Wednesday, October 28, 2015

World Series. Weird

So when's the last time you saw the leadoff hitter for the home team hit an inside-the-park home run on the first pitch? Actually, the ball should have been caught, but Met outfielder Yoenes Cespidas hot-dogged it, misplayed it, and it wound up going in the books as a home run. But it shouldn't have been scored that way.

Then it finally took the Mets and Royals 14 innings before somebody won the game. In the seventh/ eighth/ninth innings, both managers employed the age-old strategy in a close game. They used their "set-up" men, then their closers, when each thought they had to chance to win the game in "regulation". But it didn't work out that way. Five extra innings is a bunch when it comes to who's going to pitch. After all, typical relievers are only good for an inning, two max, before they're gassed.

So both managers made the prudent move. Instead of taxing their ever-precious, always fragile bullpen arms, they brought in what normally would be considered fourth or fifth pitchers in their starting rotation. And why not? In the playoffs, much less the World Series, no team needs more than 3 starting pitchers. But on they went. Fourteen innings worth.

And then something happened that caught the attention of yours truly, and I don't know the rules regarding such a scenario.

In the bottom of the 14th inning with the score tied 4-4, the Royals loaded the bases with nobody out. The batter, one Eric Hosmer, hit a fly ball to medium depth right field. Of course the runner on third tagged up after the catch was made by Met Curtis Granderson in right field. The runner scored rather easily. Game over. But was it really?

Many replays were shown, but none showed what happened on the basepaths regarding the other runners that were on first and second base.

So here's the question. OK, Granderson caught the fly ball. That's one out. But if the Royals' baserunners on first and second base never went back to "tag" those bases, what would have happened if the Mets threw the ball to second base, then back to first to double and triple off the runners? If the deciding run hadn't scored, it could have been a potential triple play. Inning over and still tied. Or does the winning run scoring in the meantime make that a moot point?

Beats me. Anybody know what the official rules are in such a scenario?

It was interesting the bookies had Game 1 of this Series dead even. Both the Mets and Royals were listed at -110. In laymen's terms that means if you bet a C note on either team -- and they lost -- it would cost you $110. If your team won, you win a hundred bucks. Making only ten bucks on a single bet might not sound like a lot for the wise guys, but multiply that by countless thousands, perhaps millions of wagerers and, if equal amounts of money are placed on both teams -- guess who wins in the end? Bet you'd gladly take 10% guaranteed interest on your savings account these days -- if you're fortunate enough to have one. But if you've been trying to outsmart the bookies long enough -- chances are you don't. There's a reason they're rich and you're not.

And on the yawn side, the Detroit Pistons opened up their regular season with a game against the Atlanta Hawks. This was, I think, maybe, shown on some obscure cable channel while the opening game of the World Series was airing on a major network. So how many couch tater sports fans tuned into THAT game? Could they be counted without taking off one's shoes and socks? I dunno, but methinks the Nielsen ratings will come back just a tad under the latest polling stats for certain Presidential "candidates". Is it even possible to get a below zero rating? If not, it should be.

On to Game Two of the Fall Classic. This is really good stuff featuring two really good teams.

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