Monday, October 13, 2008

Tim McCarver: The Biggest Risk to College Kids Nationwide

You know that drinking game where you watch a movie or show and drink every time something specific occurs? We used to watch "Pulp Fiction" and drink every time someone said "f***." That particular version is not a good idea because there are numerous scenes where the word is used every other second. Pretty much whenever Quentin Tarantino or Samuel Jackson is onscreen.

For similar reasons, don't try it with Tim McCarver and comments that call into question his sanity or yours as the triggering event.

Obviously, it can't compare with Tarantino's masterpiece - McCarver simply doesn't talk enough. But I think Timmie's got Quentin beat easily when we break it down by percentages.

You want examples?

I'm glaaaaaaad you asked.

1. The man said that over a batter's head is one of the safest places you can throw a baseball.

Really? We were always taught that the safest place to throw the ball was, you know, over the plate. Even if you're throwing at the guy, we were always taught to throw at his lower half. And for those of you who heard the actual comment, I know he was trying to compare it to throwing behind a guy's head. But that's not at all what he actually said.

Plus, he continued his argument by saying that behind a guy's head is dangerous because that's where a batter will duck into the ball. Have you ever seen someone duck backwards? I haven't.

2. Take the bunt single Furcal had to lead of the Bums' first.

McCarver called that a swinging bunt.

Hey, I know the ball went over the third baseman's head. But that was just a very lucky, very bad bunt. If you need convincing, watch Gregg Dobbs (Phil's 3B) on the play. If Furcal was using a swinging bunt, Dobbs would have stopped charging before contact i.e. the minute he saw Furcal pull back to swing. But he doesn't. He's still skidding to a stop as the ball clears his head. He was clearly moving as the ball makes contact.

Or you could just look at Furcal.

He's pretty clearly not swinging. Yes, the bat is moving as he makes contact. But that's what it looks like when a lefty bunts for a base hit: he shows as late as possible so the bat isn't stationary.

3. How about getting on Charlie Manuel for walking Manny Ramirez in the first with a runner on second and one out in a 2-0 game?

McCarver seemed to have a real problem with putting the tying run on first base in a 2-0 game. If the game was 0-0, sure. But not 2-0. That's crazy.

How does that make any sense?

As much as I dislike him and think he's a dog, Manny Ramirez is an insane hitter, figuratively and possibly literally. Plus, he's a lazy, loafing bum on the base-paths (and in the field). He's MUCH more likely to score from the batter's box than he is from first. And he proved it on James Loney's two-out double to dead center. If you can't score on that from first, you're probably only gonna score on a fluke triple or homerun.

Which means Manny at the plate is more of a threat to score than Manny on first with Russell Martin (not a noted HR threat) in the box.

But even more so, I don't get why more teams don't apply the Barry Bonds Principle to the most dangerous players. I know that the Dodgers' lineup is better than the Giants when they had Bonds, but that doesn't change the fact that Manny is far and away their best hitter.

Why let him beat you? In the first, in the fourth, in the ninth, in whatever inning.

And he can beat you with a runner on in a 2-0 game in the first just as easily as he can in 0-0 game.

This doesn't prove that Manuel was right and McCarver was wrong. But Charlie played the percentages and it worked. If they pitch to Manny in that scenario, I'm betting he gets at least a single. He is an RBI machine and even more so in the playoffs. He's made his rep on situations just like that so one run is probably the best case (as I write this, Ramirez is at the plate in the 5th with runners on first and second, no outs).

I know Joe Buck joined him for this one, but Joe's the play-by-play guy. He's not the ex-professional baseball player. He's not a former catcher whose job it is to provide color commentary and sound analysis (Ramirez singled to tie the game; I'm just saying).

It might seem like it, but I'm not nit-picking or exaggerating the situation at all. There are examples I'm not using because I'm missing them as I type. Furthermore, It's not like McCarver's just having an off-night. Listen to any game McCarver does.

They are all exactly like this.

Unfortunately, you'll have plenty of chances to see what I mean in the next couple of weeks.

Just be careful or you might drink yourself to death. You've been warned.

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