Make the right call and expand replay already
Really? Really? If you love the game so much and you have lived through a strike that canceled a season, an All-Star Game that ended in a tie, the advent of the wild card, expanded playoffs -- do we even get into PEDs? -- and you're still a fan, expanded instant replay will be but a small pill to swallow. (Pardon the pun.) I can't begin to articulate the massive advances in other industries which have served all of us. Where would we be if we stuck to the argument of "That's how it's always been done and it should never change"? Think about health care, transportation, food industry, education, communication. Imagine if we all took a horse and buggy to the ballgame. Where would we park them, and who would clean up the mess? 2. Takes too much time.
Wrong. If we can eliminate the prolonged arguments and decide right away a play is to be reviewed, the entire process could take less than 60 seconds. What do you think is going on in the television production truck while a manager and umpire argue? Exactly, the replays are being looked at, and often it takes only one look to conclude the call was correct or wrong. Less than 30 seconds later you have the answer. Expanded instant replay, you could argue, may actually speed the game up. 3. Eliminates the human element and drama.
This sounds like the argument of people who believe that if you put a net under a high-wire act, you've eliminated the human element that the person may fall. Next time you go to a circus or witness a daredevil do something to risk his or her life, are you less inclined to watch because there is a mechanism in place to save the person's life? I don't think so, but if you are, that's something you have to deal with. Saturday night in Bristol, Conn., I called a Little League game that would have benefited from the use of expanded instant replay. Late in the game there was a close play at first base and there was a questionable hit-by-pitch call. Let's say instant replay had been used to confirm the questionable calls or overturn them. (Given the benefit of seeing the replays, it did appear both plays were called correctly.) Regardless, the game came down to a bases-loaded situation, home team trailing 1-0, relief pitcher in the game, 3-2 count, 7,000 people on their feet and holding their breath. Instant replay would not have impacted the human element or drama one bit. It would have only enhanced the one argument that holds water in this case, which is that the umpires in fact did get the calls right. I can't wait to get to Williamsport to see expanded replay in action, and then I'm really looking forward to the reaction of everyone who has an opinion. This will be a defining moment for baseball, at every level.
Karl Ravech is a host for "Baseball Tonight."
Baseball Tonight Live
"Baseball Tonight" analysts, ESPN.com writers and SweetSpot Network bloggers chatted and gave their in-game opinions throughout the day's games -- all in Baseball Tonight Live.
Touch 'Em All
Who went deep? Keep track of all the home runs hit each day on "Baseball Tonight" and the Baseball Tonight Clubhouse page. For more, check out the Home Run Tracker page.
|Paul Konerko, CHW||29||DET||Bot 6: 0-0, 2 Outs. 1 on.||Weinhardt|
|Albert Pujols, STL||30||CHC||Bot 1: 0-1, 2 Outs. None on.||Dempster|
|Troy Tulowitzki, COL||12||MIL||Bot 6: 2-2, 0 Outs. None on.||Parra|
|Buster Posey, SF||9||SD||Bot 3: 0-0, 1 Out. 1 on.||LeBlanc|
|Miguel Cabrera, DET||27||CHW||Top 7: 2-0, 2 Outs. None on.||Santos|
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WEB GEMS LEADERBOARD
SUNDAY'S BEST AND WORST
BESTKevin Slowey, RHP, Twins
Slowey didn't give up a hit, but he didn't get a no-hitter. The righty threw seven no-hit innings against the A's, but with his pitch count over 100 and the Twins cautious because Slowey has battled elbow tendinitis this year, the bullpen took over in the eighth and quickly lost both the no-hitter and the shutout. Minnesota, though, did win the game.
WORSTJ.J. Putz, RHP, White Sox
The White Sox scored three times in the sixth inning to take the lead against Detroit, but the bullpen couldn't hold on. Three relievers gave up eight runs over the final three innings as Detroit won 13-8. Putz suffered the loss, giving up two hits, two walks and three runs in his inning of work.
MONDAY'S BEST MATCHUPS
Rangers at Rays, 7 p.m. ET
A big-time pitching matchup, with a pair of lefties carrying around ERAs below 3.00. David Price (15-5, 2.84 ERA) is 3-0 over his past four starts. And this year, at home, he is 7-1 with a 2.04 ERA. Cliff Lee (10-5, 2.57) is coming off a 6 1/3-inning outing against the Yankees, which equaled his shortest appearance of the season. It also marked the first time he had gone fewer than eight innings since joining the Rangers.
Tigers at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. ET
Javier Vazquez hasn't gone more than 5 1/3 innings over his past two outings, giving up six runs in each of those two brief appearances. He hasn't gone more than seven innings in any start this season. The Tigers have been shut out twice in Max Scherzer's past four starts.
Dodgers at Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET
It's been something Dodgers pitchers have dealt with all season -- a lack of run support. Los Angeles hasn't scored more than two runs in any of Chad Billingsley's past five starts and has been shut out in each of the past two. Tommy Hanson is 1-5 since June 22, but has lowered his ERA from 4.17 to 3.51 during that stretch.