In-game antics shine as the Majors sweep away Ottawa

Roop Chanderdat was all over the umpiring crew this past Sunday at Ottawa Stadium (photo courtesy Freedom Photography)

The weekend didn’t turn out the way that Fat Cats fans and players would’ve liked it to on the scoreboard, but there were many different events over the course of the weekend that kept the fans busy, most of them coming on Sunday afternoon.

If you’ve read Carlos’ post, you will know that Cleveland Brownlee took it from the Ottawa fans this weekend. More so on Sunday, because his performance was much less impressive during the rubber match of this series.

1/4 is how he faired Saturday at the plate which isn’t great, but he went about his business professionally and had the calm and cool act down. Sunday, however, he struck out 3 times and argued calls from the umpires after each K. If you already have a reputation in a certain town, do you think the right thing to do is mouth off to the ump while playing that team?

In Brownlee’s defense, that ump was terrible—I’ll get to that a bit later—but it only fueled the Fat Cats faithful on their quest to get in the head of Brownlee and it looked like they accomplished their task. He’s a good ball player—having used to play pro in the North American League and Continental Baseball League—but it definitely didn’t look like it this weekend.

Brownlee isn’t the only London Major who was upset with the umpires. Roop Chanderdat is the manager of London and as Carlos said, he left the dugout to argue calls on six different occasions and somehow managed to not get thrown out. It’s not like he was polite in his debating either. I was sitting at field level for part of the game and it definitely didn’t seem like he was inviting Blue over for dinner.

The umpires deserved to get chewed out on Sunday, so Roop does get a bit of an out, but I’ve seen him get pissed off on many different occasions including during the 11-4 Fat Cats victory at Labatt Park earlier this season. I think it’s time for Mr. Chanderdat to take a chill pill, because it’s slowly becoming embarrassing.

Speaking of embarrassments, David Anber manned home plate this Sunday. He was the same umpire that tossed Brian Sewell for allegedly moving out of the way of a pitch during the last homestand at Ottawa Stadium. Many fans weren’t impressed with the umpiring then either.

Today was just as bad. I’m not too sure how Chanderdat comes out of the dugout 6 times to exchange pleasantries with the umpires without getting tossed and then Eitan Maoz and Brett Sabourin get yanked for one word of disagreement. We need a bit of parity here.

That’s just one example unfortunately. The reason that Sewell and the Twins were as steamed as they were, was because Anber rung up Sewell while he had a 3-1 count on the Saturday night. That’s just pure incompetence. The league needs to do something about the umpires in Ottawa and quickly.

I apologize for the rant; I’ve been meaning to get that off my chest for a while. Onto the in-game festivities!

Firstly, I’d like to give the grounds crew a virtual hand. Without their work, there is no way that baseball could’ve been played at the Stadium this weekend. Escapade left it in ruins and while the field wasn’t in good shape, it certainly looked better than it did when I stopped by last Monday.

It’s widely known that London had been snake bitten against the Cats so far this season and they came out on Saturday looking for revenge after Ottawa spoiled the Canada Day party at Labatt Park a week back. This would explain their quick start.

Cleveland Brownlee drove home their first run in the top of the 1st inning with a monster double to the outfield wall. As I said earlier, that was just about the extent of his offense on the weekend, but kudos to him for getting on the board when it mattered.

Brownlee wasn’t the only one who showed power on the Saturday night. Kevin Dietrich pounded one deep for his 3rd homer of the season and his 3rd in the past 7 games. With those bombs, Dietrich now leads the team in that department.

Not sure if he has changed anything up which has led to this, but I hope that he keeps whatever he is doing up. Dietrich’s recent performance is not only good for the Fat Cats, but it’s good for his career as well.

Unfortunately, it’s tough to find anything else positive about the Fat Cats this weekend. While the Majors did come to play, it’s rare that our defense was as sluggish as it was.

Ottawa fielders made a total of 6 errors in the 2 games this weekend. The majority of them (4) came on Sunday and that’s not even including the missed pop-ups from Cody Mombourquette. Not sure why he wasn’t wearing sunglasses to start off the game as start time was 1 PM and the sun was in the middle of the sky. I’m assuming that there was more to it than him just not wearing them, because you pretty much need them to perform well on days like Sunday. He did slap some on a few innings into the game.

With the 2 losses, the Fat Cats have slipped down to 7th place in the IBL standings, half a game back of Guelph and Kitchener with 3 games in hand. Ottawa has to be careful not to pile up the losses here late in the season as they only sit 2 and a half games ahead of the Burlington Twins for 8th place. It would be disastrous to draw Brantford in the first round, a team that has only been beaten 4 times all season. Handing them that same number of losses in 7 games doesn’t seem very likely.

Before I go, a quick shoutout to Andrew Grant for playing my song request at the game on Sunday. Take care, Ottawa!

    • Pierre
    • July 10th, 2012

    There’s something wrong when we keep saying the umpiring is bad. It shouldn’t be that way. Sure, they’ll get some calls wrong, that’s to be expected, they’re only human.

    But when a manager comes out six times to argue, there’s an issue. I don’t know what he was arguing about, I’m thinking balls and strikes which you’re not supposed to do and is an ejection in organized ball. So the umps need more, um, balls, and not be afraid to eject when that happens and be in charge of the game, not the players or managers.

    You cannot let things build up and then toss two players in succession who just happened to be the defensive team at the time after what may have been a complaint about ball-strikes calls by the offensive team. Kind of strange. Again, I don’t know what was said or even the lead-up to that, but umps can’t let that happen.

    • Absolutely umpires are going to get calls wrong. I ref hockey, and I know that I’ve made shitty calls before.. but this is just plain ridiculous.

      Anber isn’t afraid of ejecting players and managers because he’s done it before, including on Sunday’s game. Knowing that, I can’t believe Chanderdat was kept around. Consistency is the only thing you can really ask for when it comes to a sports official (that and getting calls right).

      Something needs to be done and fast.

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