We probably should have known as much, but FanHouse’s Jeff
Fletcher reports that Bud Selig said today that he’s “comfortable” with no further
expansion of instant replay.
Which means he’s comfortable with blown calls that don’t need to be blown. He’s comfortable with pennant races and possibly playoff games altered as a result of an inability to overrule obvious mistakes from an increasingly fallible umpire corps. He’s comfortable with baseball becoming the object of ridicule the next time some high profile gaffe occurs in which millions see what should have happened but the four men in blue who missed it aren’t allowed to see it themselves.
I’m sorry, but this is unacceptable. I am all for tradition and conservatism and incremental change when it comes to baseball, but at some point the burden of proof shifted from those who wanted instant replay to make its case for such a beast to those who would deny all sense and all technology to prevent its implementation to make theirs.
I don’t care if Bud Selig is comfortable. I want to hear from him why we should be comfortable in allowing baseball to continue to ignore reality and technology and stick with a system that gave us the Galarraga call and so many mistakes last fall.
I don’t think he has a good reason.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.