MLB kills the ‘transfer rule’

Major League Baseball announced on Friday that effective immediately, they were doing away with the new transfer rule. MLB had earlier clarified that the existing rule on catching the ball would be interpreted going into the 2014 season that if the fielder fails to transfer the ball properly from his glove to his throwing hand, the catch is not a catch, and the runner is safe. The interpretation was referred to as the transfer rule.

This is what it has always said in Section 2 of the Major League Baseball rulebook:

A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it; providing he does not use his cap, protector, pocket or any other part of his uniform in getting possession. It is not a catch, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling, drops the ball. It is not a catch if a fielder touches a fly ball which then hits a member of the offensive team or an umpire and then is caught by another defensive player. If the fielder has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have been caught. In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.

I don’t understand how you can read the rule and determine that it’s not a catch if you drop the ball while taking it out of your glove. The two events, the catch and the subsequent throw, are independent of one another. The Baltimore Orioles lost a game against the Boston Red Sox because of this stupid interpretation. I’m sure other teams were robbed because of it too.

The transfer rule was stupid. I’m glad to see that they killed it.

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected for having pine tar on his neck

New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was thrown out of last night’s game against the Boston Red Sox for having an illegal substance on his neck. It is believed that the illegal substance was pine tar.

Pine tar allows a pitcher to get a better grip on the ball. Grip is good. Baseball being baseball, hitters are allowed to use pine tar, pitchers are not. With that said, it’s kind of an unwritten rule that nothing will be said about a pitcher using pine tar when it’s cold, as long as they aren’t being obvious about using it. In cold weather, it’s harder to grip the ball. Pineda’s problem last night was that it wasn’t cold and he was being very obvious about it. He had it right on his neck for the world to see. Red Sox manager John Farrell asked the umpire to check Pineda’s neck and the rest was history.

The Red Sox went on to win the game 5-1.

As fate would have it, last night’s game was televised nationally on ESPN. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone from the four-letter network alerted the Red Sox about the pine tar on Pineda’s neck, knowing that the inspection and subsequent ejection would create lots of drama.

If there’s one thing ESPN likes is drama.

I’m not so sure it was Pineda’s fault. Once I saw a magician pull a quarter out from behind a young girl’s ear. Who was responsible for producing the quarter, the girl? I don’t think so. For all we know, a magician or a wizard could have put the pine tar on Pineda’s neck. I couldn’t help but notice that although the umpiring crew checked Pineda for foreign substances, they didn’t check the stands for wizards or magicians.

I guess we’ll never know.

Manny Machado to start minor league rehab assignment Friday in Frederick

Baltimore Orioles Platinum Glove third baseman Manny Machado begins a rehab assignment this Friday for the Frederick Keys, the Orioles High-A minor league affiliate. Machado had surgery on his left knee during the offseason and had been in Sarasota at the Orioles’ spring training facility recuperating.

Tickets for this weekend in Frederick are still available, for now, at the Frederick Keys official website. As more area Oriole fans in the area learn about the assignment, tickets should go pretty fast. Manny Machado is to the Orioles what Bryce Harper is to the Washington Nationals, except Machado graduated high school, and he isn’t a spoiled jerk-face.

Bryce Harper benched for being Bryce Harper

Washington Nationals All-Star Bryce Harper has shown he’s more than willing to run his cranium full speed into the Dodgers Stadium out-of-town scoreboard, but not so much when it comes to running to first base on a groundout. Harper dogged it in yesterday’s 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and was benched because of it. Harper was removed from the game in the sixth inning and replaced with Kevin Frandsen.

When asked about the move, manager Matt Williams told reporters after the game that Harper’s “inability to run 90 feet” was the reason for the benching. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo later told reporters that he agreed with the decision.

Have they forgotten who Harper is? Anyone employing the baseball talents of Bryce Harper had better get used to him taking plays off. Anyone who remembers his time here in Hagerstown knows that Harper often lacks dedication. That’s putting it nicely.

If the Nationals wanted a player who always played hard and played with hustle, they should have taken a pass on Harper and instead drafted Manny Machado. The Nats had the first pick in the 2010 MLB Draft and the selected high school dropout Bryce Harper. The Baltimore Orioles had the third pick, and they drafted Manny Machado.

The Nationals should have drafted Machado.

Don Mattingly implies Yasiel Puig fakes injuries when he strikes out

Mattingly said Puig, “grabs something every time he takes a swing and misses.” Too bad he doesn’t grab a Spanish copy of Dummies Guide to Running the Bases.

After the Los Angeles Dodgers’ win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia, Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly seemed to imply that outfielder Yasiel Puig is a big fat faker who fakes an injury every time he strikes out. Puig seemed to hurt himself in his final swing of the bat. When asked by reporters about Puig’s last at bat in a 7-5 win over the Diamondbacks, Mattingly said Puig, “grabs something every time he takes a swing and misses.”

Too bad he doesn’t grab a Spanish copy of Dummies Guide to Running the Bases.

Yasiel Puig has all the talent in the world, but at times, he looks like he doesn’t really know how to play the game of baseball. And who can blame him? He played only 23 games at the Class-A level and another 40 at the Double-A level. That’s it. He was then called up to the majors. In a perfect world, he would be down in the Dodgers’ minor league system, learning the game the right way. The world is not perfect and as a result, Puig is starting in left field for the Los Angeles Dodgers and his jersey is a top-seller in the official team store.

I wonder if Puig, who defected from Cuba in 2012, even really knows who Mattingly is. Does he know that his manager was one of the best players of his generation? Probably not. If he did, public criticism of Puig’s play would have a lot more power behind it.

(AP Photo/Don Wright, File)

Bryce Harper: 'Screw what people think'

Bryce Harper: 'Screw what people think' - Bent Corner
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images North America

Bryce Harper may love the smell of the crowd, he just doesn’t care what they think.

From Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic:

I could care less what people think. Screw what people think. Everybody talks about us all year long saying we’re not going to make this or do that. I could care less what they think. It’s all what we think. I could really care less what the media thinks or anybody else. It’s nice to get that W tonight and like I said, I could care less what people think.

I think Bryce Harper is a jerk. It’s OK though, he doesn’t care what people think.