I was all fired up to write a “ohmygodthisissodumb” post, but by gum, I couldn’t decide which was dumber: the firing of Ned Yost (in the middle of a pennant race!) or the alleged controversy surrounding the Astros and Cubs playing a game at Miller Park as Ike ravaged Houston. So I’ll turn it over to you, UmpBumpers:

14 Responses to “Is Ned Yost’s firing dumber than the Miller Park “controversy”?”

  1. This is the Lou Lamoriello move! I think the Brewers did the right things. The Brewers faded away in 2007 and or doing so again in 2008, losers of 11 over their last 14 games.

  2. sorry forget to edit 1st!

  3. The Carlos Zambrano-no being over-shadowed by Houston’s complaining gets my vote.

    The whole Astros organization is bitching about Milwaukee not being a neutral site. I have news for them any site would have been predominantly Cubs fans. They are in every ball park the Cubs play in. Drayton McLane’s refusal to admit that his team would be able to play at home over the weekend is what created this mess. Last Thursday the Cubs offered to go to Tampa to play the weekend series and McLane refused. He wanted the Cubs to fly into Houston Friday and wait out the storm. What kind of a moron would have thought that was a good idea? What is truly disappointing about this whole situation is that it has been used to diminish the accomplishment of an outstanding performance. Carlos Zambrano was beyond incredible, Houston wouldn’t have hit him no matter where that game was played. You didn’t see highlights of any impressive defensive plays made behind him because there weren’t any. Houston only hit the ball out of the infield twice the entire game. It was Carlos Zambrano’s night and the partisan crowd certainly shouldn’t be given the credit for it.

    There is no question that the Houston players were faced with a difficult situation but it is the fault of no one but their greedy owner. McLane could have evacuated his team and their families on Thursday before the storm hit and he chose not to. McLane would not agree to reschedule and move the games until late on Saturday by that time there were not a lot of options available. Milwaukee was chosen because of its’ proximity to Chicago thus creating less travel for at least one of the teams. The Cubs were not able to get out of Chicago late Saturday due to torrential rains and flooding occurring on Saturday.

    I would imagine that McLane didn’t object to Milwaukee knowing that he would probably get the largest gate receipts there as opposed to other possible sites. It is incredible to listen to Ed Wade complain this morning about it being another home game for the Cubs. Were the Astros unaware that Chicago is 90 miles south of Milwaukee before they rescheduled the games? In the future, perhaps McLane and Wade should consult google maps before they agree on an alternate game site.

  4. I don’t think either one is dumb. I think the Astros got screwed — MLB could have found a far more neutral site than Milwaukee. And I think the Brewers did the right thing firing Yost, though I think they probably should have fired him before the season.

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  6. Sarah Green says:

    I think the controversy around Miller Park is sooooooooo dumb. If you click on the link above, that ESPN story notes that they did try to find a site closer to Houston, but none of them worked out. Plus, when you consider that home field advantage in baseball is hardly anything (Paul, bring us your SABR numbers!), I think it’s a whole lot of kerfluffle over nothing.

    And if the Yost firing isn’t dumb, it sure is desperate.

  7. I’m not sure if you think this is “hardly anything” or not, but teams are 25% more likely to win at home than away. What we can’t tell is how much of this is actually attributable to the crowd demographic/energy level and how much of it is things like familiarity with the park’s contours or the team’s suitability to its home surroundings (a team with a short right field porch is better off with a couple lefty power hitters, etc). So that part, to me, is just guessing. And there just aren’t enough “neutral site” games for us to be able to do much in the ways of a “meaningful” study.

    I should really stop using the quotation marks.

  8. Sarah Green says:

    25%?! Where are you getting that figure. Baseball Prospectus has it at about 4%.

  9. The numbers I have seen about home field advantage are 54% chance of winning when you are the home team. No doubt environment factors in but a big key to the home field advantage is having the last at bat which Houston did in this case. MLB did not hatch this plan it was the only option left after McLane drug his feet for 3 days because he didn’t want to give up three home sell outs.

    McLane wanted the Cubs to fly into Houston on Thursday night and wait out the storm in the hopes that they would be able to play Sunday and Monday in Houston. That was a moronic suggestion and the Cubs refused to enter the eye of the hurricane. The Cubs offered to travel to Tampa on Thursday night so the entire series could be played. The Astros could have easily evacuated their players and families on Thursday night and they chose not to.

    The Astros front office agreed to the Milwaukee location in part because they knew it would get a larger gate due to it’s proximity to Chicago. They are acting after the fact like they didn’t know ahead of time that Chicago is 90 miles south of Milwaukee. It’s also a fact that the crowd would have been 99% Cubs fans no matter which city the games had been moved to. There are Cubs fans in every city and they follow the team as well.

    Ed Wade and Cecil Cooper both complained that the Astros didn’t really have a fair shot in the series due to their circumstances. That is nonsense. The Cubs are a better team and the Astros were due to lose.

    It is absolutely shameful that Carlos Zambrano’s no hitter is being diminished due to the travel circumstances of the Astros. The way Zambrano-no was pitching Houston wouldn’t have hit him no matter where the game had been played. I have never seen that guy have that kind of command, speed and movement on his pitches like he did Sunday night. He was in another zone altogether. You didn’t see highlights of spectacular defensive plays behind them because there weren’t any. Only two balls left the infield, the Astros really never had a shot hurricane or no.

    MLB made a mistake by not stepping in sooner, like the Thursday before the series, and forcing McLane to relocate. The way it played out the teams had to wait until late Saturday to make arrangements to play elsewhere. It is also worth noting that the Cubs had a problem leaving late Saturday as there was wide spread flooding in the Chicago area.

    It was Houston’s fault the games had to be played in Milwaukee and they agreed to it in advance thus they are stupid to complain about it after the fact. Houston can’t complain about not having home field when they just swept the Cubs in four games at Wrigley two weeks ago.

  10. Melissa, do you know Houston agreed to play in Milwaukee because they wanted a big crowd, or are you just speculating? In your first comment you said, “I would imagine that McLane didn’t object to Milwaukee knowing that he would probably get the largest gate receipts there as opposed to other possible sites.” But later you wrote, “The Astros front office agreed to the Milwaukee location in part because they knew it would get a larger gate due to it’s proximity to Chicago.” So which one is it? Has this been reported? If so, then I agree Houston doesn’t really have a leg to stand on.

  11. Coley,
    I was actually saying the say thing just in a slightly different manner and it is one of many factors that went into the decision. McLane had to have known the gate would be bigger in Milwauke due to the fact it is so close to Chicago, there are a ton of Cubs fans there when they play the Brewers. There is no way the Astros can act like they didn’t know the Cubs would have a huge crowd there, again it is 90 freaking miles from Chicago. You can not act surprised when Cubs fans show up. Obviously McLane didn’t call me with this information it is simply fact. McLane agreed to play in Milwaukee this has been reported he did not dig in his heels and refuse to play there. Why didn’t the Astros refuse to go to Milwaukee? I am making the assumption that the Astros front office had to have known their gate would be bigger in Milwaukee than any other “neutral” location, common sense tells me that. How could they not have known the gate would be larger? I would also add that it has been reported the Cubs offered to host the series and donate their share of the gate to the hurricane victims, McLane refused this option. Those three games would have drawn at least 120,000 which would have contributed a pretty good figure to hurricane relief.

    By the way the first comment I made did not show up until after I made the second comment a day later. Sorry if it appears I am just repeating the same things over and over like a lunatic. Not that I’m not a lunatic.

  12. In today’s Sun-Times, Chris DeLuca addressed this whole situation and the Astros reaction. He had a quote from Astros’ Manager, Cecil Cooper. After Zambrano’s no-hitter he was asked if he thought it was a dominating performance and answered thusly, “NO. It was a long travel day and Hurricane Ike. And having two days off. Not saying he wasn’t good, but this was a pretty tough circumstance.” Saying you were no hit because there was a hurricane is nonsense and how do extra days off make you worse? Zambrano was filthy it was by far his best performance as a Cub. Was the team still feeling jet lagged on Monday when Ted Lilly and the Cubs pen one hit the Astros? I just think it’s ridiculous to assert that playing in Milwaukee made the Cubs a better team than Houston. The Cubs were already a better team. To me this seems like a convenient excuse for getting your ass handed to you. I suppose when the Astros don’t get the wild card they will all be crying that these 2 games were why. Forget the other 160.

  13. Sorry about that, Melissa. Your first comment was found in our spam filter for some bizarre reason. So I un-spammed it earlier today.

  14. Sarah Green says:

    I hadn’t heard that about the Cubs offering to donate their take to the hurricane recovery! McLane really put the “ass” back in “Astro” on this one.

    Just a little more dysfunction coming out of the Houston FO…

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