Foul Balls, Philosophy and Baseball Gods: Notes from the Houston College Classic
|Another PR hit for the Astros|
The ten-run rule was invoked in three of the games. That rule comes into play when one team is leading by ten runs or more after seven innings, and where it's been agreed to by the teams. So 1/3 of this weekend's games made use of the rule. And of the other six, only two were decided by one run and came down to the last at-bat. Those games were both played on Friday. And of those two games, a 7-6 UH win over Texas A&M and a 2-1 North Carolina win over Rice, the better was definitely the North Carolina/Rice game.
That game featured outstanding pitching from both teams. There were few walks and even fewer hits. North Carolina's runs came from runners scampering home on passed balls, and the winning run slid home just under the tag.
1. ANOTHER BLACK EYE FOR THE ASTROS
Just when you think the Astros have run out of things to piss off fans, they come up with something new. During the games on Friday and Saturday, ushers and security were running around the stands and demanding that fans return all foul balls. To make matters worse, they blamed this on the college teams not bringing enough baseballs to the tournament so that the foul balls needed to be returned for further game action.
It was only on Sunday that the Astros acknowledged that they had only purchased 600 college baseballs for the classic, thus making it their fault and not the fault of the college teams. The Astros stated that this was the standard number of baseballs to purchase for such a tournament, but seeing as how 60-70 baseballs are used on average per game, that means Jim Crane's crew has a bit of a problem doing math as they would not have purchased enough baseballs if the higher end of that average was the number of balls used for each game.
But if anything, this incident confirmed that the Astros are, indeed, being run like a Little League baseball team.