Ever notice that you rarely get replays of close plays up on the jumbotron at the ballpark? Sam Mellinger tells us why:
MLB limits replays to once, at real speed, but not during an argument over the play and not in a way that might start an argument or create a negative reaction from the crowd. In practice, pressure and insecurity from umpires has created pressure from the league office that means most stadiums won’t show anything but the most mundane replays.
Mellinger also explains that this policy, according to some league sources, could be under review and he argues that, as a part of expanded replay, MLB should junk this stupid and antiquated rule.
Also of note: Mellinger notes in passing that there is an unwritten rule among umpires that if a manager or player arguing calls on the field uses the word “replay” that he’s basically going to be ejected. Which is beyond stupid. And we think these people are going to be totally cool about MLB handing managers the rule-created right to challenge their calls via replay? They’re not going to retaliate, subtly or otherwise, when their authority is challenged? Good luck.
Larger point: any system which encourages the denial of reality or which, by design, prevents people from getting otherwise easily-obtained information, is inherently flawed and begging to be cast aside. This one is no exception.
Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.