Saturday, October 26, 2013
Holy Ed Armbrister! Obstruction Call Decides Game Three of the Series
In one of the most bizarre World Series game finishes ever, the Red Sox found themselves on the wrong side of a base runner obstruction call, costing them game three of the World Series, putting them behind St. Louis 2 games to 1.
It was a gutsy call by the umpiring crew. The call was correct. There wasn’t intent to obstruct Allen Craig by Middlebrooks, but it was instruction nonetheless. All would agree that it was a lousy way for a game to end, but sometimes that happens. Kudos to Jim Joyce for calling the call that he probably didn’t want to make.
For a fan that can’t stand either team, maybe it was the ideal way for this game to end. The Red Sox lost, and that’s a good thing AND the Cardinals won in the lamest fashion available. I guess that’s about as good as we’ll get in this series. Thirty-eight years after being on the wrong side of an obstruction no-call in the '75 World Series at Cincinnati, the Red Sox find themselves being hard luck losers on an obstruction call in St. Louis.
Recent news indicating that Tim Wallach is a finalist for the Detroit Tigers managerial vacancy has many wondering what his loss will mean to the Dodgers. I see it as significant, as Wallach has been with the Dodger organization for the most part since 1993 with a year or two off.
That’s longevity that has endured through four ownerships, eight managerial changes, seven general managers and countless scouts and coaches. All this time Wallach has been a Dodger, and a loyal one at that. There’s no doubt he deserves a shot at taking the helm of a major league club, but it would have been nice to see him do it in Dodger blue.
The Tiger job is a good one though and being matched up again with Dave Dombrowski is a good fit for Tim. Aside from the Dodger managerial position, could he have asked for a better ballclub with Shertzer and Verlander on the staff and Cabrera and Fielder swinging the bats? With a tweak here or there, the Tigers could easily be the favorites to win the American League pennant next year.
Few remember Wallach’s contributions to the 2004 Dodger club where he served as the hitting coach. That was Adrian Beltre’s breakout season. The one where he hit like a fiend while hobbling with bone spurs in his ankle. Wallach played a role in turning Beltre into the offensive hitter that he is today. He also has groomed several current Dodgers when he was their Triple A manager in Albuquerque.
There are those that are quick to attack Wallach’s decisions as a third base coach, but those skeptics don’t know the game. Wallach has had his share of runners thrown out at the plate as a third base coach, but when you factor in such things as the percentages of a runner scoring on a play with two outs vs. the probability of the next hitter batting him in, Wallach was an astute third base coach who seldom made a move that should have been questioned.
Wallach was a finalist for the Boston Red Sox vacancy last season. If he lands this job, the Tigers will be in good hands for years to come. What Dodger fans might wonder is if he'll be able to purge the organization of others that he'll select to work on his coaching staff. That could have some substantial ramifications.