Baseball has become dehumanized enough by sabermetricians and their
mind-numbing statistical analyses and it doesn’t need to be made more
complicated by having the potential for instant replay on every play.
Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, seemingly channeling his frustration over never figuring out how to get his VCR to stop flashing “12:00” for the last 30 years.
Of course, the “complicated” replay system he envisions involves managers challenging calls on the field, which is downright footballian in its base crudity.
As I’ve counseled many times before, the way to implement replay is to stick an ump in the booth with a walkie-talkie and allow him to confer with the other umps when obvious mistakes occur, when close calls are argued and the like. Basically, his input would be an extension of an umpires’ on-the-field conference, utilized in exactly the same way.
Would their be hiccups? Sure. But it’s the least intrusive means of implementing instant replay.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.