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Weekend Mailbag: Warding off Monday

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Uncinching the cord.

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The questions were a bit thin this week, but let's scrape the bottom of the bag and see what we can come up with.

I have not. You have a menu I could get behind, though. Would be willing to check it out when I get back to town. You are in Kansas though, which is a bit of a non-starter for me. Would be willing to make an exception, if only and indeed because of the fact that you serve barbecue.

It's more of a Blue's Clues, "We just got a letter" kind of delivery system. Every once in a while, a mailbox kicks its way into my flat and shoves its head into my face, begging me to pull the tumorous envelope from its skull. I sing a ritualistic song, and then type out a response.

So, this might require some backstory. Back in 2009, a fan was struck in the eye by a foiled hot dog that Sluggerrr threw into the stands during a promotion. The fan sued, claimig that he had suffered permanent eye damage (including but not limited to a detached retina). The Royals countered with the "Baseball Rule," a longstanding legal precedent that states (more or less) that fans assume all liability for actions and awareness of things going on at the ballpark. It protects the team from injures incurred off of foul balls, flung bats, and a wad of chaw spat from the jowls of Mike Jacobs.

The original case found the plaintiff at fault. On appeal, the court ruled that a hot dog flung by a man in a big foam costume didn't constitute the "action of play." The Missouri Supreme Court, apparently having little to do, upheld the appellate ruling, and the case was kicked back to the Jackson County court for a new trial. In this second trial, the jury found that neither the plaintiff nor the defendants (the Kansas City Royals organization and the individual portraying the mascot) were at fault for the injuries, which presumably means that the case was filed away under some sort of force majeure precedent. Because, you know, the Lord works in mysterious, foiled hot dog ways.

As for why Sluggerrr or the man portraying him were able to escape jail time, presumably it would be because defining malicious intent from a man dressed as a giant lion in a baseball uniform with a crown-shaped cowlick would be nigh impossible.

There's always Street Justice, though.

Medlen sucks because he is walking a lot of guys, giving up a lot of contact, and generally doesn't know where his pitches are going.

He's also apparently throwing a slider this year, something he hasn't done since 2009. Even then, he only threw 19 of them all year. He's thrown 43 of them already this season, and he's using it as his strikeout pitch (44% of his strikeouts have been with the slider). His two-seam fastball (his primary pitch) has been terrible: opponents have a .409 OBP on it, which means he isn't locating it at all.

So, mostly it is just control and command issues. And maybe pitch selection. His velocity is basically what it was last year, and outside of the fact that he's throwing a new pitch (and the new pitch isn't getting hit hard at all) there's nothing outside of the fact that he hasn't thrown strikes.

As to your second question, ask yourself the following: You're in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, its crawling toward you. You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it cant, not without your help. But you're not helping. Why is that?

Depending on your response, you are either drunk, not drunk, or a replicant.

See you all next week. Don't forget, top rec'd comment is the title of the mailbag next time.