Yasmani Grandal

Yasmani Grandal

C - CWS
Height: 6-2
Weight: 225 lbs
Age: 32
College: Miami (FL)
Chicago White Sox

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The ScoreHey baseball, we need some rule changes

Major League Baseball's rulebook could use an injection of common sense.Rules and rulings overshadowed on-field performance in a pair of postseason games Sunday, and that's less than ideal - especially for the Tampa Bay Rays and Houston Astros.While the umpires on the field and replay officials in the New York command center may have very well made each call correctly by the book, that doesn't mean MLB's rules couldn't benefit from some rethinking about the spirit of what they're trying to accomplish.For starters, the league's ground-rule double rule needs an adjustment following a crucial moment Sunday in Boston.With two outs in the top of the 13th and the score tied 4-4, Tampa Bay's Kevin Kiermaier drove a ball to deep right-center field. His teammate Yandy Diaz, on first base, ran with the pitch since the count was full and there were two outs. The ball one-hopped off the fence and ricocheted off Boston right fielder Hunter Renfroe before going over the short Fenway Park wall.Diaz was already past third base and on his way home when Red Sox outfielders raised their hands to alert umpires about the out-of-play ball. This ball just bounced off of the outfielder and went over the fence. They're calling it a ground rule double... pic.twitter.com/B7x4vjzF5h Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) October 11, 2021 The play was ruled a ground-rule double for Kiermaier since Renfroe didn't deliberately deflect the ball over the wall. Diaz was placed at third base, even though there wasn't a scenario where he wouldn't have scored. Mike Zunino followed with an inning-ending strikeout.According to Rule 5.05 (a) (8), "Any bounding fair ball is deflected by the fielder into the stands, or over or under a fence on fair or foul territory, in which case the batter and all runners shall be entitled to advance two bases.""If I stayed at second, that's fine," Kiermaier told reporters. "But I was hoping to see that Yandy scored because he would have scored, obviously." Winslow Townson / Getty ImagesPerhaps the call didn't matter since Christian Vazquez ended the game in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run, walk-off homer. Perhaps Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta would have thrown differently to Zunino down a run. Perhaps the Rays would have used a different pitching plan if they had a lead. It's impossible to know.What seems reasonable is the on-field umpires or review officials ought to have the ability to judge if Diaz would have scored. Maybe the Statcast's player-tracking data available in every park could have even guided them. At the very least, the information would show where Diaz was when the play ended.Given his position on the basepath and the ball's distance from home plate, officials likely could have figured out the probability of Diaz scoring if they compared it to past plays with the same input. If a player owns, say, a 90% chance of advancing or scoring, he's awarded the base provided he continued to run and didn't fall, trip, or injure himself in the process of heading to the base in question. Billie Weiss / Getty ImagesPerhaps there's a need for a ground-rule triple in certain situations. Former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he witnessed one in 2010.While rule interpretations can lead to a slippery slope, there are plenty of judgment calls allowed in baseball - start with the strike zone, for instance - and a play like that should have some discretion. In today's game, data is available that would show the exact probability of a runner scoring. In Diaz's case, the chances were 100% or close to it. Instead, the game was a prisoner to the letter of the law.It wasn't the only bizarre situation Sunday.With the Chicago White Sox trying to stave off elimination in Game 3 of their ALDS series, White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal hit a bouncing ball to first base in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Sox were leading 7-6 and had runners on the corners with no outs. Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel collected the ball and threw home to cut down Luis Robert at the plate. But Grandal appeared to move into the infield grass in anticipation of the throw. The ball glanced off his left arm, allowing Luis Robert to score and Jose Abreu to wind up at third. Do you think Grandal should be called out here? pic.twitter.com/FZzcOMzLPT FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 11, 2021 The Astros wanted interference called on Grandal, but the umpires, after huddling, decided he hadn't tampered with the play. Their reasoning?"We decided that there was no interference because on that play, the ball was hit to the infield, and then coming back to the plate," home-plate umpire Tom Hallion told a pool reporter. "That 45-foot lane does not even come into play. It's the batter establishing his basepath. When he came out of the box and started running, he didn't veer off, he didn't throw up his shoulder. He did nothing intentional to get hit with that ball. So, we all agreed, and that's why we came out to Dusty and told him that it's not interference."But Grandal actually began in a more direct line to first base and then moved to the left of the baseline. Up to No Good? It's on #MLBTonight!BK, @markdero7 and Dan O'Dowd walk through the Grandal baserunning play. pic.twitter.com/b39SOqVw5t MLB Now (@MLBNow) October 11, 2021 There is arguably a rule in the books - Rule 6.01 (3) (a) - that would have pushed umpires to call Grandal out for interference:"It is interference by a batter or a runner when Before two are out and a runner on third base, the batter hinders a fielder in making a play at home base; the runner is out."Grandal coyly described his path as "good baserunning." Yasmani Grandal when asked about the play in the fourth inning: "It was good baserunning, we'll leave it at that" pic.twitter.com/JOud2Tk4YN The Baseball Newsletter (@bbletter) October 11, 2021 Perhaps it wasn't legal baserunning, but it was effective baserunning. Grandal clearly knew what he was doing, and given the nature of the all-sorts-of-gray-area rule, it was smart to place the onus of judgment on the umpiring crew.This issue seems to come up often in the postseason. There's an easy way around this: reduce the issues of establishing intent and a running lane by extending the beginning of the lane from 45 feet away from first base to, say, 60 feet or even closer. That would eliminate many of the issues. Moreover, there's a perfectly good four- to six-foot wide dirt base lane landscaped into every major league park now that the AstroTurf era of dirt islands around the baselines is behind us. There aren't many reasons why a baserunner can't be in that dirt lane en route to first base. There have been calls to implement a so-called safety base that extends into foul territory and makes it unnecessary for a runner in the dirt lane to veer back into fair territory at the last second. Ron Vesely / Getty ImagesThere were no impediments stopping Grandal from running in the dirt basepath; there were no bats, balls, or human beings in his way. Grandal was trying to eliminate a throwing lane by creating a more inefficient path to reach first base.Officials called both these situations by the rulebook, but they could have used common-sense interpretations that MLB, its rulebook, and umpires should be equipped to handle. Instead, many fans are left wondering why the rules allow for counterintuitive outcomes, and now the focus is on the umpires instead of the players.Travis Sawchik is theScore's senior baseball writer.Copyright © 2021 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Monday, Oct 11, 2021

The ScoreAstros' Baker upset by Grandal's controversial baserunning

The Chicago White Sox staged an epic comeback during Game 3 of the American League Division Series to stay alive against the Houston Astros, though they benefitted from a controversial baserunning play by Yasmani Grandal.After retaking the lead in the fourth inning, Grandal hit into a fielder's choice and reached on a throwing error by Yuli Gurriel. The Astros first baseman's throw home hit Grandal, who was running inside the baseline toward first, and Luis Robert scored to extend the lead to 8-6 after the White Sox trailed by four runs the previous inning."Clearly, he was running inside (the baseline)," Astros manager Dusty Baker said, according to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger. "That's interference, you know, in itself. That was a big play because we didn't get an out. They scored a run and that was a big play in the inning. I was arguing the fact that, especially him being a catcher, he knows what he was doing. That was a smart play on his part, and that was the explanation that they gave me: that they didn't see anything wrong with the play."Astros starter Zack Greinke immediately signaled that Grandal ran inside the baseline and Baker exited the dugout to argue the play, as well.Ultimately, the umpiring crew ruled Grandal didn't interfere, and the White Sox eventually won 12-6 to cut their ALDS deficit to 2-1."We decided that there was no interference because on that play the ball was hit to the infield, and then coming back to the plate," crew chief Tom Hallion said. "That 45-foot lane does not even come into play. It's the batter establishing his basepath. When he came out of the box and started running he didn't veer off, he didn't throw up his shoulder. He did nothing intentional to get hit with that ball. So, we all agreed, and that's why we came out to Dusty and told him that it's not interference."Grandal played a crucial role earlier in the game, too, hitting a two-run homer in the third inning.Game 4 of the ALDS, originally slated for Monday, was postponed until Tuesday afternoon due to rain in Chicago.Copyright © 2021 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Monday, Oct 11, 2021

ESPNGrandal: No intent to block throw; Astros disagree

White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal said he didn't intentionally get in the way of a throw to the plate from Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel as he ran to first base in the fourth inning Sunday, saying, "I wish I could tell you it was a heads-up play."

Source: ESPN
Monday, Oct 11, 2021

Yahoo SportsGarc a, Grandal shine as White Sox beat Astros 12-6 in ALDS

Leury Garcia and Yasmani Grandal's borderline baserunning helped the White Sox top the Houston Astros 12-6 on to stay alive in their AL Division Series.

Source: Yahoo Sports
Monday, Oct 11, 2021

Yahoo SportsALDS: Yasmani Grandal baserunning sparks White Sox, miffs Astros

That changed the game, said Astros' Martin Maldonado, echoing the bitter sentiment from Houston regarding Yasmani Grandal's baserunning play in the White Sox' 12-6 ALDS Game 3 win.

Source: Yahoo Sports
Monday, Oct 11, 2021


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