Just a couple of thoughts on a Tuesday morning following the Cardinals 7-1 win over the Diamondbacks on Monday night…
YADI GETS A ONE GAME SUSPENSION: I can’t bring myself to get worked up about the Yadier Molina suspension. Granted, the rule that led to his ejection is probably flawed, but that’s a different discussion.
I also agree with the idea that umpires should have less power in terms of throwing a player out of a game. I have referenced Joe Sheehan’s stance on this on The Sports Hub, and agree 100% that there should be an undeniable cause for ejection in the case of anyone getting tossed. It should be painfully obvious that an ejection was warranted every time one is issued, and anything else to should to the league office for review and appropriate punishment.
The NFL, NBA & NHL don’t toss players from games and perhaps alter the outcomes of said games because guys have temper tantrums. There are appropriate measures taken to assess penalties during the game, and the game moves on.
The NBA has a notoriously quick trigger on slapping guys with technical fouls lately, but the ejections are few and far between. And when they do happen, there is no gray area. Hell, in the NBA, if you walk towards an official while arguing a call, you can get T’d up. But it rarely directly alters the outcome of a game.
This is just another example of a rule in baseball that is flawed, and it’s application can have nasty ramifications.
CARP OF THE MORNING TO YOU: Matt Carpenter just continues to get on base in the leadoff spot for the Cardinals. With his 3/5 night on Monday, Carpenter raised his slash line to .319/.398/.460. It’s even more impressive if you isolate his time in the leadoff spot (135 of his 208 total AB): .326/.417/.437.
I get frustrated when I hear people talk about what a leadoff hitter “should look like.” I don’t need a leadoff hitter to constantly beat out infield singles, try to bunt for hits, and be a threat to steal 50 bases.
My most important criteria for a leadoff hitter is exactly what Carpenter has done: get on base and have quality at bats.
Per Fangraphs, Carpenter is tenth in MLB with a 91% overall contact rate, and third in MLB with 97.2% contact rate of pitches in the strike zone. Good enough for me from a leadoff hitter, and Carpenter has been fantastic.