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Pujols Hits 500, “Unspoken Rules” Are Brought To Light & More!

Written by , Posted in General

He appeared to be slowly falling off of the face of the earth, but the Albert Pujols who tortured Cubs fans for years is seemingly returning to form.

He joined quite an exclusive club recently, which was the big headline of the week, but there was plenty more to talk about during the 4th week of the MLB season.

Pujols Reaches A Historic Milestone

When Albert Pujols took Washington Nationals pitcher Taylor Jordan deep this past Wednesday, it was not only his league-leading 8th home run of the year, it also happened to be the 500th of his career.

This feat makes him the 26th man in big league history to reach that plateau, and the last since 2009, when Gary Sheffield also hit his 500th in April. While it was a huge achievement, it actually seemed to go a bit under the radar in terms of the coverage that it received from the media.

When most players are approaching such a large milestone, especially a player like Pujols, who might be the best right-handed hitter of all time, the media will flock to them for the games leading up to the home run, and it will be a celebrated moment whenever he hits it. That wasn’t exactly the case here, as there only appeared to be a brief highlight of it the following day.

This accomplishment is a bright spot on what has been a turnaround season for Pujols this year, as he’s currently leading the league in home runs and is in the top 5 in runs batted in. If he can keep this up, he might be able to solidify that spot as the best right-handed hitter of all-time. If he isn’t, who is, in your opinion?

Pine Tar Issue Takes Center Stage

Yet again, an out-of-the-ordinary issue in a Red Sox/Yankees series has caused quite a bit of debate, and also created more than a few headlines. First, it was a controversial play at second base that replay should have easily overturned but didn’t, and now it’s Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda’s use of pine tar, or more specifically his inability to hide it.

It was in the second inning of the game when Red Sox manager John Farrell called the umpires out to go check on Pineda, who had been accused of using pine tar in the past. Not surprisingly, they found a huge glob of it on his neck and he was thrown out, and subsequently suspended for 10 games.

This brought many current and former players to talk openly about the issue and state how freely pine tar is used even though it’s technically a banned substance. The main issue that they had with Pineda’s incident wasn’t the pine tar, but just his carelessness in attempting to conceal it.

I personally don’t have a problem with pitchers trying to get a better grip on the ball, as I know from personal experience that it can be tough, especially in the cold. The suggestion that I saw by many was that the real problem is the baseballs themselves. Before games, there is a long process that involves an equipment manager having to roll the balls around in mud so that they’re ready for use. If they could design a baseball that is ready to go out of the box, than this doctoring may not be an issue again.

Benches Clear In Pittsburgh

Carlos Gomez was at the center of another benches-clearing brawl this week, though I’m not sure if he’s totally at fault in this one. Given his track record with things like this, however, it seems that many were quick to point the finger at him, whether that’s deserved or not.

Gomez came up in the third-inning against Gerrit Cole of the Pirates and roped a fly ball to center field. He evidently thought the ball was going out of the park, as he didn’t run right away out of the batter’s box. He eventually started running once he saw that it was going to hit the wall, and he ended up on third with a triple.

Apparently, Cole was not happy with his “showboating” out of the box, and he came over and minced words with Gomez. With that, Gomez became irate and made his way towards Cole, which eventually caused the benches to clear and a few punches to be thrown.

For his actions, Gomez was suspended for 3 games, but surprisingly Cole didn’t get reprimanded at all. While I support many of the “unspoken rules” of baseball, I feel like Cole was out of line here, too. If you don’t want a guy to stand in the batter’s box and watch the ball he hit, you should probably prevent him from hitting the ball. Do you think Cole should have been disciplined for his actions? What are some other “unspoken rules” that you find objectionable?

This Week’s MVP: Andrew McCutchen (.385/.500/.769, 3 HR, 4 RBI)

This Week’s Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg (1-0, 1.15 ERA, 20 K)

  • Lester Hayes

    Could we try some stickum?

    • Eddie Von White

      How about just using the same ball for a few innings at a time instead of every time a ball hits the dirt, its taken out of play? If a pitcher wanted to make the ball more pitch-worthy he could throw one in the dirt and get it scuffed up a little. The longer the ball stayed in the play, the better the pitchers would get.

      • PLCB3

        I’ve always wondered why they replace a ball once it hits the dirt.

  • Lester Hayes

    Could we try some stickum?

    • Eddie Von White

      How about just using the same ball for a few innings at a time instead of every time a ball hits the dirt, its taken out of play? If a pitcher wanted to make the ball more pitch-worthy he could throw one in the dirt and get it scuffed up a little. The longer the ball stayed in the play, the better the pitchers would get.

      • AC0000000

        I’ve always wondered why they replace a ball once it hits the dirt.

  • Eddie Von White

    I do not have any problem with Gerrit Cole saying something to Carlos Gomez. Gomez is an idiot. Cole knew that and got in Gomez’ head. That’s part of the game. On the way to making it to the Bigs, Gomez should have learned a little self-control.

  • Eddie Von White

    I do not have any problem with Gerrit Cole saying something to Carlos Gomez. Gomez is an idiot. Cole knew that and got in Gomez’ head. That’s part of the game. On the way to making it to the Bigs, Gomez should have learned a little self-control.

  • Doc Raker

    Here is an unwritten rule. “Don’t mention PED’s and Albert Pujols in the same sentence.” The reason the media didn’t go bonkers over Pujol’s 500 HR is because they are skeptical it wasn’t aided by PED’s but won’t dare breach the subject so they ignore it as the milestone it used to be. Heck, we all know the numbers of the game have been distorted by PED’s so fans don’t even think 500 HR’s is the milestone it used to be.

    The rosin bag is a form of pine tar. Rosin is a sticky substance that comes from trees and there is a bag of it sitting on every mound. Most baseball people don’t have a problem with pitchers using pine tar for a better grip and most pitchers do use it so why doesn’t baseball just put a pine tar rag on the mound and remove the rosin bag if that is what pitchers prefer.

    • PLCB3

      I’ve always felt Pujols has been doping because of his elbow. I wonder if pine tar has to do with rendering the baseball useless. Because that was the premise for originally calling George Brett out for using too much pine tar.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        George Brett was ejected because the pine tar will cause the ball to come off the bat at weird angles, thus giving the batter an unfair advantage. Hitters like the pitchers having a better grip on the ball, but do not like pitchers having scuffed baseballs, because the pitcher can use the scuff or tear to get the ball to break more, thus giving the pitcher an unfair advantage.

      • PLCB3

        But the reasoning for overturning the verdict was that excessive pine tar was not a competitive advantage but an economical issue:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Tar_Incident#Protest_and_reversal

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        George Brett was ejected because the pine tar will cause the ball to come off the bat at weird angles, thus giving the batter an unfair advantage. Hitters like the pitchers having a better grip on the ball, but do not like pitchers having scuffed baseballs, because the pitcher can use the scuff or tear to get the ball to break more, thus giving the pitcher an unfair advantage.

    • Eddie Von White

      That’s why it is a long stretch to say Pujols “might be the best right- handed hitter of all time.” Baseball has been around a long time.

      • Doc Raker

        Agreed EVW.

  • Doc Raker

    Here is an unwritten rule. “Don’t mention PED’s and Albert Pujols in the same sentence.” The reason the media didn’t go bonkers over Pujol’s 500 HR is because they are skeptical it wasn’t aided by PED’s but won’t dare breach the subject so they ignore it as the milestone it used to be. Heck, we all know the numbers of the game have been distorted by PED’s so fans don’t even think 500 HR’s is the milestone it used to be.

    The rosin bag is a form of pine tar. Rosin is a sticky substance that comes from trees and there is a bag of it sitting on every mound. Most baseball people don’t have a problem with pitchers using pine tar for a better grip and most pitchers do use it so why doesn’t baseball just put a pine tar rag on the mound and remove the rosin bag if that is what pitchers prefer.

  • There is nothing wrong with baseballs.

    • Eddie Von White

      Everything is right with baseballs.

  • There is nothing wrong with baseballs.

    • Eddie Von White

      Everything is right with baseballs.

  • PLCB3

    I did some research and over the course of an MLB season, 1 million baseballs will be used. Teams use those balls in the dirt for batting practice.

    • Please share your research. I’d bet you are off by a factor of ten.

      • Seymour B utts

        Probably off by a factor of 3. I think it’s about 3 million balls a year.