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Paul Byrd Can Shove It

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Someone seems to be taking this harder than most everyone else. And I quote from the Beacon Journal:

Byrd didn't feel any better minutes later when he checked out the Mariners' bench.

``It's hard to take when you see their guys laughing in the dugout,'' Byrd said. ``They looked like they'd gotten away with something. And I think they did.''

The only thing the Mariners got away with was not losing a game that never should've been played in the first place. You, meanwhile, were one strike from getting away with a bullshit win you didn't deserve. I understand the competitive desire to win at all times no matter the circumstances, but at some point on days like yesterday you need to recognize that you're not playing baseball anymore, shake hands with the opponent, and move on to the next game with no hard feelings.

Maybe Byrd doesn't realize that the weather was the only reason his team was ahead. Do you think Adrian Beltre makes three errors in normal conditions? Do you think Ho Ramirez throws 98 pitches in four innings and walks six guys if he isn't staring into a whiteout? Do you think any of those like half-dozen long Mariner fly balls stay in the park if they aren't being pushed to the ground by a metric ton of falling sky? Paul Byrd has the right to be annoyed - I think we're all pretty ticked, really - but he has no right to complain, because the entire course of the game was shaped by the weather, and that's not how baseball is meant to be played. Baseball's a clear weather sport, and since there wasn't any clear weather in Cleveland yesterday afternoon, there shouldn't have been any baseball.

Some people will argue that the Indians were adjusting to the snowfall just fine, and that therefore the Mariners don't have a leg to stand on, but then, so what? For one thing, Cleveland's used to cold weather, and for another, the Mariners had never practiced in snow before because baseball isn't supposed to be played in it. If I'm running in a track meet against five other guys, and we all suddenly get bit by cobras, and everyone falls down and starts convulsing and I slowly manage to crawl my way to the finish line first, that doesn't make me the best runner - it makes me a guy who was best able to withstand being bit by a cobra. So congratulations to the Indians on being a better snow baseball team than the Mariners. Unfortunately for them, snow baseball games don't count in regular baseball game standings, but if they want to celebrate their snow baseball championship, well, they've got a free Saturday to throw one hell of a party.

You'd think Paul Byrd would've known that something was wrong when he saw that Paul Byrd had thrown 4.2 no-hit innings. Conditions were unplayable, and when I say "unplayable" I don't mean that it was physically impossible to plow through a few innings; I mean it was physically impossible to carry on a normal game. And that's what it comes down to. Byrd may think it was cheap of Hargrove to stall the way he did with one strike to go, but then if Hargrove hadn't stalled, it would've been cheap for Byrd to pick up the W by throwing one more strike, so as far as I'm concerned it all balances out. It's in everybody's best interests that they forget yesterday ever happened, and the sooner Byrd can let it go, the better off he'll be.

(Oh, and the laughing? That's what happens when you have a few players who've never seen it snow before in their lives. You know why there are a few players who've never seen it snow before in their lives? Because you DON'T PLAY BASEBALL IN THE SNOW.)