Volume ten of questions for hall of famer Hal McCoy from Press Pros readers around the area, and around the country…on uniforms, getting kicked out of games, #1 draft choice Nick Senzel, and why some baseballs get thrown out of games while others don’t. A good read…in today’s Press Pros inside feature.
From Dave in Beavercreek, or the latest 5K benefit for broken down joggers: If teams wear throwback uniforms to turn back the clock then why not televise those games in grainy black and white?
DAVE: Most throwback uniforms are from before TV was invented, so they shouldn’t even televise those games. You should have to sit in front of a console radio like the old RCA dog (you have to be REALLY old to understand that one). And I’ll take any throwback uniform over the current Arizona Diamondbacks road uniforms. It’s no wonder they are playing so poorly this year. They’re probably so embarrassed wearing those awful duds that they can’t play. And let’s not consult Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale on throwback uniforms. He turns throwback uniforms into throw-away uniforms and adds new meaning to tear-away jerseys.
From Eric: Hal, first time reader of your work on Press Pros and caught your answer in the last “questions” column about amateur talent world-wide. My question pertains to the Reds scouting corps, and how YOU would compare it to that of a team like the Cubs who suddenly have all their success with young players recently drafted and developed. Are the Reds deficient in this regard?
ERIC: Welcome aboard, my friend. No, the Reds are not deficient. Where have the Cubs been since 1908? And they haven’ won anything yet. They are, after all, the Cubs. Something will go wrong. Not only have they developed talent but they have the money to sign big ticket free agents, especially pitchers, and they’ve made trades for established players. The Reds don’t have the money to sign high-level free agents nor can they trade for established players. They have to do it strictly, at least right now, by drafting and acquiring young prospects. And we all know that is an inexact science and it might work. And it might not. As they say, only time will tell.
From Tim in Troy: Hal, do major league teams like the Reds have to buy their uniforms, or are they provided by major league baseball, or by the manufacturer, for the sake of marketing?
TIM: The uniforms are purchased from the manufacturer. And that includes the uniforms they sell in their team shops. If you wonder why teams have so many different styles of uniforms, well, it is because they can put game-worn uniforms up for auction and sell them. Most teams, like the Reds use that money for their charitable groups. And that’s why you see teams wearing those throwback uniforms so often. They are sold after they are worn and they get more money for them than what they paid for them.
From Rocko: Hal, I notice that the plate umpire changes baseballs every time there’s a pitch in the dirt. However, when ground balls are hit to the infielders they make the play to first and the ball is returned to the pitcher for use to the next hitter. What the difference?
ROCKO: I put that question to former National League umpire Randy Marsh, who now attends most Reds home games as an umpire supervisor, grading the umpires. He smiled and said, “Great question.” Then he shrugged and said he really doesn’t know. But he believes it started back when Dodger Stadium began using crushed red brick on its infield. “When balls were pitched into the dirt a red smudge was put on the ball, so they threw them out. Ground balls don’t leave smudges or pick up the red clay.” That, of course, doesn’t explain why they do it in all parks. But he said umpires do it because catchers hand them the balls after they hit the dirt. Pitchers never give up the balls after they are hit on the ground. They like nicked and smudged balls because they can make them do tricks.
From Rick in Springfield: At this point there must be some talk around by management about Votto’s behavior being a public embarrassment to the team. Am I right?
RICK: If so, we in the press box haven’t heard it. Both CEO/Club President Bob Castellini and Vice President of Baseball Operations Walt Jocketty keep low profiles and don’t hang around the press box, so we can’t readily ask them. And it isn’t a question that concerns us enough to hunt them down. It is tough enough to get them to answer questions about possible trades. While some people believe Votto’s recent antics are embarrassing, a lot of fans believe it is entertainment. In Philadelphia they don’t subscribe to the entertainment idea. Can’t wait for next year when Votto visits Philadelphia, where he teased a young fans with a baseball and kept it instead of giving it to the kid. If they booed Santa Claus what do you think they’ll do Votto. I’d suggest body armor.
From Gerry: I noticed in the all-star game that the National League players wore road uniforms while playing in a National League park. Did I miss something, or can you tell me why?
GERRY: They no longer alternate National League and American League parks the way they once did. Did you notice they played two straight All-Star games in NL parks, Cincinnati last year and San Diego this year? But they still alternate who is the home team. The NL was the home team in Cincinnati, but even though they played this year in San Diego the AL was the home team. Baseball does some strange things, right?
From Bob Kaufman: I just today read your Press Pros for the first time and your column about Joe Torre. Very good. But in your opinion is being thrown out of a game is an indication of poor sportsmanship, or a black eye to baseball?
BOB: Managers who get thrown out believe they are standing up for their players and if they don’t do it they lose their respect. I don’t think it has anything to do with sportsmanship. It is just standing up for what you think is right, even if you are wrong. And the home fans love it when the manager argues. And they love to boo the opposing manager when he kicks up a fuss. It certainly doesn’t give baseball a black eye. A day after a manager is thrown out of a game everybody forgets about it. No big deal. Now if a manager punches an umpire, then you have a major problem. But as far as I know that’s never happened.
From Richard in Knoxville (Tn.): With area roots I’m interested about how the Reds top choice from UT. Is he signed, is he playing, and how is he playing? Thanks.
Richard: You are talking about third baseman Nick Senzel, the Reds No. 1 draft pick this year and second overall in the draft. Senzel is playing in low Class A Dayton and doing so well he probably soon will be promoted to high Class A Daytona. At last check, he is hitting about .325 in his first 10 games with a couple of home runs. In one game he just missed the cycle with a single, two doubles and a home run. All he needed was to stretch one of those doubles into a triple. As a college player he seems too advanced to be in low Class A, where teams usually start the players they sign out of high school. But Nick definitely is on his way.