Saturday, July 23, 2022

Steven Kwan, the Sultan of Swingle.

The Cleveland Guardians Steven Kwan has become the Sultan of Swingle. Kwan's amazing start to his major league career began as a no chance spring training invitee who ended up not swinging and missing at a pitch during spring training. 

Proving spring training was no fluke, Kwan made the Guardians opening day roster and energized the entire team into believing in bat contact. Kwan did not swing and miss at any pitch during his first several dozen at bats. 

Kwan then experienced a dramatic down slope to his budding career. Kwan's Awesome April turned into a Miserable May as he began launching sharply hit fly balls after hitting the first home run of his career.

After the league adjusted to Kwan, Kwan re adjusted to a league that was annoyed at his ability to extend almost every at bat to an annoying amount of pitches, Kwan's June and July have been terrific.

I'm not sure what actually separates Kwan from being an actual .310 hitter or better and a player competing for a batting title other than his ultra bad month of May. 

Kwan's monthly batting average stats for 2022 so far are 

.354 in April,  

.173 in May, 

.341 in June,

.288 July 1st, through July 22, 2022.

For all the above reasons, Sportscam Detective is hereby naming Steven Kwan the Sultan of Swingle, which sure as heck beats being the Sultan of Wind Sails, if you get my drift.

 

 

Los Angeles Emmy winning Producer Alessandro Machi combines his editing, camera and observational skills to provide unique insights into the World of Sports.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Jose Ramirez has an achilles heel, and both times his teammates picked him up with 4 run rallies in the final inning of each game.

Other than Jose Ramirez's thumb occasionally flaring up because of the perpetual beat down he applies to incoming pitches due to his ability to make contact with virtually any pitch, Jose Ramirez is a complete ball player.

In the past Jose Ramirez has occasionally had trouble with baseball squibbers that require a barehanded catch and throw while charging in from third base.

However, in June of 2022 and within the span of one week's time Jose Ramirez has twice mispositioned himself on plays at third base where a base runner is barreling into third base while Jose waits for a throw from the outfield. In both instances Jose anchored himself in one particular spot and was either out of position to make the tag, or out of position to make the catch the throw. Both times the throws were basically perfect but the runner was safe each time.

Incredibly, in both instances which were both against the Minnesota Twins, Ramirez's improper foot positioning led to three runs being scored when the inning would have been over in one instance, and in the other there would have been two outs and no one on.

Even more incredibly, both of Ramirez's defensive mistakes led to the Cleveland Guardians scoring four runs in the last inning of the game to secure two come from 3 runs behind victories.

The reason I created this blog was to raise awareness about Sports moments that just don't get noticed in the heat of the moment but are news worthy. 

Here's hoping Jose takes some fielding practice on better foot positioning when he has a runner barreling in on him and he has to catch and apply the tag.

It would truly bum me out if this defensive fielding "quirk" of Jose Ramirez's is not corrected and comes back to bite the Cleveland Guardians down the stretch or in the playoffs were they to reach.


 

Los Angeles Emmy winning Producer Alessandro Machi combines his editing, camera and observational skills to provide unique insights into the World of Sports.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Minnesota Twins Catcher Gary Sanchez FOOLS EVERYBODY and helps nail a runner at home in crucial game against the Cleveland Guardians.

For the second night in a row, Gary Sanchez made a heads up,  game changing play against the Cleveland Guardians. In the Wednesday, June 22nd game, Sanchez made a spectacular hook slide at third base and was safe on a play in which the throw beat him by a full second. Even the Twins announcer was convinced he was going to be out by a mile and said so, and then quickly recanted his statement when Sanchez was called safe. However, no one correctly called what Sanchez did a tremendous hook slide. These little things do matter and when they are missed the game of baseball misses an opportunity to celebrate its own nuances. It's tough enough trying to understand the difference between a sinker, slider, curve, 2 seam, 4 seam, at least lets celebrate the hook slide when done to perfection.

Fast forward to the next day, June 23, 2022, and Sanchez pulled the perfect ploy in a base loaded, one out situation that helped prevent the Guardians from achieving their third straight late inning come from behind effort against the Minnesota Twins in Minnesota.

In both instances, Sanchez was assisted by Gio Urshela. In the Wednesday game, Sanchez's hook slide prevented an inning ending out at third base and Gio Urshela followed with a 3 run home run to give the Twins a temporary 10-7 lead that the Guardians would overcome in the ninth inning to win 11-10.

In last night's Thursday's game with the bases loaded, one out, and Franmil Reyes at third base, the infield was playing in to prevent the Guardians first run from scoring which would have tied the score at 1-1  in the seventh inning. The Guardians batter hit the ball to Urshela and Franmil Reyes looked like a track star running / lumbering down the third base line first by taking a walking lead and then running hard on contact.

And then a funny thing happened,
Urshela bobbled the ball and the double play to end the inning was not going to happen. Reyes was almost halfway down the third base line while Urshela was scrambling just to grab the ball he just booted. It looked like the best Urshela could do was throw to first for the second out of the inning with Reyes scoring from third on the play, runners on second and third, two outs and the game tied 1-1.

But there was Gary Sanchez, cool as a cucumber, just standing on home plate, his catcher's mitt limp at his side as if the play was going to be to second base and then to first. The pitcher also seemed just as disinterested as he sauntered off the mound. Meanwhile, Franmil had no idea the ball had been misplayed by Urshela. 

Franmil looked at Sanchez just standing nonchalantly on home plate. Sanchez's relaxed stance seemed to influence Franmil into thinking the play was at second and then first. 

 

Franmil then quickly looked from a disinterested Sanchez ahead of him to  an equally disinterested pitcher to his left and apparently ASSumed the throw was going to second and then to first for either an inning ending double play or the runner would be safe at first and his run would count whether he ran hard all the way through home plate, or not.

 
After looking at a disinterested Sanchez and an equally bored pitcher, Franmil slowed down the final couple of steps before home plate. Suddenly Sanchez (maybe that should be Sanchez's nickname) came out of his catatonic pose and instantly caught the ball for a force out just barely ahead of a now sauntering Reyes reaching home plate.

What type of Physics is it called when people create their own reality? Franmil Reyes mistakenly thought the play was was either an inning ending double play or he would be safe at home whether he ran hard through home or not. In an odd sort of way Franmil got his "version of reality".

Considering Reyes started to move on the pitch and had a decent lead off from third base and did run hard on contact, Reyes probably would have made it to home in 3.20 seconds, instead, it took Reyes 3.5 seconds because he was tricked by Sanchez and the pitcher's nonchalance into slowing down just a couple of strides before he reached home plate, and that additional .3 seconds was the difference between being safe at home and suddenly the bases remain loaded with still only one out and the score tied, versus the reality of there now being 2 outs, runners on second and third, and still trailing in the game 1-0.

Sanchez and the pitcher did such a great job of acting NOBODY from either broadcast crew noticed, so unfortunately their clever baseball deking is not part of the game recap when it should be nor will any of the Sports Reporters covering the game mention it either.

There is some serious high IQ going on between Urshela and Sanchez on a daily basis, and in this instance the pitcher also played a role. 

As a Guardians fan, if this play had happened in the 7th inning of the 7th game of the World Series, it would probably be the most heartbreaking play a Cleveland Guardians fan could ever experience, so I guess I am grateful if it had to happen (it should not have ever happened(, it happened during the regular season and hopefully will not be replicated during the playoffs, presuming the Guardians do make the playoffs in  2022.


Los Angeles Emmy winning Producer Alessandro Machi combines his editing, camera and observational skills to provide unique insights into the World of Sports.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Now this IS a HOOK SLIDE by Minnesota Twins Catcher Gary Sanchez!

Cleveland Guardians vs Minnesota Twins, June 22, 2022. Jose Ramirez fooled at third base by a Gary Sanchez hook slide. The result is devastating for the Cleveland Guardians as the next hitter, Gio Urshela, hits a three run home run to give the Twins the 7th inning lead, 10-7.  Hook slides are rarely done and are rarely done correctly. In this instance Gary Sanchez's hook slide was perfectly executed.



 


Steven Kwan made an absolutely perfect dart throw to Jose Ramirez, but for some reason Jose got caught flat footed not realizing a hook slide was the one slide that would allow the base runner to elude Jose Ramirez's tag. Instead of the inning being over, the inning continued with runners on second and third and two outs and the next batter was Gio Urshela, who hit a way too inside pitch (props for hitting it out) for a 3 run home run to break a 7-7 tie and give Minnesota a 10-7 lead.
 
Game update:  Down 10-7 in the ninth inning, the Guardians scored 4 runs in the ninth to secure the come from behind victory, and of course, Jose Ramirez was in the middle of it with one of several key ninth inning hits.
 
Guardians used a ninth inning no out bunt from one of their most clutch late inning hitters, Andres Gimenez, to move the lead runner from second to third, and the next hitter, Owen Miller, hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the final run of the inning and the night, to win 11-10. Guardians Broadcast announcer Rick Manning was livid over Gimenez bunting the runner from second to third with no outs. However, Owen Miller has done a fantastic job sac flying runners in all season long, and that's exactly what Miller did on the first pitch he saw.
 

This was the first time since 1928 that the Guardians won a game in which the opposing team scored runs in each of the first five innings.
 
 
On a personal note, I was playing Beat the Streak and out of the 18 starters, 17 got hits. Naturally I picked one right, and one wrong. I could have picked any other starter on either team and had both of my picks right. And, as if that wasn't bad enough, the only player to not get a hit, that I picked, was Twins lead off hitter who was hitting .364 at the start of play. lol. Highest batting average among all 18 starters was the only one to not get a hit. I wonder how often that happens.
 
 

Los Angeles Emmy winning Producer Alessandro Machi combines his editing, camera and observational skills to provide unique insights into the World of Sports.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

EVERYBODY misinterprets ML Baseball rule 5.06 (b) (4) (h) and Cleveland Guardians lose to the Cincinnati Reds as a direct result.

Here is what happened on May 17, 2022 between the Cleveland Ardians (I call them Ardians in 2022 as a protest because Jose Ramirez's contract was only partially front loaded instead of fully front loaded) and the Cincinnati Reds in the bottom of the 10th inning with a runner on second base for Cleveland.

The pitch went past the catcher, ricocheted off the backstop and then rolled quite a bit. AFTER the Ardians runner had touched 3rd base, the ball THEN rolled into the Dugout.


Runner had already touched and passed third base BEFORE the ball went into the dugout.

EVERYBODY has misinterpreted rule 5.08 (b) (4) (h) and as a result the Ardians runner was never awarded his one base! Below is the rule that was misinterpreted.

5.06 (b)(4)(h)

One base, if a ball, pitched to the batter, or thrown by the pitcher from his position on the pitcher’s plate to a base to catch a runner, goes into a stand or a bench, or over or through a field fence or backstop. The ball is dead;

APPROVED RULING: When a wild pitch or passed ball goes through or by the catcher, or deflects off the catcher, and goes directly into the dugout, stands, above the break, or any area where the ball is dead, the awarding of bases shall be one base. One base shall also be awarded if the pitcher while in contact with the rubber, throws to a base, and the throw goes directly into the stands or into any area where the ball is dead.

If, however, the pitched or thrown ball goes through or by the catcher or through the fielder, and remains on the playing field, and is subsequently kicked or deflected into the dugout, stands or other area where the ball is dead, the awarding of bases shall be two bases from position of runners at the time of the pitch or throw.   end of rule quote..

So here is the question that was not asked but should have been....How can an umpire award a base that the base runner already has already reached BEFORE the ball went into the dugout?

By ruling that the runner only can advance one base, the runner could have literally sat his butt on the second base bag, watched the pitch go by the catcher, still sitting on second base, watch the ball roll around in foul territory, take one step off of second base, watch the ball fall into the dugout, and then be "awarded" one base, third base, because the ball went into the dugout.

In this instance, an umpire cannot "award" a base that a baserunner has already "earned" before the ball left the field of play. Period, end of story, wrong call, everyone got it wrong. 

The base runner EARNED third base before the ball left the field of play and therefore should have been AWARDED one base, home plate, by the Umpire. 

An umpire can't award what a baserunner has already earned. 

The rule as written envisioned a situation in which the pitched ball goes into the dugout before the base runner reached the next base. 

The scenario that actually happened in the game was NOT what the rule was written for. The ball in the dugout rule was meant for a runner running TO the next base and the ball goes into the dugout BEFORE  the runner has EARNED the next base under their own power.

MLB has failed to to define how a base runner EARNS a base versus being AWARDED a base.

However, just because MLB does not define what Earning a Base is does not change the reality that when a baseball player reaches the next base by running to it before they are tagged out and while the ball is in play, they have earned that new base.

The Cleveland runner EARNED third base, and the umpire should have then AWARDED one base, namely, home.

Video clip of play. Runner had already rounded third base before the ball went into the dugout.

If you have MLB.TV and can view the actual play from the game, the replay clearly shows the ball did not roll into the dugout until after the runner had rounded third base.


The bounding ball is directly in front of the Reds player's knee just before going into their dugout, meanwhile Indians Runner has already passed third base.

Indians Television announcer Matt Underwood's instincts were 100% right when he asked if the runner had already reached and passed third base. 

Unfortunately, this rather unique situation that probably rarely comes up, runner on second, ball goes by catcher and takes so long to end up in the dugout the runner has already reached and passed the next base, resulted in everyone who thought they knew the rule based on past experiences failed to remember the one golden rule about baseball; some times a play happens that either never happened before, or happens so rarely it mistakenly gets clumped into other scenarios when the rules are applied.




Los Angeles Emmy winning Producer Alessandro Machi combines his editing, camera and observational skills to provide unique insights into the World of Sports.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Cleveland Ardians and Jose Ramirez agree to a partially front loaded 7 year deal, Almost as Sportscam Detective had suggested in previous article.

When I first heard the Cleveland Dians had signed Jose Ramirez to a 5 year contract extension, I felt Cleveland had earned their new name that starts with Gu.

When I heard the Cleveland Dians had actually been willing to front load Jose Ramirez's contract, I definitely felt the Dians had earned the Guar at the front.

However, The Cleveland Dians almost followed Sportscam Dectectives advice from my prior article on this site.  Almost, and for that reason, because they just could not do a solid and could only do the partial right thing, I am going to expand to the Cleveland Ardians. 

Perhaps the Cleveland Ardians lost a lot of money from COVID-19 and they just can't afford to completely front load Jose Ramirez's contract as I suggested, so they offered half of what I suggested, Front loading the first year of Jose's contract, and then dropping back down the following year and slowly incrementing up each and every year.

This is absolute NONSENSE. Jose Ramirez is in his prime. The Ardians should have offered the following.... 22, 22, 22, 22, 22, 15, 15. It's actually 1 million less but it FAIRLY front loads 17 million dollars instead of the approximately 10 million the way the contract is actually constructed. Front loaded money allows a ballplayer to re-invest and actually make more long term profit. It's probably the best way for smaller market teams to compete with the larger market teams.

This isn't just about the amount of the contract. It's about paying a player what he is worth when he is in his prime and then backing it down just a bit as he gets older but is still productive. As the contract is presently constructed, Jose's final year with the Indians, when it is quite possible his overall contributions will be less than they are now, he will be paid the most!

Six years from now fans with short attention spans may think Jose is selfish for being paid so much money at an older age when it was Jose Ramirez who produced so much more when he was in his prime. 

Pay the man what he is worth in his prime, now, with the knowledge that the final two years are at a lower salary, which makes a lot of sense.  Jose has been so steady and reliable for so many years that logic, AlexLOGIC dictates that the 21 million a year for the next five years, when he is in prime, is the Guardian thing to do.

You can study the foolishness the Ardians created for Jose Ramirez below. Counting every dollar in a way that is not in the interest of the player means I will not be using the GU whenever I write about the Ardians. Consider it my form of protest over not doing the right thing and front loading Jose's contract in a more equitable manner.

Mark my words, when this contract is in its final 2 years, and the Indians have to pay Jose Ramirez 22 million and 25 million dollars and as a result perhaps cannot make another Jose Ramirez type of deal to a future up and coming star, we will all see how unnecessarily selfish this deal was.

























As you can see 

Los Angeles Emmy winning Producer Alessandro Machi combines his editing, camera and observational skills to provide unique insights into the World of Sports.