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Jerry reacts to the Red Sox trade deadline and some shady umpiring around the league.

AKA: “Can you hear me now, Ben?”

Will the Sox eventually regret trading Iglesias? (Elsa/Getty Images)
Will the Sox eventually regret trading Iglesias? (Elsa/Getty Images)

Apparently not. Just as I got through telling you that one of the things I liked about the 2013 Red Sox was that you had not given up on the light hitting but extremely slick fielding Jose Iglesias, you go and trade him. Granted, at just about the same moment I was expressing my confidence in the young man, his batting average started to nosedive, (Talk about being thrown a curve, or more accurately a whole series of them!) but still, many consider him to be the best fielding SS in the game today.

Although in the long run the Sox may come to regret this, I guess I’ll have to grudgingly agree with those who feel that adding the 32 year old Jake Peavy (8-4, 4.26) to the starting rotation, for this year and next, is a very solid move. They also helped their bullpen with the addition of the lefty Matt Thorton, for a minor leaguer who was probably never going to make it to Fenway, so you have to give GM Ben Cherington, thumbs up for that move as well. I know I’ve been saying all along that the Red Sox are a third place team, I just couldn’t acknowledge that a third place finish in the AL East would be good enough to make the playoffs. Now I am. These moves, along with  the return to early season form for Lester and Buchholz, will hopefully help them match up more effectively with the Rays.


Ortiz threw quite the tantrum in Baltimore. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Ortiz threw quite the tantrum in Baltimore. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

I essentially have two problems with “Big Papi”s” little tirade in the visitors’ dugout at Camden Yards last weekend. Problem one is that I thought it to be somewhat out of proportion to the situation at hand. The Sox were leading at that point, and although some of the strike calls by umpire Tim Timmons were blatantly bad, I don’t feel that the at bat had much of an impact on the game in general. If you have things to say to the ump, say them, smashing the phone with the bat clearly endangers not only yourself but also everyone in the immediate vicinity.

But, more to the point of what really bothered me, was that it took the spotlight off the fact that home plate umpire was clearly having a very bad game. He seemed far more concerned with being “shown-up”, then doing his job effectively. Timmons’ errors included allowing an Orioles’ batter to call timeout after Ryan Dempster had started  his delivery and a blown third strike call on a pitch that was clearly over the heart of the plate. None of this came back to haunt the Sox, but they came on the heels of some missed calls by the same crew the night before.


What's been going on with the umpiring this year? (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
What’s been going on with the umpiring this year? (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Speaking of being “shown up”… Why is it considered showing an umpire up if you anticipate ball four, but not strike three? We’ve all seen batter realize that they have clearly just taken a third strike and start their walk of shame back to the dugout before the ump has called it, but I’ve never seen one thrown out for doing it. Isn’t it the same sin of anticipation? MLB umps clearly had a bad week. In addition to the overly replayed blown call by the out-of-position Jerry Meals on Daniel Nava, there was also the tossing of Miguel Cabrera by Chad Fairchild in the 3rd inning of a game in a bases loaded situation. What kind of ego must an umpire have to throw out arguably (pun intended) the most exciting hitter in the game today, in the third inning?

I believe that it is clearly the right time for  MLB to institute an NFL-style challenge replay system. Both teams should get two or three challenges per game, to use on anything: balls and strikes, safe or out calls or whatever without punishment. As a side note, I think it silly that NFL teams risk time outs to use their challenges. You’re only getting two, so use them when you need them or save them for the end. That should be risk enough.  Anyway, there is already enough of a human element in baseball. They’re called fans and players, and they both deserve the best officiating possible.

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.