Results tagged ‘ Instant Replay ’

Selig and Pandora….Interesting Pair 

We all know the tale of Pandora’s box( jar) from Greek mythology. It is base on the actions of Pandora opening the jar she carried with her and unleashing many things upon mankind like toil, ills and sickness. But within all that negative elements was one good and humane element hidden deep within that sacred jar, and it was the element of hope. And that is the key element of the Pandora’s box (jar) that I trust will transfer effortless following the investigation by Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig into the umpiring events of the recent Detroit Tigers versus Cleveland Indians match-up.

Hope that the right thing will be done in this seesawing endeavor, even if it does come with penalties of changing the essence and protocol of the game even in reference to the men who governs its rules. Even if Selig is viewed as toying with the fabric of the established and historical baseball traditions, that his true intention of providing some sort of uncontested justice might just start an avalanche effect into the sturdy mountain of transcendental thoughts surrounding the game.

That Selig even mentioning that he is going to “look into the matter” could send ripples into the historic pond of baseball history and call for other future considerations or radical interventions from the Commissioner regarding his enforcement arm of the game. I agree that the game in question did end on a play that will further tarnish and flaw the role of the MLB Umpires within the scope of a baseball contest. And with all sincerity, how can this unrighteous action not be held up high and mighty for all to see to display the inherent wrongs that can happen with the human element prevalent in the outcome of the game.

We saw today a unusual and unique gesture/signal by MLB First Base Umpire Jim Joyce admitting his wrong, and knowing he might have fully changed a important slice of baseball’s history with his outstretched arm and his “safe” call last night. But human error is part of the unfolding essence of the game. It is expected and it is admonished at the same time. Just like death and taxes, it is a given in the game that errors are human, even by the protectors of the rules. Every job has its flaws and imperfections, and recently baseball mistakes have been earmarked and played continuously for the World to judge for themselves .

Hope that Selig’s involvement into the sensibilities of this “tragedy” will not further open his own Pandora’s box and bring numerous rule enforcement issues back to the surface to produce his own toil, sickness and ills towards his reign as MLB Commissioner. Sometimes trying to fix a bad situation from reoccurring can fester itself into a multitude of eventual dogmatic controversies than could again gain legs and begin crawling from out of the darkness for all to view and gasp. But what final conclusion would be correct?

Even the thought of bringing this controversial game’s unfortunate outcome into plain sight again and dissecting the Umpire crew’s actions could open old MLB officiating wounds and further push the envelope of conspiracy and inconsistent judgments of the “Men in Blue” into the open for a feverish discussion. Even if the MLB Umpires Union has an opinion in this matter, the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the umpiring crews. His mire eye glance towards this game’s misguided “safe” gesture could have repercussions beyond this single Umpiring crew.

Paul Sancya/AP 

Hope that if Selig does come to the ultimate conclusion of wrong doing in the call by Joyce, that he also has the willpower and the omnipotent fortitude to make an executive decision as to the final outcome. In all fairness to Galarraga and the Tigers, the final outcome of the game can not be changed. Even with the outcry from Detroit and National voices for justice and a reversal, it has to stay cemented and the judgment remain consistent and not be challenged or changed for the overall integrity of the game.

But in rehashing and revisiting of the night’s actions, Selig could produce and set into motion viable changes and radical rethinking of some of the evident problems currently surrounding his enforcement arm of the rules of the game. But then it could be something as simple as expansion of the Instant Replay system to possibly include review of questionable base calls when the Umpire assigned to that position can not fully vest himself in his decision, and a secondary opinion can not prove to be formulated with 100 percent certainty. Replaying the play could provide an honest interpretation of the game, but will open the flaws of being human tri-fold. 

Hope that the investigation my Selig will turn out to be a Godsend to the governing body of the game and that the Special Rules Committee and the Umpires Union do not see it as pressing his thumb down for change, but be welcomed to bring about a successful conclusion for all involved in the process. This same element will be debated and weighed continuously until the Commissioner deems his will upon the game in this matter. Let’s hope Selig gets it right the first time.

Instant Controversy Dooms Rays


Yankees 8, Rays 4


I am going to lead with this today to get this off my chest and out of my system.  I have replayed that video so many times that ESPN has prompted me to stop becuase it is tying up valuable  Internet traffic space. I have used the slow motion, the isolated and the paused shot of the ball hitting the “D” ring about 3 feet to the left of it( which makes it foul).

Now that I know the ball hit in foul territory, did it go over the foul pole, or to it’s right on the path from home plate. The reactions from three different people can tell the tale of the tape here. Rays catcher Dioner Navarro, of course, would want it to be foul. As he saw it, the ball clearly hit the back ring in foul territory. The Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez wants it to be fair because it makes him the lone holder of 12th place All Time on the home run list, finally pushing ex-Phille Mike Schmidt to the sidelines. 




And then you have the home plate umpire, Greg Gibson who knew we had the technology now to view it and make a correct call, asked for an umpires conference. Crew Chief  Charlie Reliford decided to wander into the replay alcove and call MLB/ NYC Central and get the final video review and to post their findings. After 2 1/4 minutes, the umpires came out and Gibson immediately signaled a home run for A-Rod.




I do not agree with the call, I think the ball did slice to the left of the foul pole above it’s highest point, but I am of this decision not as a Rays’ fan, but as a guy who wants them to get it right finally. In this game there were 4 different calls either at the plate or at first base that did not flow right. I heard the commentary of the radio crew on the replay and on the suspected plays on the diamond and know that they were botched calls.

But perception is key here. At what angle do you take as being true in the replay. The uppper deck  video camera on the first base side set about 50 feet to the right of the pole, or the thrid base side camera in the upperdeck that is set about 15 feet to the right of the poles’ center.

I will just leave it up to everyone to form their own opinions. I am just glad the play did not decide the game….that would have been a true crime story.

Here is the video from ESPN:



Yankees 8, Rays 4





It is finally coming out to light that B J Upton’s shoulder has been bothering him most of the second half of the season. If you sat where I do and watch his swings and his posture at the plate you can tell that he is shifting his weight to compensate for something. I am glad that he finally came clean with the information and that we now know that Upton is doing more for pain management than just going through the motions at the plate.

Upton again came up big for the Rays last night going 2-5 with 33rd double and his 41st stolen base after a single to left in the 5th inning. His 41st stolen base moves him into second place in the AL, just three behind Boston’s Jacob Ellsbury.  His double also moves him into a tie for 15th in the AL in that category. Also with his 40th steal on Sunday, Upton became only  Ray, besides Crawford to reach the 40 steal plateau in a season.





Eric Hinske’s dive for Robinson Cano’s blooper single to left would not have been an error in any fashion. The ball was tailing away from Hinske when he left his feet, and he made a galliant effort to even get the ball within his body to keeo Cano from extra bases. Hinske’s hustle this season while Carl Crawford has been on the DL is a welcome sight. His bat is superior to Crawford’s right now, but his outfield defense is below par for the Rays’ expectations right now.


Speaking of expected and undetected errors, the Rays were very lucky the official scorer did not dot the scorebaord with at least 3 errors in last night’s contest. The play of the Rays infield defense last night was not in accordance to their usual stellar performance.

Third baseman Willy Aybar seemed to be playing about 15 feet farther back tonight in the game and cost the Rays at least two outs on the night. In the 3rd inning, Robinson Cano hit a liner to Aybar that he fumbled with and did not get to Carlos Pena in time for the out.

In the 4th inning, Johnny Damon got on base after a botched play by Jason Bartlett at shortstop. To give Bartlett credit, that ball did take a nasty hop in front of him, but he regained the ball in time to get Damon, but could not execute the play.  The next batter, Derek Jeter got another infield single on a well hit ball hit to Aybar that did not reach Pena in time to catch Jeter. Again, Aybar was playing behind the bag at third and did not come up and attack the ball to imporve his chances of getting Jeter at first base.

In another play in the 4th inning, Carlos Pena knocked down a Jason Giambi ball and started a 3-6-2 double play. The ball reached second in time to get Alex Rodriguez, but first base umpire ruled Giambi safe at first after Rays reliever Chad Bradford apparently dragged his foot off the bag at first. This inning gave the Yankees 3 more outs to play with, and they made the Rays pay with another un to up the score to 6-1.


Lost in all the drama of the replay and miscues by the Rays defense in this game was the hitting of the Rays tonight. In the 1st inning B J Upton doubled for the first Rays’ hit of the night.  Cliff Floyd then came up and hit a ball into the right center gap for a double and scored Upton to put the Rays up early 1-0. On the play, Floyd looked like he wanted to turn the play into a triple, but his knees let him know that a double would be fine. Floyd now has a team high 9 RBI’s on this homestand, all of them coming in the last 4 games.  Since moving into the cleanup spot for the Rays, Floyd is hitting .308, with 2 homers, 12 RBI’s and a .590 Slugging Percentage.





Rays starter Edwin Jackson did not last 4 innings last night in the game against the Yankees. It was by far the worst showing for Jackson in 2009. Jackson actually lasted 3.1 innings for the Rays giving up 6 runs on 10 hits while throwing only 70 pitches on the night. The strike zone seemed to be squeezed for Jackson early in the game, but he produced  2 quick strikeouts in the 1st inning.


The Yankees began to get to Jackson in the 2nd inning when Robinson Cano hit the ball to Hinske in the left and scored Xavier Nady who had  walked earlier in the inning. Ivan Rodriguez then hit a short popper down the first baseline that hit inside fair territory before bouncing into the foul area behind first base. Cano scored on the play, and Rodriguez was standing at seocnd with another double to put the Yankees up 2-1.

In the 3rd inning, Bobby Abreu doubled to left and was in scoring position for A-Rod when he hit his double and Abreu scored on the play. With Rodriquez at second, Jason Giambi came up and doubled to the deep left center gap that scored Rodriguez.  Hideki Matsui then hit a single to center that scored Giambi and put the Yankees up 5-1. 

Coming into the game, Jackson had decreased his ERA to 3.81, the lowest since May 29th.  Jackson was also riuding a August that saw him go 4-1 with 2.27 ERA, it was the best ERA on the staff in August, and 6th best in the AL.  Jackson needed 5 inning to match his career high of 161 innings pitches set in 2008.



Gabe Gross provided one of the games best highlights for the Rays on his 2-run homer in the 4th inning. The homer brought the Rays to within 3 runs at the moment. It was Gross’s 12th homer of the season. Dioner Navarro scored on the play after getting double to deep center to be in scoring position for Gross.

Gross is hitting .313 over his last 11 games, and hit a robust .283 for August. Gross’s 12th homer is also his career high in the majors. His previous high was 9 homers with the Brewers in 2006. Gross was not done for the night as he walked in the 9th inning on 4 pitches and then scored on Akinora Iwamuras double to left field.