Baseball has become dehumanized enough by sabermetricians and their
mind-numbing statistical analyses and it doesn’t need to be made more
complicated by having the potential for instant replay on every play.
Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, seemingly channeling his frustration over never figuring out how to get his VCR to stop flashing “12:00” for the last 30 years.
Of course, the “complicated” replay system he envisions involves managers challenging calls on the field, which is downright footballian in its base crudity.
As I’ve counseled many times before, the way to implement replay is to stick an ump in the booth with a walkie-talkie and allow him to confer with the other umps when obvious mistakes occur, when close calls are argued and the like. Basically, his input would be an extension of an umpires’ on-the-field conference, utilized in exactly the same way.
Would their be hiccups? Sure. But it’s the least intrusive means of implementing instant replay.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.