous base, but you can go backward in a rundown.

He was my great grandfather's uncle.

You can go "backwards" in a rundown because that's your base.
posted by gjc at 7:37 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Baseball is the "Dwarf Fortress" and "EVE Online" of professional sports.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:59 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bob Walk pitched for the Pirates, and now I also get the luxury of hearing him call Pirates games too. It's quite unbearable.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 1:27 AM on December 24, 2010


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