Cervelli Homer.bmp

Was Francisco Cervelli’s home run really a home run?

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To the right is a screen capture of the Francisco Cervelli’s home run from the seventh inning of last night’s this morning’s Orioles-Yankees game clearing the fence. Or not clearing it. Here’s the video.

After watching the video a couple of times and seeing how the fans don’t really bring their arms back toward them before the ball falls down to the warning track, it seems to me that the ball wasn’t going to clear the fence, and was thus interfered with and shouldn’t have been called a homer.  But remember: the call on the field was a home run, so to overturn it, the video evidence had to be conclusive. I’m not sure I trust the video angles shown here to be conclusive in that regard, so I can’t get too riled up over the call being upheld. It’s a close call.

Still: if we have replay for home run calls, and if those calls include the question of fan interference and whether the ball clears the fence, why don’t we have cameras shooting down the fence line?  Or do we and that angle is just not available for TV?

And speaking of angle, how about left fielder Matt Angle’s positioning “under” that ball?  At least there was something to laugh at in this soaking wet, much-delayed game.

Braves sign former football player Sanders Commings

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 15:  Cornerback Sanders Commings #26 of the Kansas City Chiefs on the sidelines during the pre-season NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 15, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.

Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.

Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.

The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.

Justin Verlander: “I’d like to see the AL and NL have the same rules… I vote NL rules.”

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 10:  Starting pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on August 10, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
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On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”

Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:

To that, Archer said:

For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.