Instant. Replay. Now.

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Joyce blown call.jpgWe’ve all seen it. We can’t un-see it. And because we’ve seen it — and because we’ll watch it over and over again for the next 48 hours or longer — we know it’s wrong. But baseball won’t see it. Not officially. Baseball has decided against the expansion of instant replay beyond home run calls.

Why? They had some reasons. Some of them even sounded reasonable. I can’t remember them though, because they all disappeared during the step and a half it took Jason Donald to touch first base after he should have been out number 27 in tonight’s non-perfect game.

Because there is no replay, Jim Joyce’s obviously blown call stands, Armando Galarraga lost a perfect game, and I can’t for the life of me think of any justification for that.  It would take too much time? Hell, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks played a four hour and sixteen minute game this afternoon. We all handled it. Some of us actually enjoyed it. Because of umpire egos? Sorry, between Joyce’s blown call and everything else that has happened in the last couple of weeks, they’ve lost the right to complain.

It is absolutely imperative that baseball implement some form of replay now. This season, before the playoffs.  The best way, in my view, is to simply station a fifth umpire in the official scorer’s box. Give him the same feed the broadcast guys have. Give him a buzzer and, when an obviously bad call like this one happens, have him call down to the crew chief and overturn the call.  In practice it won’t take long. In function it will be no different than an on-the-field conference in which calls are changed every day.  There is no reason this can’t work and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be implemented.

Take your “human element” and stuff it, mister.  The human element got it wrong. The human element cost Galarraga his place in history.  The human element just thrust Jim Joyce into infamy. I don’t think either of those fellows are where they want to be right now, and there’s no human reason on Earth why it has to be this way.

Bud Selig: you have no choice. You have the power. Implement instant replay now.

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.