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.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.

 

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
Getty Images
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There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.