WDEL Blog: WDEL Sports

Hit batsmen and college football's mess

Here are some random thoughts about random issues...

Why don't major league umpires enforce the rule about hit batsmen....you know, the one that says you don't get first base if you don't try to avoid the pitch.

On Sunday, Brad Lidge hit Jonny Gomes with a pitch that forced in the winning run for Washington in the 10th inning. Gomes made no effort to get out of the way.

Yes, the rule does state that...
The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when --
(b) He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (1) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (2) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball;
If the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a strike, whether or not the batter tries to avoid the ball. If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched.

That comes from major league baseball's rule book. Gomes made no effort to avoid the pitch. I'm not sure Lidge would have avoided the loss anyway, the way he was pitching. However, umpires haven't enforced that rule for years...wny not? (and yes, they should enforce it even if Chase Utley doesn't try to get out of the way).

What's happening with college football? Ohio State, Miami (Fl), Oregon, Auburn, North Carolina, Michigan...all major programs and all have been touched (in some cases, way more than touched) by NCAA rules violations that border on scandalous.

In fact, the dreaded "death penalty" has been bandied about for the violations at North Carolina and Miami. New NCAA president Mark Emmert held a summit of university presidents recently, telling them things have got to change. In my opinion, that change will never happen until the death penalty for a program is used more often.

Is there really any question whether Jim Thome is a Hall of Famer? The man has hit 600 home runs has a career batting average of .277...better than Mike Schmidt and Cal Ripken...and has been a model citizen of baseball. Baseball should be proud to have a player who hit that many home runs in this era who has NEVER been linked to steroids.

I know he was never a great fielder, but he was more than adequate at first base for much of his career. Jim Thome is a Hall of Famer, pure and simple.

Posted at 9:28am on August 22, 2011 by Big Don Voltz

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Aug 25, 2011 11:06am
Chances of seeing the death penalty are slim. If you ban Miami for a year, the rest of the ACC complains because its teams lose a marquee opponent and a big draw. TV complains because it doesn't have Florida State-Miami or Florida-Miami, which it paid big bucks to show. Miami's non-revenue teams complain because the football team funds most of them. See where I'm going with this?

The NCAA's punishment of choice these days is bowl bans and reduction of scholarships and recruiting trips. That's likely what will happen here.

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