Takin' a T/O With BT: CC's Near No-Hitters Sours Ned Yost
Look back on all the great rants in sports, and most of them involve a baseball manager.
At some point along the line during a game, coaches will always become angry. Whether it's a call that doesn't go their way, their players having an off day, or just some inexplicable display of power and domination by the opposing team, chances are you'll have at least one angry coach per game.
And after yesterday's game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers, you, yet again, had a manager who was only slightly perturbed at the outcome of game.
In an amusing twist of events though, Yost wasn't mad at the umpires...he was mad at the scorekeeper. How often does that happen?
By now I'm positive most have seen the highlights from what happened in Pittsburgh on Sunday, but if you still haven't, I guess we'll get into it.
Just like every single one of his starts in the National League this season, CC Sabathia was on yesterday afternoon. Through four innings, the former-Indian had no-hit the Pirates, and somewhere Tim McCarver and Jamie Campbell were texting back and forth to each other, breaking the Baseball Gods' laws and actually mentioning what CC was in the midst of accomplishing.
In to the box steps Andy LaRoche. You know, the guy Pittsburgh got in the Bay-Ramirez-Four prospects to the Pirates trade? LaRoche, batting a robust .165 this season, nubs a hit down the third base line, which the burly Sabathia runs in to field.
As he attempts to barehand the ball, Sabathia bobbles it, and it falls to the ground.
The scorekeeper for the game counted it as a hit. No-hitter over, and CC's chances at history were dashed.
It didn't stop him however, as Sabathia continued to deal over the course of the afternoon, shutting out the Pirates in a 7-0 Brewers win.
Sabathia would strike out 11, walk three, and allow only that one hit over the course of the afternoon.
Those that talked to Sabathia after the game though, were surprised that he was cool, calm, and completely fine with the outcome of the afternoon.
His manger, Ned Yost, wasn't.
Yost was outraged that baseball had been cheated of a "beautiful no-hitter." He called the outcome a "joke" and that "CC was cheated from a no-hitter," while the hit was "put up before LaRoche touched the bag."
Yost even went so far as to comment on how it affected him. Yost had never managed a pitcher to a no-hitter before, and the fact his chance was taken away had him frothing at the mouth. This is something he wants to be able to tell his grandkids about, and remember for the rest of his career.
To me that was a little far—whenever a pitcher throws a no-hitter or a perfect game, the manager gives all the credit to the pitcher. Apparently, when a no-hitter is taken away, Yost is allowed to go off on how this affects him personally.
Now, the Brewers are appealing to Major League Baseball, asking the call to be reviewed for arguments sake, and to see if result of the play can be changed to an error.
I'm not going to comment as to whether this was an error or an infield hit, but do the Brewers really want to go down in history as the first team have a retroactively awarded no-hitter?
A no-hitter is something that can be celebrated afterwards, as teammates come together after the final out and reflect on the past 27 outs. If Major League Baseball decides in a weeks time that this was a no-hitter, then the best thing that CC may get is a pat on the back from his teammates.
And what about how it goes into the record books? Do we dust off the infamous asterisk and place it next to CC's no-hitter, saying that it "had to be retroactively changed?"
The kicker is that we don't know if CC would've completed a no-hitter if it had been charged an error. Maybe the next two batters single, maybe it gets broken up in the seventh inning, maybe he goes on to throw the no-hitter—nobody knows.
It was a mistake, and mistakes happen. I've called base runners safe when they should've been out, and I've called a strike when it's been a ball. CC Sabathia has thrown a fastball instead of a curve before, and Ned Yost, you've instituted the wrong pinch-hitter or pinch-runner at a certain time, so what's done is done, and there's really nothing you can do.
Besides, Bob Webb (the scorer for that game, who's been doing this for 20 years) said it was the definition of a base hit. In Webb's own words, CC would have had to exert extraordinary effort to get LaRoche out at first, due to the speed and placement of the ball, and that CC is a left-handed pitcher.
An error, as designated by Major League Baseball, is a play that requires standard effort.
So to the Milwaukee Brewers suck it up and move on. CC Sabathia is fine with the call, and he understands what he did wrong on the play, so now he'll learn from it and move on.
Arguing the legitimacy of the "hit" after the fact is redundant—you won the game and you're still 5.5 games up on the Philadelphia Phillies, but you're no where near finished with that business.
Feel free to send as many DVDs to Major League Baseball as you want, but don't be surprised if Bob Webb and the MLB stick with the call. After all, you can't knowingly say that CC's no-no would have remained intact, whether that's an error or a hit.
If it does get changed, then congratulations: You took a one-hit gem from CC Sabathia and turned it into a court case; something that will be remembered more for the fight about the scoring than the way that CC actually pitched.
But it's all worth it so you can tell your grandkids about it, isn't it Ned Yost?
Bryan Thiel is a Senior Writer for Bleacher Report and an NHL Community Leader. If you want to get in contact with Bryan, you can do so through his profile, and you can also read more of his previous work in his archives.
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