Okay, it’s been several years since my last “bah-humbug” column. This is where I shed my usual jovial self and complain about stuff. Can’t help it. It piles up and I have to do it.
First, those umpires who don’t know a rulebook from the directions on a beer bottle. These are major league umpires! They should know that any pitcher announced in the game must pitch to at least one batter. It is the same in Little League, Pony League and girl’s softball leagues.
So in the top of the 7th inning in Chicago last week, White Sox manager Bo Porter (when did he start managing?) took out a pitcher that had not faced a batter after Mike Scioscia replaced a pinch hitter with another pinch hitter. That’s okay to do with hitters.
Scioscia, whose team trailed by two at the time, protested the game after crew chief Fieldin Culbreth and his merry crew, Brian O’Nora, Bill Welke and Adrian Johnson, apparently said they never heard of the rule and let the game proceed with the illegal pitcher on the mound.
Now readers, this is a simple rule – 5.03(b) – and even sports writers know it. I think it is inconceivable Porter didn’t know it and I can’t think of a word to describe how I feel about the umpires not knowing it.
The Angels won the game so there was not an official protest but all the umpires were fined and Culbreth suspended for two games. Two games? Do the umpires even know there is a rulebook? Bah-humbug.
And now I see O.J. Simpson is back in court in Las Vegas and wants a new trial for his armed robbery conviction because, he says, his lawyers were incompetent. He’s been jailed for four years. Now his lawyers were bad? Bah-humbug!
Now I hear the best manager in the world has his job in jeopardy. Mike Scioscia, Angel’s manager, has seen his high priced group of players fall on their, uh, shields. Let’s just say their halos are not shinning brightly. They should return their salaries.
But now fans are calling for Scioscia’s head. Hey, is this the same guy who won Manager of the Year in 2002 with the Anaheim Angels? Is it the same manager who won Manager of the Year with the Los Angeles Angels in 2009? Bah-humbug.
And what about those pathetic Dodgers. They lost eight straight, the last one to Miami who has a $35 million payroll. The Dodgers seemingly pay their batboys more than that. This is another story of high priced talent with guaranteed contracts taking the year off. I hope they rebound and I hope the Angels do too.
But right now I can’t watch another loss in the last inning. But darn it, if you con the owners into big contracts you have to perform. Even if means you come out early to the ballpark to play baseball. Even if you have to watch more film. Even if you have to try harder. If you can’t do it, return some of your paycheck. Bah-humbug.
I won’t even talk about the Lakers and Clippers! That’s more bah-humbug than I can take.
The Kings made the Stanley Cup, 2nd round playoffs. A brief respite from my bad mood. Congratulations Kings.
Now, the hard part. I don’t know if the Ducks made the second round by deadline. So here are two stories, One if they made it and one if they didn’t. You pick the right one.
DUCKS WIN! Congratulations to the Duck’s for winning the first round against Detroit to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Kings. This should be the most exciting series in the history of hockey. Both are great teams and split the abbreviated season series at two apiece.
The Ducks will have the home-ice advantage and that might be the difference in this rivalry that will be even more intense because of what’s a stake.
DUCK LOSE: Just what I needed. Another of my teams biting the dust. There was nothing but high expectations for this team and they would have been playing the Kings in round two of the second-layer playoffs. Bah-humbug!
Don’t contact Don Alexander at Journaldon@aol.com until he cools off. That should be in a few days. He will return to his jovial self next week.