Wednesday afternoon mailbag

Tom H. of Madison wrote me, wondering:

First off – WHY does MLB reschedule two “Away” games for the Cubs (vs Houston) in Miller park — giving them essentially two “Home” games – when the easily could have postponed and planned a double header there later?

Secondly – last night during the Brewer vs Cub game . . . There was a Brewer hit that went right up to the Cub pitcher and he went to grab it on the ground – mishandled it – and was late with the toss to first and he got an ERROR for the play. It looked almost EXACTLY like the play that CC had at home that they counted as a hit. . . And cost him his no-hitter.

So now CC has been robbed of his no-hitter . . . . And the Cubs got two “away games” moved home . . . And in the process have set the record of the first no-hitter in Miller Park. That’s sick – is someone protesting to the league??

Regarding the first question, Bud Selig made the final determination…I think his primary concern was not to have to have the Cubs’ and Astros have three games outstanding at the end of the season, as playing those games would probably be a necessity to determine either the NL Central crown or the NL Wild Card (of course, now that is looking less certain, but it was still in play last week). Milwaukee was picked, presumably, because it was open, covered, and both teams had played there and were familiar with the walls, the turf, etc…. Plus it would have been a real hassle to have both teams fly to L.A. or S.D. on the coast, only to have to fly back.
But the Rangers were in Oakland on Sunday, still, so they could have easily moved the game to Arlington–same state, presumably more Astros’ fans than Cubs’ fans, still less travel. I guess Ike could have rained out the game(s) there, but Arlington or Round Rock (the Astros’ AAA affiliate by San Antonio) would have seemed to make more sense…so, it might have been a way for Selig to put a little extra coin in the Brewers’ pocket.
On the second point, how a play is scored is determined by the “official scorekeeper,” a newspaper writer hired by the home club. The Chicago writer, presumably, wanted the Cubs’ pitcher to still keep his no-hitter alive; Sabathia’s near no-hitter was in Pittsburgh, so the Pittsburgh based writer had an inclination to not want his team to be no-hit (the scoring was appealed to a board at MLB, who only had the authority to ask the writer to review it…and they decided not to). Yeah, Baby!Tom, you should already know by now that the only good and honest thing left in Pittsburgh are the Penguins.
As for Zambrano getting his no-hitter in Miller Park…well, c’est la vie, I suppose. It was truly a double whammy that the Astros, being the home team, opted to use the visitors’ dugout for the games, as they were more accustomed to them…which meant the Cubs’ got to celebrate in the Brewers’ locker room. But, hey, what do you expect from a team that can only get one measly hit in two games.

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