The Los Angeles Dodgers were down by 5 last night to the New York Mets when Dave Roberts decided to wave the white flag. The Dodgers manager tried to bring in a position player to pitch but a rule instituted by Major League Baseball preventing this tomfoolery from happening took effect.
In order for a position player to pitch, the Mets would have had to be leading by 6 or more. Because of this, umpires conferred on the field, players walked around, and New Yorkers who stayed up to watch the game lost more precious sleep.
The Mets and Buck Showalter continue to show they know the rule book
In mid-April, we got a glimpse at how well this Mets team had studied the rule book. J.D. Davis moved from first to second base before the Arizona Diamondbacks could check to see if the runner left for third too early on a sacrifice fly. As a result, the Diamondbacks couldn’t even get a chance to check third base for an out.
This moment against the Dodgers was a little bit different. It was less Mets strategy and more exposing the Dodgers’ weakness. Roberts has been in Los Angeles so long he seems to believe there isn’t a rule he doesn’t already know about.
Obviously, he doesn’t.
Buck Showalter did his homework extensively before managing his first game with the Mets. He passed it along to his players and surely there were enough of them who knew exactly the kind of pickle the Dodgers had gotten themselves into. Although it didn’t really matter because they were already lying down for the three-count at the time, it does showcase that the Dodgers are penetrable.
Chances to take advantage of rules don’t come around often. In Sunday’s finale, the Mets probably won’t get their opportunity to snag an extra bag or even make Roberts look foolish by simply knowing what is and what isn’t allowed.
This instance on Saturday night is less about the Mets and far more about the Dodgers are a little too relaxed. Maybe worst of all, the umpires needed clarity on it, too. Gary Cohen was right. It was an embarassment.