Saturday Notebook: TJ Surgery, Best Defensive Season, Unknown Rules, Fired Vendors, and More

This is the only known photograph of Andrelton Simmons missing a ground ball. He then killed the photographer. - Kevin C. Cox

Today's Notebook takes an in-depth look at Tommy John surgery and how it's done, Andrelton Simmons having a chance at the best defensive season ever, an unknown rule being used to credit Mariano Rivera with a win instead of a save, a singing Comerica Park vendor being fired over ketchup, and more.

After some deliberation and planning, DiamondCentric's #GrandDrunkRailroad is a go. While it's too late to actually buy tickets for the event, you can still barhop with the rest of the crew before tonight's Twins game against the Rays, and I'm sure finding a cheap ticket on StubHub wouldn't be too difficult either. You can find the entire schedule of events on the DiamondCentric website which starts at 1:05 pm at the Cardinal Bar and Northbound Brewpub. While I do have a ticket for tonight's game, it's not part of the #GrandDrunkRailroad crew, but I figure I'll be chatting with a few of the bloggers about Shairon Martis at some point during the night.

  • Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star has an excellent article up detailing Tommy John surgery. He actually was allowed to sit in during a surgery performed by famed TJ expert Dr. James Andrews, and also has some quotes from Blue Jays pitcher Kyle Drabek. The post is very lengthy, but it also explains how the surgery is done and why it works, the concerns with high school and college pitchers getting the procedure done more often now, and busting the myth that it will increase velocity. Just as a warning, it also includes a few gruesome pictures during the unnamed pitcher's surgery that Kennedy observed, so those with weak stomachs may want to avoid it.
  • Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier have done an excellent job defending the middle infield this year for the Twins, but those two cannot compare to the Braves' Andrelton Simmons, whose fielding is so great that he could finish this year with the best defensive season ever, according to Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan. He looks at different metrics, and points out that in terms of UZR deciding who had the best defensive season might be a bit off considering the record is held by Alfonso Soriano in 2007, who was only in his second season as a full-time outfielder. Granted, Soriano has been an above-average outfielder in his career, but his defensive prowess has never been as highly regarded as Simmons. I know I'm no scout, but when the Twins played the Braves earlier this year, it seemed like Simmons had little effort on his throws, yet they were lasers from the hole. He's already made a highlight reel's worth of defensive plays this season, and I'm looking forward to what he will do in the future.
  • At first glance, the box score from Thursday's Orioles - Yankees game looks pretty blasé. However, a closer inspection reveals an oddity in that Mariano Rivera closed out a 6-5 victory, and yet he wasn't credited with the save despite pitching a scoreless 9th inning. Instead, he was actually given the win, as David Robertson had pitched the 8th but gave up a 3-run homer to Danny Valencia, which tied the score at 5. The Yankees later scored a run in the top of the 9th off Orioles closer Jim Johnson, suggesting that Robertson would have vultured a win, but the official scorer at Camden Yards invoked the little-known Rule 10.17(c):
The official scorer shall not credit as the winning pitcher a relief pitcher who is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead. In such a case, the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher the succeeding relief pitcher who was most effective, in the judgment of the official scorer.
Since Robertson was "ineffective in a brief appearance" while Rivera held the Orioles scoreless in the 9th, the official scorer determined that Rivera contributed more to the victory than Robertson and thus deserved the win. I feel that the official scorer made the right call, as the only reason Robertson would have earned the victory is by being the last Yankee pitcher in the game when they retook the lead, even though he was the one that coughed it up in the first place. That's an obnoxious way that pitchers can earn wins, so I feel that the scorer made the right decision. Count the soft-spoken Mo in the other camp though, as he felt that he earned a save and that the official scorer "should not make up the rules." But Mo, he didn't make up the rule, he was just enforcing it correctly!

  • At baseball games, the vendors are sometimes so bland with their advertising that it's easy to drown them out. You really do not get my attention if you're just yelling "Cotton candy!" up and down the aisles, but I certainly will always remember the malt cup vendor that once yelled "Nothing says 'I hate the Royals!' like buying a malt cup!" back in the Dome. Thus, I found it very interesting that "The Singing Hot Dog Man" from Comerica Park in Detroit was fired. At first it seemed to be for his singing, which I could see annoying some people at the game - after all, I've heard similar stories of the singing program man at Gate 14 in Target Field - but that seemed a bit extreme. Then, I found what appeared to be the real reason: Many fans filed complaints about him being combative over putting ketchup on hot dogs. Yes, seriously, he was such a purist that he would hassle fans if they requested ketchup on their frankfurter, and the fans took issue to it. Look, his singing wouldn't have bothered me because I would have only seen him in my section a couple times a game, but when you start telling me what I can and can't put on my food, then we have a problem.
Edit: I just found this video of The Singing Hot Dog Man and a fan singing his order back to him, which is awesome.

I must apologize as this week's Lightning Round is pretty sparse, but we shall carry on regardless.
  1. Chris Davis hit the 50-HR plateau, making him the 24th player in MLB history and the first since Jose Bautista in 2010 to achieve the feat. He also tied the Orioles single-season record for homers, held by Brady Anderson. Dan Wohl of MLB.com put Davis' 50 HR into one handy GIF.
  2. Robinson Cano had an exaggerated shift put on him, so he beat it with a bunt down the 3rd base line... and then he beat it even more by turning that bunt hit into a bunt double.
  3. Orioles rookie Henry Urrutia couldn't travel with the team into Canada to face the Blue Jays because of immigration issues due to being a Cuban defector.
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