FOX to use flyover cams in the playoffs

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This sounds like fun:

Fox will formally announce Wednesday that its Major League Baseball
playoff coverage will include what it bills as a TV first: Cameras
zipping over the field of play . . . The idea is to use one camera per game that will move along cables
and be controlled by operators who are supposed to keep those cameras
away from fair and foul territory until pitches cross home plate.

Then the cameras, like the cable-cams that now routinely hover over
NFL games, can roam over the field at altitudes ranging from about 12 to
80 feet above ground.

If they’re not overused, these kinds of shots can be fun. I can see this leading to some pretty awesome replays of plays at the bag, outfielders getting bouncers on the run and throwing them in, baserunners in motion, etc. And really, any toy that distracts the FOX producers from their usual habit of going to super-duper-awful closeups of player’s and fans’ faces in between pitches will be nice.

Of course, there are some ways FOX could screw this up. For example, if they use it for too many live shots it could be disorienting. And if the unthinkable happens and a ball in play hits one of the cameras you’ll probably need to avoid this blog for a week, because that will be THE ONLY thing we’ll be talking about. One wonders why they didn’t try this out with some meaningless regular season games first to work out the bugs.

Overall though, I’m cautiously optimistic that this will be kinda nifty. 

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot.¬†That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.