Friday, August 5, 2011

Pat Tabler taking English Grammar Lessons - Jays win

- Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles - Game 1 of 3 -

- Brett Lawrie debuts with first major league BH - and E - Plays 3B -

- Bautista plays RF -

- Jays win 5-4 -

Pat Tabler, Rogers Sportsnet Blue Jays colour analyst is, by the sound of it, taking English Grammar Lesson (sic). In the past few games he's been using the singular form of some words in sentences where it is appropriate according to proper English grammar, in sentences where the usage is rarely practised in popular conversational English.

When talking about the Blue Jays franchise for example, he uses the singular "Blue Jay" ... rather than "Blue Jays". Like in this sentence I just made up: "The Blue Jay want to bring up as many minor leaguer's as possible this year." I think though, in this example, Tabler's usage is incorrect because "Blue Jays" is a proper name. It's the franchise's name. Blue Jays. So using the singular in this instance is incorrect. (His English Grammar Coach will undoubtedly bring that up at their next class when the team gets back to T.O. after this series - Monday, August 8th.)

Later in the game I hear Mr. Tabler make proper use of the rule, when he says, "The way the Blue Jays score all their run." referring to they way the Jays plated runs in this game - rather than the popular, incorrect, usage 'The way the Blue Jays score all their runs.'.

And - the grammar lessons are paying off in other ways too I think. His mind is better ordered now. He doesn't come out with non-sequiturs and horribly structured ideas as much anymore (such as blurting out the conclusion of an idea and then realizing it 's hanging out there like a pink elephant, and then working (badly) back to the introduction of the idea). So good for him. He's made great strides in broadcasting since last year when he forced me to start the "I Can't Believe He's a Major League Announcer" label here at Baseball Blogs. Impressive. Old dog, new tricks.  Good for him!

Tabler had some really good analysis tonight. For example, on how the length of the grass backfired on the Baltimore defence, who couldn't turn a double play due to the long infield grass which slowed a batted ball's arrival at shortstop on one particular play (the Orioles are cutting the infield grass long - trying to get a defensive advantage with ground ball pitchers on the mound).

Brett Lawrie's debut line:
Player        AB R H RBI BB SO E  AVG 
B Lawrie 3B   4  0 2  1   0  1 1 .500         

On both balls where Lawrie doesn't make a play (error in the 2nd and RBI single in the 6th - also an error imho), he's cheating towards the throw. In both cases he has time to get in front of the ball, but instead plants and backhands, beginning his step into the throw before he has the ball.

Just thought I'd mention it - by the slight, off-chance that none of the coaches notice it; and it spirals into a batting slump or something. As Brett Lawrie knows: catch first, then throw - plenty of time.

Bottom 7th

Umpires miss the Robert Andino batter-runner interference call with no outs and one on. There were actually two ways the Umps could have called an out on the batter-runner! First, Andino actually touches pitcher Luis Prez while he's fielding the ball on the infield grass! AND - the batter runner never ran in the batter-runners lane! He is always - from the moment he completed his swing to until he touches the 1B bag - on the infield side of the foul line!

To add insult to error Perez is tallied an error. Later between the innings John Farrell gets ejected for continuing to argue with the umpires that the umpires are incompetent. In this case the two umpires in the middle of the play should have/could have made one or the other call. They both really blew their responsibilities on this one. Lets see if it changes the lead in the game, 2 on, 1 out, 4-3 Toronto...

Outs 2 and 3 are pitched by Litsch - no runs plate.

Otherwise, the call becomes my 'Play of the Game' - and I have a lot more to say about bad umpiring. :)

Interestingly, on one of the replays I see a Third way the Jays could have gotten the batter-runner out on the play. As the errant throw passes Andino in foul ground to his right, he takes a half step towards 2nd just as Hill (backing up the play nicely) comes into view and scoops up the ball. Hill doesn't act on a possible throw to first for an out - his mind is on a possible throw in behind Cesar Izturis rounding at second.

And this is the 'Interesting' part, the 1B umpire, Jerry Layne, has his back to the play at this point - he doesn't see the half step in towards the infield - even though he responsible for a call if the Jays choose to throw to first.

..if there were errors for umpires...

And 'they' say nothing happens in a baseball game. For these two umpires (Brian Knight HP & Jerry Layne 1B) - on this day - that would appear to be very, very true.

Top of the 8th

Jays get the insurance run:

Colby Rasmus (CF) steals second on the Orioles centre fielder Adam Jones with a nice tag-up from first on Aaron Hill's RBI SAC fly.

Colby Rasmus is looking good in centre field, he takes clean lines to difficult balls. This Jays' team now 2/3's of the way through the season, is a very different team than I reviewed at the 1/3 mark.

ESPN Boxscore for this game.


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