The Blue Jays actually tied the game last night

I listened to the last inning of the Red Sox/Blue Jays game last night and I heard a real thriller.
A tight game became razor thin at the end.

With 2 outs, JohnMcDonald singled home Edwin Encarnacion for the tying run and Jonathan Papelbon blew the save.

That’s what really happened.

That’s not what was recorded. That’s not what history will tell us.
History will tell us a mistake.

History will tell us that Darnell McDonald threw out Encarnacion at the plate. A little research will tell us that Jason Varitek blocked the plate and Encarnacion couldn’t touch the plate.

But that’s not what happened.

The replay showed that in fact Encarnacion missed home plate at first but his left leg touched home plate before Varitek actually put a tag on him.

Despite Darnell McDonald’s wonderful throw and Varitek’s gritty defense, Encarnacion scored.

Umpire Brian Knight got the call wrong.
It was a tough call. It was a bang bang play involving lots of movement at home and I am not blaming him.

But why should we pretend that he got the call right?
He didn’t. I saw the replay.

And do you know what? It sours the game a little for me. It makes a win, that was already bittersweet with the Lester injury, less satisfying. The Red Sox didn’t earn it.

One of the most common illogical complaints I hear from people who are against instant replay is “it will take away the HUMAN ELEMENT.”

Let me ask you something. Isn’t John McDonald getting a clutch hit off of an All Star closer with 2 outs in the 9th inning part of the human element?

Isn’t Edwin Encarnacion making a great slide when he realizes that he doesn’t have a clean lane to the plate part of the human element?

They both did something clutch and terrific on the road against a division rival and they are denied being credited as such because… why? Because technology is scary? Because you’d rather have something done now than have it be right? Because first impressions are better than reality?

It’s clearly not “The Human Element.”

And this is coming from a Red Sox fan who benefited from the blown call.

I’d rather my team earn their victories.

For more on this subject, watch the video.

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I have nothing against Brad Mills but…

The All Star break can be very cruel for slumping managers. It is a natural transition time and a point where if a change has to be made, it will be as smooth as it can be.

Which brings us to Brad Mills.
It is NOT his fault that the Astros suck, but MAN they are a big ole pile of suck.

Their pitching sucks, their bullpen is Godawful and I hate to say it, but they may have to deal Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn. They might be the only chips that have any value. If they can flip two players for a pair of players each, they might have four players to build from.
Either way, the Astros are the worst team in baseball.
They look like they have a clear run at the #1 pick over all in next June’s draft.
And oh yeah. They have a new owner coming in.
All of these point to Brad Mills having to get his resume ready.
I am not saying he’s not a good baseball mind. He clearly is with his time on Terry Francona’s coaching staff.
I am not saying he isn’t a potentially good manager.
And I am not blaming him for the current state of the Astros.
All I am saying is when the worst team in baseball enters the All Star break knowing that new owners are on their way, it is a rotten chain of events for the current manager.
The current ownership gets to show the fans that they are still trying and the new ownership would have no issues dumping an interim manager.
If he had a long track record, then he might be safe. But it is easier to dump someone with only a year and a half on their resume.
What I’ll say is this: Brad Mills will probably get axed and will eventually get another managing gig. (If Jim Riggleman and his nondescript resume was good to get hired over and over again, then Brad Mills will do fine.)
And one more thing.

Astros bench coach Al Pedrique might be getting a new gig!
When a manager gets canned, they usually take a look at the bench coach to take over temporarily. Bittersweet but good news for Al!
And guess what? He has managerial experience. When the Diamondbacks dumped (unfairly in my view) Bob Brenly, Pedrique managed the team the rest of the way in 2004.
He wasn’t exactly John McGraw. He went 22-61 in those 83 games, but hey! He wasn’t dealing with a great team either.
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Ladies and Gentlemen… your SECOND PLACE Pittsburgh Pirates

It’s July. It is less than a week before the All Star Game. It is the second half of the season.
It is by no definition early.

And the Pittsburgh Pirates are in second place alone in the National League Central. They just leap frogged the Milwaukee Brewers and are 1 game back in the loss column.

The Pirates are here because they can pitch. They can field and they get the hit when they need it.

I’ll say it. If they hover around this point by Sunday… the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates will be… (Wait for it)…


(If they collapse, I will be blamed.)

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