The baseball season is, famously, 162 games long. It is important -- essential, actually -- for good Major League Baseball teams to shrug off difficult losses, bad calls and supposed slights if they want to survive for the year's duration.
That can be difficult. If an umpire's bad call robs you of a run-scoring opportunity, it can throw your team off course and allow a single game to get out of hand -- but the good teams know how to stop the spiral once the final out is recorded.
The Toronto Blue Jays, apparently, have no interest in doing that. Their obsession with the New York Yankees has morphed since last week, when Aaron Judge's eyes briefly captured the national spotlight before the city of Toronto forgot about all that and moved on to Domingo Germán's hand, the greatest indignity of all.
Was the stickiness of Germán's hand altered by foreign substances? If you ask him, it was just an excess of rosin (for the second time in a month). If you ask the umpiring crew led by James Hoye, it was the "stickiest hand" they've ever felt (which was also said by a different crew about Max Scherzer a few weeks back). Either way, Germán was summarily punished and ejected from the second game of the series, leaving the Yankees short-handed for 10 days and behind the eight ball for the final six innings of of the game.
When Scherzer was ejected, the Mets were rightly viewed at a disadvantage. How were they supposed to cover a wide swath of unexpected innings on the fly?! Somehow, when Germán was sent packing, the Blue Jays painted themselves as the victims, focusing not on the six innings they had remaining to jump on a Yankees team that was on their heels, but instead crowing and crying about the three innings that had already passed. Perhaps that was why, even after evening the score, they folded late again and fell victim to Ryan Weber (which happened again two days later).
Even after the series ended, Toronto -- desperate for a real rivalry -- couldn't stop scratching at the old wound, with opposing starting pitcher Kevin Gausman echoing the postgame crew's call for the Yankees to replay those three cursed innings of Germán Ball. It's only fair. If you're insane.
Yankees "owe" Blue Jays, Kevin Gausman three innings, give us a break
When the Mets were "caught cheating," the Dodgers saw an opportunity to chip away. When the Yankees were "caught cheating," the Blue Jays saw an opportunity to invalidate the entire game (if they lost) and play victim for an additional week. Some team you got up there, John Schneider. Really focused on what's important.
Whether Germán was using illicit substances or not, he was hittable for the game's first three innings. There is no rule saying that a pitcher using an overload of tack must not be hit even once. Never mind that Toronto had six more innings to erase the Yankees' lead -- which they did!!! -- but they also had the first three innings to make a statement. Instead, they chased Germán's breaking balls way out of the zone. Their task may have been made more difficult by his (alleged) use of substances, but it was not impossible.
Not only did Gausman ask for Germán's three innings back, but he went so far as to insinuate that the next inning -- featuring Ian Hamilton's injury and a bases-loaded jam -- might've featured some gamesmanship by the Yankees.
"“I’m not going to say the way they handled Game 2 was on purpose the way they changed pitchers and made innings longer … but that’s part of the game now.- Kevin Gausman
“In football, you ice the kicker and you can do that in baseball too and try to get a starter out of his routine. You can be mad about it but there’s really nothing you could do about it.”"
Hamilton is, of course, on the Injured List now, which seems like a bridge too far to cross just to psych Gausman out.
Luckily, MLB did not side with the Jays and decide that, because a Yankee was ejected, it was a good time to experiment, break new ground, and resume this game from first pitch with the entire slate erased.
Personally, I think Toronto's idea was interesting, though. Any time a team is embarrassed, they should be able to call, "Do over!" and start anew. For instance, when Gausman surrendered a home run to Isiah Kiner-Falefa, that might've been a good time to walk off the field and demand a reset (and some Capri Suns from mom).
Luckily for the Blue Jays, they're getting not only three more innings from the Yankees by the time this campaign ends, but six more games. That means six more chances to find an excuse to invalidate the result if New York comes out on top yet again.
With Schneider's group currently in last place and seeking answers, they've decided instead to seek more questions about the Yankees. Probably a wise move.