If you’re a baseball fan, opening day is one of the more exciting days of the year for numerous reasons. All have been thoroughly discussed before, so for the sake of brevity, I’ll bypass that part of today’s post because I really want to talk about yesterday’s game between the Yankees and the Orioles.
If you didn’t see the game, here’s what you missed:
- Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge hit baseballs harder than anyone in the history of the sport. Literally. Shortly after I saw a social media post that Robinson Cano had homered off Max Scherzer with an exit velocity of 108 mph (yawn), Judge singled with a harder hit ball then Stanton hit a first-inning single to right center with an exit velocity of 120.6 mph. That was the 5th hardest ball ever hit since Statcast began tracking exit velocity – he and Judge are the only players to hit a ball harder.
- Luke Voit has power and can hit home runs. He has a career adjusted OPS about 50 points higher than Greg Bird so I don’t want to hear about any first base competition or controversy, despite Bird going yard yesterday as well.
- The Baltimore Orioles are a AAA team. Frankly, some AAA teams may be better. I certainly don’t want to do what I criticize others for doing and complain about the game’s health on Opening Day, but I do wonder: Is this season going to be the tipping point where the disparity between the great teams and the crap teams causes a problem for the league? Games with teams as bad as Baltimore can be tough to watch sometimes.
- Simpleton Summer Camp (the YES network) still employs people to talk about baseball who aren’t familiar with even the most rudimentary on-field baseball rules. Last season Michael Kay spent a few innings of a game embarrassing himself by making it obvious he doesn’t understand what happens when a baserunner misses a base. (“I don’t get it – so if a runner is picked off of first base why wouldn’t he just run into right field?” is a direct quote from the baseball dullard.) Yesterday, it was the highly complex (sarcasm) infield fly rule that confounded Kay and the rest of the YES team. The well-compensated crew of people who are in place to explain the game to we laypeople spent over a half inning displaying their ignorance of a baserunning situation caused by a simple pop up and the subsequent infield fly rule call. If you missed it, it’s too long to re-hash here completely, and frankly, I don’t want to re-hash a dropped pop up and crappy base running. But rest assured, if there’s a question about an on-field rule involving base running, Michael Kay will not have the answer for you. On another note, Kay and Paul O’Neill being willfully ignorant isn’t anything new to YES viewers, but I was surprised David Cone wasn’t able to sort things out. It was a rare bad inning for Coney…
- Infield fly, part 2: Miguel Andujar and Luke Voit, the baserunners involved in the aforementioned shit show, also didn’t behave in a manner that would suggest they understand the infield fly rule either. It’s possible, that since the call came late and came from the 3rd base umpire that they didn’t hear it made at the time. Possible, but not likely, given that Andujar didn’t know the runner missing a base rule last season either along with Kay. If I’m Aaron Boone, I’m assigning the best communicator of the coaching staff to explain the infield fly rule to the entire team later today. Especially the part about how the runner IS NOT FORCED TO RUN. You know, the highly complex aspect of the rule (rubs eyes…)
So it was opening day, the sun was out, the Yankees played well and pounded their way to a win. And not that we’d expect one game to give us any key insight to the season, but we didn’t really see anything we didn’t expect: The 2019 Yankees will be fun to watch and Michael Kay is an embarrassment to the sport.
Next stop: Saturday, 1:05 pm and the debut of James Paxton.
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