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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Mighty Tulo walks about, then strikes out. That's entertainment?

Somewhere the sun is shining
Somewhere children shout
But there is no joy in Toronto
Mighty Tulo walks about, then strikes out.

Miller wins epic battle with Tulo to notch save
On 12th pitch of at-bat, Yankees closer strikes out Blue Jays shortstop

By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com | @BryanHoch | 12:32 AM ET 

TORONTO -- By the time Yankees closer Andrew Miller's chess match with Troy Tulowitzki reached its conclusion, even the frenzied fans chanting the shortstop's name high above the Level of Excellence at Rogers Centre probably could have guessed that there was a slider on the way.


Earth to the Major Baseball League (MBL) and it's first year commissioner Rob Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer: what the heck happened to the batter staying in the box?

Friday, August 14, 2015, 7:07pm, Rogers Centre
Attendance: 46,689, Time of Game: 3:14

Yankees 4, Blue Jays 3

If the 46,689 fans in Toronto knew what pitch Miller would throw to Tulowitzki, then why did Mighty Tulo feel compelled to walk away from home plate after each pitch during the final plate appearance of the game?  Twelve pitches. It took Miller twelve pitches to finally dispatch Tulowitzki. And Tulowitzki must have killed at least 30 seconds between each pitch, not even counting the additional time killed by Miller and his catcher Brian McCann discussing stuff that Miller could not recall when interviewed after the game.

Think back ... way, way back in time to ... March, when the main stream media was all abuzz with the new rules and/or guidelines promoted by Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer, to improve the pace of play, if not the total length of games.  These media people have the attention span of a mosquito.  I have not heard or read anything about this since April when Manfred, the A-Rod Slayer, declared defeat masked as victory by stating that players would not be admonished or punished because ... it was never clear why.

Presumably what Tulo did last night would have been exactly what the MBL was trying to rectify but the doofus plate umpire, Andy Fletcher, never did anything to change the pace of play.  It just dragged on, and on, ... twelve BORING pitches.  About half way through I recognized the agonizing pattern and between pitches began to switch to a Frank Sinatra documentary on HBO to relieve the aggravation.

The aggravation had increased from its normal level earlier in the 9th inning when Blue Jay Chris Colabello pinch hit for Ryan Goins.  Colabello eventually walked (and walked around between pitches) and started the rally that ended when Tulo struck out with runners on second and third. Colabello actually struck out on perhaps the one outside fastball that Miller put in the strike zone but apparently by then Colabello had sufficiently bored plate umpire Fletcher that Fletcher stood there in oblivion and failed to call out Colabello on strikes.
Photo of Andrew Miller
Most observers regarded the Miller - Tulowitzki confrontation as some sort of classic.  The game was seen as a tournament style contest resulting in the Yankees wresting first place from the Blue Jays, who last played after the regular season when there were still only two divisions, leagues not conferences in one league and ... no wild card.  Is this what we can expect during the 2015 tournament?  Pace of play slower than pretty much anything we've ever been subjected to?

That's entertainment?

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