I now have a man-crush on Mike Port, who served as Major League Baseball’s vice president in charge of umpiring between 2005 and 2011. He spoke with Jayson Stark of ESPN about replay. The two big takeaways: (a) he thinks replay has to happen now and really should have happened already; and (b) challenge systems are dumb:
A challenge system? Why?
“What is the point of replay,” he wondered, pointedly, “if not to get all calls correct? … I think a challenge system would lead to unbelievable confusion and would miss the point of instituting replay. You would be amazed how many managers, coaches, and players are not conversant with the rules … As a basic premise, if the purpose of replay is to get calls correct … then let’s try to get ALL correct within certain categories.”
Great points, which we’ve made many times here. If you want to correct errors, correct errors. Don’t make a game out of it.
Port goes on at length about how Major League Baseball has so far addressed the replay situation. Suffice it to say, he find their approach quite curious.
A good read and a lot of good thoughts from a man who both knows the system and wants to see it improved. Check it out.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.