A Message to Umpires: Stop the Warnings

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Umpires this year have taken warnings too far.

Last week when Yankee Left-fielder Brett Gardner went hard into second base injuring Carlos Guillen, I was expecting some retaliation from Detroit. Two games later Gardner was hit leading off the game, rising suspicions that it was intentional. Honestly if it was on purpose then hats off to Detroit pitcher Jeremy Bonderman. He was protecting his teammate. The only thing that peeved me about it was he hit Brett in the leg. Hit the man in the back. Never aim to low or too high. That is what baseball is about. I know people hate to hear that, but I’m sorry that’s baseball. The players police themselves. Gardner hurts Guillen, he gets hit, end of discussion and we go on to playing baseball. But the umpires, by issuing all these warnings, take that aspect of the players policing themselves out of the game. I have no problem with umpires warning both benches to prevent a bean-ball war. But all I and fans ask is use common sense when issuing them. Surprisingly in that Yankee game Yankee pitcher Chad Gaudin hit Miguel Cabrera who had homered twice and a warning already issued, but Gaudin was not ejected.

As I write this, a warning in the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles game was issued after Alex Rios got hit with two outs and a runner on second. With the O’s still in the game, there is no intention of hitting Rios in that spot. But a warning was issued anyway. All umpires have to do is use common sense. They have been in baseball long enough to know when it is just a pitcher pitching inside or not. People get hit, that is baseball. Pitchers have to throw inside to command the plate. I have seen it too many times this year, umpires issuing warnings when they are not warranted. Once a warning is issued it cannot be rescinded and it makes the umpires job harder. If a batter gets hit or a pitch is inside they have to play mind-reader. Was it intentional or was it just a pitch that got away? So umpires, lets not always jump the gun and slow down with the warnings and lets just play baseball.

Now for some news around the Bigs:

I have one question for the Seattle Mariners: What were you thinking? They gave up Brendan Morrow for Brandon League and a pick. Now, League is having a pretty good year (63 IP, 2.84 ERA). But League is a reliever who doesn’t have the potential Morrow has nor does he have the stuff Morrow has. How do you give up on someone who has the stuff Morrow has. I watched him make professional, all-star quality players look horrible. In his last fifteen innings against the two best teams in baseball, the Yankees and the Rays, Morrow has given up two runs, five hits, and has a whopping twenty-nine strikeouts. His stuff is top quality and should factor into the Jay’s future for their rotation. I bet Seattle wants a do-over on that one.

This week two big name players, Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez, were rumored to go on waivers. Damon has already hit waivers, while Manny is still waiting.  These two former all-stars can play a huge role in the pennant race. Damon can still hit and can be a productive player in the two hole in a lineup. He was claimed by his former team, the Red Sox on Tuesday, but he rejected the claim to stay in Detroit. Manny is the wildcard in this pennant race. If he is claimed by the White Sox or Rays for example, who knows what he can do. If he gets out of LA and into a race we could see a similar Manny that we saw when he went to LA after leaving the Red Sox. Just to jog your memory, Manny in 53 games in 2008 with LA hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI’s. Inject anything like that into a lineup like the Rays, White Sox, or Yankees and the whole pennant race is changed.

Quick notes on those Yankees. Without A-Rod this year the Yankees are 13-1. Now that is just a statistic , there really is nothing behind that. But what is not just a stat is Robby Cano is really stepping up in A-Rod’s absence. He is closing in on his first career 30 home run campaign. Someone is going to get a nice pay day in the off-season. In other news, Javy Vaszquez’s struggles have now led him to the bullpen. Rookie Ivan Nova will take his spot in the rotation. This is a scary thought for Yankee fans because after CC Sabathia, the Yankees have Phil Hughes who is on a inning limit, a struggling A.J Burnett, journeyman Dustin Mosely, and Nova in their rotation. Now with Andy Pettite’s return pushed back even further, it seems Mosely and Nova will pitch big innings in the Bronx this fall.

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