My belief isn’t that we need more instant replay in baseball because umpire’s are incompetent. My belief is that it’s needed because a lot of things happen in baseball that are way too tough to call at normal speed.
This, however, was not one of those plays.
In the eighth inning of Sunday’s ALCS Game 2, second base ump Jeff Nelson ruled Omar Infante safe here.
Infante was trying to make it back to second after rounding the bag too far on a single. He obviously failed. It should have been the third out of the inning. Instead, he and one more baserunner came around to score in the frame, upping the Tigers’ lead from one run to three.
Now, the Yankees didn’t lose today because of Jeff Nelson. They lost because they couldn’t hit. And while it was a horrendous call, the play only arose because of Infante’s sloppy play. The Yankees were robbed of an out, but they gave up the two runs because they allowed hits to four straight batters.
Regardless, Nelson’s call was bad enough that it’d be justified to bench him for the rest of the postseason, if MLB did things like that. Since it doesn’t, he’ll be right back out there on Tuesday.
Here’s the video:
Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.
Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.
The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.