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Balk This Ump!

Last night, during the San Diego Padres versus the Pittsburgh Pirates game, things got a little heated after a controversial call. With runners on second and third base, Padres’ pitcher, Colin Rea, began his windup. During his windup, Andrew McCutchen sprinted down the third base line to distract Rea, who sped up his windup towards home plate in fear that McCutchen was trying to steal home. The Pirates’ bench erupted as they demanded the umpires call a balk against Rea, which they did. McCutchen touched home plate to go up 2-0 in the third inning.

After the decision to call a balk, the umpires then decided to overturn the call and made the runners return to their previously occupied base. This decision was made after the umpires discussed that Rea was going from the full windup and there is no rule against speeding up your windup in order to release the ball faster, meaning there is no balk call. Pittsburgh’s manager, Clint Hurdle, then came out of the dugout and demanded they talk this situation over again. After a third time of talking, the umpires the reversed the reversal of the call and signaled for McCuthen to advance and score off of the balk. This decision was made after the umpires discussed the fact that Rea’s back foot jumped off the back of the rubber during his pitching motion, which constitutes a balk. It’s fair to say that the Padres’ manager, Andry Green, was not very happy with this decision. To see his reaction and the balk, click the link below:

 

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Odds To Be The 1st MLB Manager Fired In 2016: Who Is On The Hotseat?

a hot seat

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Every year there are certain managers that have a ton of pressure to win.  This is always a tough process to think of who will be nixed first.

On one hand, many clubs that should be in contention for the playoffs will see an axe come to their tenure, however sometimes clubs are so bad record wise (even though they were projected to be) that the franchise will just slay the field general in the name of mercy.

As far as under the gun goes. guys like Brad Ausmus, John Farrell and John Gibbons.  are tops on the list. 

Ausmus doesn’t have a track record of any postseason series wins like the latter two here, so he is going to be the #1 favorite out of this group of skippers that could go fast with playoff aspirations if their teams struggle out of the starting block.

Gibbons did a great job with Toronto in 2015, but a slow start would really put his name on the block. Say if they are 6 or 7 games behind the playoff bar near Memorial Day.

Farrell has put up back to back 5th place finishes in the AL East after winning the World Series Title in his 1st year of being the skipper in 2013.

Then there is a perennial bad losing club that have long tenured coaches like Walt Weiss and Robin Ventura. I am not sure they should not have been shown the door following last years campaigns. 

Weiss has losing years for every year under his belt, and Ventura rode out 2013 with his late season collapse, but his club has underachieved in every other year.

Still the two most managers on the hot seat are Fredi Gonzalez of the Braves on top of the favorite list at +331, followed by Bryan Price at +441. But I hate putting money on either of these gentlemen with their clubs both being on track to challenge for the worst record in the Majors this year.

Heck, Gonzalez’s predecessor Bobby Cox was the well into his 3rd decade with the “Tomahawk” Choppers when he finally stepped down to a front office job. Gonzalez at least had the Braves in the playoffs in 2012. 

Price can’t really be expected to do anything with this anemic Pitching Staff, and all veterans except for Votto may be available for trade at any point.

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