Another week of replay, another week of endless controversy and discussion about the potentially broken replay system…ho hum.
April 14th, Nationals vs Marlins – where’s the line?
Something my father endlessly harps on is the lack of the yellow line at the top of the outfield wall in several newer stadiums. There’s not one at Marlins Park, and that’s why this double by Jayson Werth caused some questions. If there was some sort of different color scheme that differentiated the top of the outfield wall from the background behind it, maybe umpires could determine whether the ball hit the wall or the background a little easier. They made the right call here, but it shouldn’t have taken as long as it did.
April 14th, Athletics vs Angels – every out counts
The Angels trailed this game by one in the ninth inning, and they desperately needed baserunners. After Nick Punto bobbled this grounder by Howie Kendrick, it looked like they may get one. But Kendrick was ruled out (which looked impossible to the naked eye), and a lengthy review revealed that the throw beat Kendrick to the bag by a quarter of a step – tops. This was such an unbelievably close play, but the human element was right in such a key situation.
April 15th, Mets vs Diamondbacks – a useless delay
This bang bang player was eventually overturned in favor of the Diamondbacks, but consider the circumstances – it came in the fifth inning of a 9-0 game. Kirk Gibson gets to pad his challenge record, and A.J. Pollock gets a hit instead of a ground out, but guess what? None of this crap mattered because the next two Diamondbacks hitters grounded out to end the inning, and Arizona wouldn’t put a runner in scoring position for the rest of the night. With the way the team was hitting on this Tuesday night, was the delay even worth it?
April 16th, Pirates vs Reds – home plate ambiguity
The anti-home plate collision rule is worse than the replay rule because of how ambiguous it is. Isn’t Tony Sanchez pretty clearly blocking the plate without the ball here? Apparently not, because the call on the field that Roger Bernadina was out stood. I have no idea what’s going on anymore.
April 16th, Nationals vs Marlins – idiots wanting balls
PSA, fans – don’t stick your hands over the rails while trying to grab home run balls (more on that later). Hell, this issue also builds on the yellow line problem I talked about before – there’s no clear and obvious distinction between the railing and the wall. That needs to be changed across the league.
April 18th, Mariners vs Marlins – the bobble
Here’s a play that pretty clearly had an effect on the end of this game. With the score tied and none out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Kyle Seager bobbled this throw from pitcher Yoervis Medina on a bunt attempt by Marcell Ozuna. Replay overturned the out call on the field safe and ruled Reed Johnson safe. If the call stood and Johnson was ruled out, the Mariners could have pitched to Giancarlo Stanton with the inning-ending double play situation intact, or walked Stanton to bring the double play prone Garrett Jones to the plate with the bases loaded. Instead, Medina was forced to face Stanton with the bases loaded, and four pitches later, the Marlins were celebrating a walk off grand slam.
April 18th, Orioles vs Red Sox – talk about a waste
John Farrell challenged a call one pitch into Friday’s Orioles-Red Sox game. ONE PITCH INTO THE GAME, AND HE’S CHALLENGING A FAIR/FOUL CALL ON A DOUBLE. The call was upheld because of a lack of evidence in either direction, Markakis scored three at bats later, and the Orioles went on to an 8-4 win.
April 18th, Angels vs Tigers – more ranting about the yellow line
There *is* a yellow line at the top of the wall in Detroit, and the ground rules at Comerica Park say that a ball that hits the railing above the yellow line is a homer. We clearly saw the ball hit by Howie Kendrick bounce off the top of the wall, off the railing, and back onto the field. That’s a home run, folks, and is very similar to a call last year in Cleveland that wasn’t overturned and ended up costing the A’s a game with the Indians.
April 20th, Yankees vs Rays – the wall trap
Wil Myers pretty clearly trapped this ball hit by Brett Gardner, grabbing it after it hit off the wall and doing a great job at selling the catch to the umpires. The Yankees challenged, it was overturned, they scored their first run of the game, and Gardner was assigned to second base by the umpires. New York didn’t score another run in the inning, but having Gardner awarded second base instead of first (if for example, he stopped running after rounding first instead of playing through) put them in a better position to do that.
April 20th, Phillies vs Rockies – a potential game extender
This was a Hail Mary challenge by the Rockies – did Charlie Blackmon beat out Freddy Galvis’ throw to first, and did John Mayberry Jr. keep his foot on the bag? Both issues went against Colorado, and the game wasn’t continued past this play. But if the call *were* overturned and Blackmon was deemed to be safe, the Rockies would be down one with two outs and the bases loaded, and Brandon Barnes (who already had three hits on the day) would be at the plate. Talk about a game-saver for the Phillies.