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Thread: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

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    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    The NLDS is not over yet as I write this and I might not write it if not down by 3 runs as I type. But I have been bothered by this since it happened. For those of you too young or not into basebball history, Google up Merkle's Boner. For those of you who are immature, have fun with the thread title. Fred Merkle made a baserunning mistake that cost his team an opportunity to go to the World Series. It was/is called Merkle's Boner.

    I have not always been a huge believer in "all else would have stayed the same if this would have happened differently". Different pitches might have been thrown to hitters, etc. But ever since that 1st inning of game #3, I have had a hard time getting BP's baserunning blunder out of my mind. CARDINAL RULE (one of many)... never make the first out or last out at 3rd base. CARDINAL RULE broken. And in the fashion it was broken (2 bases on a WP/PB). Bothersome.

    How many guys go from 1st to 3rd in a game on a pitch that was not hit? Most guys would not even try it b/c MLB catchers are pretty good. Well we got to witness it firsthand and we were shown how dumb that move can be. Of course (to be fair) if he makes it, he is great. But he did not make it and got thrown out by 5 feet. I read a few comments from respected members that said they like the aggressive nature. I guess there is a fine line between aggressive and dumb when it comes to running the bases. What BP did can be called aggressive, but it was dumb. I'd venture to guess that most of the REDS staff will tell you the same if you knew them well. If you are messin' with the CARDINAL RULE thing, than you had better hope it works out. If not, then threads like this get written

    I have no doubt I am asking for it and people will get angry at me (gee, some will probably label me as racist). But I have no problem calling out dumb plays that violate a CARDINAL RULE in baseball. A dumb play that, if not done, can honestly be called a play that probably cost a team a chance to advance to the NLCS. He is one of or the best 2nd baseman in MLB in my opinion. But Phillips' Boner is etched in my brain and I feel it is fair to call it out for what it was (not aggressive, but dumb). And the ramifications (as it turned out) are going hoem instead of playing a 7-game series for the NL Title. Sure the REDS could have hit/pitched better after that CARDINAL RULE was broken, but ask yourself if the REDS would have won that game if not for this dumb play. It is sports, Stuff happens (mental mistakes), but lets talk about that play.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    It's a stupid, meaningless rule. Not scoring a single run, or even getting a runner to third, in 9 innings while Homer Bailey and the bullpen was lights freaking out was the boner that ensured the Reds would not be advancing to the NLCS.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    I refuse to play the what if game on BP's blunder. It was a dumb move on his part but I'm ticked that we only got one more hit the rest of the game too. That's what's so frustrating and we've seen such offensive slumps many times from this ballclub.

    And it was nowhere near the Lonnie Smith blunder in the Atl-Minny World Series

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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    Lots of mistakes, baserunning.....defense, and lack of hitting cost us this series. Not happy with Dusty leaving Latos in to pitch to Posey with bases loaded either.

    Plenty of blame to go around.

    Plenty of bad luck to go around with what happened to Votto and Cueto too. What might have been had they been healthy.

    If they make it back to the playoffs next year, they will be plenty hungry.
    "I can't take this homerism anymore." - 10xWSChamps, August 11, 2010. A Cardinals fan having a problem with all the homerism on Redszone. Classic.

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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    What Phillips did was the epitome of smart baserunning.

    You have second base stolen and the ball gets to the backstop. To get thrown out, the catcher has to field it cleanly and then deliver a good throw to third. If Posey doesn't do both of those things, Phillips gets to third easy. There is absolutely no reason Phillips shouldn't have done it. Just tip your cap to Posey for making the play.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    I don't fault Brandon. It was pushing the envelope to force the gave on your opponent. Just got nailed by a superior play.

    I have ZERO love for Dusty tight now.

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    I'm gettin paper Homer Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    What Phillips did was the epitome of smart baserunning.

    You have second base stolen and the ball gets to the backstop. To get thrown out, the catcher has to field it cleanly and then deliver a good throw to third. If Posey doesn't do both of those things, Phillips gets to third easy. There is absolutely no reason Phillips shouldn't have done it. Just tip your cap to Posey for making the play.
    With zero outs, no, it was not the epitome of smart baserunning. It is the epitome of dumb, dumb baserunning. It's not why the Reds lost the series, but in no way is that smart baserunning.

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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    With zero outs, no, it was not the epitome of smart baserunning. It is the epitome of dumb, dumb baserunning. It's not why the Reds lost the series, but in no way is that smart baserunning.
    Any attempt of advancement that takes a perfect sequence to throw you out is smart baserunning. And for a second time, it took a clean play and a good throw to get him out. That absolutely is good baserunning.

    The advantage of getting to third base with no outs is huge. There's almost a .3 run expectancy difference and over 20% increase of scoring a run.

    I'd say the chance of a catcher making a clean play and good throw is less than the 20% bump in scoring Phillips took by attempting to go to third.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    What Phillips did was the epitome of smart baserunning.

    You have second base stolen and the ball gets to the backstop. To get thrown out, the catcher has to field it cleanly and then deliver a good throw to third. If Posey doesn't do both of those things, Phillips gets to third easy. There is absolutely no reason Phillips shouldn't have done it. Just tip your cap to Posey for making the play.
    Brutus, you act like it was a bang-bang play. It was not. Out by so much he had time to try an alter his slide to avoid the tag that was waiting for him. There is a reason... the same reason we have things called CARDINAL RULES. This is one of those.

    Do you not believe in CARDINAL RULES? We are not talking running across the pitcher's mound after making an out, but CARDINAL RULES that apply to action on the field.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    You can keep capitalizing CARDINAL RULE but I still say that doesn't mean squat.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    I can't get into "point at one play and blame that for the entire demise" thinking. Especially not if you're gonna pick one in Game 3. So many opportunities after that.

    But, hypothetically, if I WAS gonna get into the finger pointing, I choose to point at Tom Hallion. I don't know if he's a good umpire; until today, I don't have any real specific memory of him. I will remember him now, because he was not a very good umpire today.

    My logic: yes, the Reds hitters choked like mad in the last 4 innings with RISP, and were not very good at their jobs. They would not have had to be very good if only Mat Latos had been good at his job (instead of losing his cool). But in the end, Mat Latos would not have had to be any better at his job, if only Tom Hallion hadn't sucked at his. [Here, I am mostly talking about the missed strike calls; not "missed" in the sense of "he was calling it wide, then squeezed Latos," just missed in the sense of "missed" by the objective reality of the strike zone, which caused Latos to groove one pitch for a triple, and then -- in general -- lose it. One can also point out that Hallion missed the call on the strike-out/throw-out double play, because he did. In that case, neither Dusty nor Hannigan was very good at his job; but nobody would have noticed if Hallion was good at his. See: I can justify anything!]

    Anyway, I'm mostly in the camp of "I tend not to boo players on my own team," so that's where I'm pointing my finger...


    Rick

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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966 View Post
    Brutus, you act like it was a bang-bang play. It was not. Out by so much he had time to try an alter his slide to avoid the tag that was waiting for him. There is a reason... the same reason we have things called CARDINAL RULES. This is one of those.

    Do you not believe in CARDINAL RULES? We are not talking running across the pitcher's mound after making an out, but CARDINAL RULES that apply to action on the field.
    I don't believe in cardinal rules. I believe in percentages and odds. And Phillips had a better chance of increasing his team's chance of scoring a run by trying to make that play, probably, then he did of getting thrown out at third.

    Cardinal rules are too often outdated ways of thinking that were anecdotal.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    15 game winner Danny Serafini's Avatar
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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966 View Post
    CARDINAL RULE (one of many)... never make the first out or last out at 3rd base.
    I've always thought that was a stupid "rule" myself. As if it's OK to make the second out at 3rd base or it's better to make the last out at 2nd base. That's just silliness.

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    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    Nope. Wasn't good base running. Posey could have lit up a smoke, cracked open a beer and still thrown him out. In no universe was that good base running.

    Not the sole reason the Reds choked away this series, but one of them.

    Good post, RedFanAlways1966.

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    Re: Phillips' Boner (Fred Merkle)

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRedleg View Post
    Nope. Wasn't good base running. Posey could have lit up a smoke, cracked open a beer and still thrown him out. In no universe was that good base running.

    Not the sole reason the Reds choked away this series, but one of them.

    Good post, RedFanAlways1966.
    Except the universe where baseball research has shown that a team increases its chances of scoring nearly 25% by having a runner at third as opposed to a runner at second. That universe wins you more games than not.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda


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