Posts Tagged ‘MMP Error Call Should Be Reversed’

MMP Error Call Should Be Reversed

July 7, 2018

Yuli Gurriel
Robbed of a Double by the official scorer at MMP on Friday night.

 

In the Friday night big 7-run 8th inning for the Astros, Chicago right fielder Avisail Garcia was charged with an error when he allegedly misjudged a fly ball hit by Yuli Gurriel and it bounced behind him, just inside the line fair, and sailed into the near side lower right field stands. The bases were loaded at the time and two more Astros runs scored as a result. Even the Astros broadcast crew spoke what almost all our eyes first told us as we watched the tough play unfold – that Gurriel would be credited with a ground rule double and two runs batted in.

Not so, according to the official scorer, whomever that dubious authority may be. He or she ruled the play as an error on Garcia for misjudging the descent of the ball, taking away Gurriel’s double and 2 RBI, and earmarking the two runs as unearned.

The MLB office needs to both review the “E” call and also look into the MMP official scorer’s general readiness to carry out the charge that goes with this important scoring assignment. I can think of a lot of outfielders who could have made this play, but all of them are either Astros or players who are much more familiar with MMP than Avisail Garcia.

A larger point – anyone who has actually played the outfield, especially the two corner spots, would know that Garcia was not guilty of an error on that fluke play and that Gurriel has now been deprived of the ground rule double and other accolades that go with it. The call needs to be reversed and our local official scorer either needs a continuing education seminar or a replacement in this role. The integrity of the game deserves the best – and this call wasn’t even close.

Even if we don’t talk about it enough in these terms, those of us who’ve played enough outfield at any level understand this much about fly balls:

  1. The fly balls that reach us off the bat while we are positioned in the vertical cone path of ascent are the easiest to catch when they are coming at us 10 to 20 feet either side of where we stand. Of this total group, the line drives hit directly at us are the hardest to judge. On these, we have to rely heavily upon the sound the ball makes coming off the bat to tell us if a ball is going to be sinking to the ground before it reaches us – or still soaring in ascent to go over our head. “The Catch” by Willie Mays of the Vic Wertz blast in the 1954 World Series is my favorite memory of such a dangerous ball being captured. On these within the vertical cone blasts, a slight side vantage view within the cone is a big help on the depth question by the way it gives us a slant on the “coming down early” to “headed for deeper ground than me” question.
  2. The ball that “fooled” Garcia had a vertical cone path whose dead center proved to be one-foot fair down the right field line. From there, as we saw, the ball had the ability to take a high bounce foul into the stands, located only a few further feet away.
  3. Garcia was not in the vertical cone path of Gurriel’s batted ball in the 8th. He had a great bead on where it was coming down from his running view outside the cone, but he had a very long horizontal run just to get under it almost simultaneously when the ball hit the ground fair behind him and bounced – untouched by Garcia – into the stands.
  4. Even when they help us track where the ball is coming down, horizontal runs to a ball’s vertical cone path cause the head to bob as the fielder now tries to keep a closer eye on the ball’s descent from afar. At MMP, a fielder less familiar with the park may also be much more conscious at the same time of wanting to avoid an injury slam into the low-laying stands.
  5. My conclusion: Avisail Garcia did not misjudge or err in his play of the ball hit by Yuli Gurriel in the 8th inning of Houston’s 11-4 Friday night win over the White Sox. He simply could not make the play. And there is no basis for an error assignment. The error call should be reversed and a hit credit should be restored to Yuli Gurriel.

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle