Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

It's Time to Play Ball

Opening day is just around the corner. The Chicago Cubs open the 2008 season at home on Monday, March 31 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Nothing quite like a National League Central Division match-up to kick the season off.

As a new addition to Humzoo, this site's focus will be baseball. Readers will find a wide range of baseball news, stories and photos. I will even post photos from my trips to various Major League Baseball parks.

This season I will take a few additional steps toward my goal of visiting each Major League park. As of today, I only have nine left. This April, I will travel to New York to scratch Shea Stadium of the list. This season I will also attempt to get to The Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

Enjoy! Opening day is 27 days away.

Opening day in MLB is like Christmas for grown-ups! Hope springs eternal for fans of every team. On opening day, everyone is in first place (except the Pittsburgh Pirates; I think they start the season in last). Now that I have no "favorite" team it makes watching games that much more fun. Good luck with your blog!
Aram   Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Dude I cannot WAIT for baseball. The Cubs' postseason last year was heartbreaking to say the least, but it's a new year and I'm ready for another season. Bring it on.
Dave Heinzel   Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Dave - The playoffs were disappointing. I am working on a blog to address that series. Stay tuned.
Bill Pearch   Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Carrie   Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Carrie - My wife is a Brewers fan. We end up getting to five or six games in Miller Park each season. Great park. Despite being a Cubs fan, the 90-minute drive north is well worth it. Great seats, great food.
Bill Pearch   Thursday, March 6, 2008
Great topic. For all of you baseball enthusiasts out there, I love baseball rules although I could never be an umpire myself. I tried and I am horrible. But here is a play that I cannot get an answer to. I have even written the MLB Umpire Association. Like Dan from BFS, I will give a grand prize to someone who can answer this for me.

This play actually happened in a Mens Senior Baseball League game that I play in in Chicago. It was a playoff game so the stakes were high.
6th inning we are losing by 2 runs. Runners on 1st and 3rd, 1 out. Our batter takes a full swing but hits a squibber down the 3rd base line. The ball is rolling back and forth over the foul line about 25 feet from the plate. The catcher takes off his mask and throws it at the ball. The mask hits the moving ball in foul territory and the umpire calls it foul. I ran out and claimed that the batter should be awarded 3 bases because according to rule: 7:05 (b): Each runner/batter is entitled to 3 bases if a fielder deliberately touches a fair ball with his cap, mask, or any part of his uniform detached from its proper place on his person...

In my scenario the catcher clearly threw his mask and hit the ball. So now we have to see what the definition of a "fair ball" is since 7:05 (b) refers to a "fair" ball.

According to section 2.00 of the baseball rules a fair ball is: a batted ball that settles on fair ground between home and first, or between home and 3rd, or that is on or over fair territory when bounding to the outfield past first or 3rd base.......

In my scenario the ball was still moving when the mask was thrown and thus was still "live" as it had not yet settled. The catchers action basically made the ball settle. Since it was moving and had not yet stopped one could not determine if it was fair or foul as it could have hit a pebble and bounded back across the foul line. (in reality the ball was about 12 inches to the left of the 3rd base foul line when stopped by the mask).

So technically one could argue that since the ball wasnt "fair" , no penalty should be assessed on the defense. However, I argue that the ball was live and the catchers actions, by throwing the mask, interfered with a "live" ball that had yet to be determined if it was foul or fair. I think I am right but at the very least the rules do not adequately address this scenario.

Any help would be appreciated.
Go Cubs!
RickMonday   Monday, March 10, 2008
Hey RickMonday! I'd have to think about this one. It does seem like the ball was a substantial distance from the line. I doubt the ball would have gained enough momentum to roll back that far.

By the way, nice job saving that flag in the 1970s. Good hustle.
Bill Pearch   Monday, March 10, 2008
Thanks Bill,

Keep in mind that the ball was still moving and could have rolled back into fair territory. It happens all the time....(just trying to lobby my cause!) lol
RickMonday   Monday, March 10, 2008
Glad to hear you enjoy Miller Park. My husband and I got married there in 2004. Had the ceremony on the club level and our reception at the .300 Club. We even rented the Sauages for entertainment!
I'll have to admit, though, it's not as fun when the Cubs play because so many of you take the small commute and take up half the seats. For the first few years, it was literally a home away from home game for the Cubs. Fortunately, the Brew Crew fans have caught on and try to nab as many tickets as possible. I definitely enjoy the rivalry!
Carrie   Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Carrie, you hired the Sausages? That's great! My favorite is Chorizo, but I guess he wasn't around in 2004. Despite being a Cubs fan, I have a Chorizo bobblehead on my desk at work.
Bill Pearch   Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Nope, the Chorizo was unavailable at the time. Not sure why he's even available now, here in Milwaukee of all places. It still makes me laugh... !
Carrie   Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Yeah, and Chorizo's hat slows him down too. We do get a kick out of the mini-Sausage races on Sundays. Cool idea for kids.
Bill Pearch   Wednesday, March 12, 2008
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