Last week the Tigers kept Brandon Inge from hitting the open market by signing him to a two-year, $11.5 million deal and now Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that they’re “expected” to retain impending free agent Jhonny Peralta as well.
Peralta went from Cleveland to Detroit in a July 28 trade and hit just .253/.313/.396 in 57 games down the stretch, but apparently the Tigers liked what they saw more than the numbers suggest.
According to Morosi the Tigers are likely to decline their $7.5 million option on Peralta and try to re-sign him to two-year contract with a lower annual salary that “will probably be a little less than the $11.5 million” Inge received.
Now that Inge is signed through 2012 the Tigers would presumably use Peralta at shortstop, where his lack of range and error-prone ways caused the Indians to move him to third base. Morosi writes that the Tigers are willing to live with his sub par glove “in exchange for Peralta’s run production” and goes on to quote his RBI totals, but Peralta batted .249 with a .703 OPS this season and .254 with a .690 OPS last season. Not exactly strong production, let alone strong enough to make it worth sacrificing defense at a key position.
If the Tigers end up committing $10 million per season for the next two years to keep Inge and Peralta as the left side of their infield the rest of the AL Central should be thanking general manager Dave Dombrowski.
The Red Sox are off and running in the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the Dodgers. Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez each hit RBI singles off of Clayton Kershaw to give the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead.
Benintendi’s hit to right field ended with a replay review. Rather than throw to the cutoff man, right fielder Yasiel Puig fired home to try nabbing Mookie Betts, but his throw was poor. Catcher Austin Barnes caught the ball a few feet in front of and to the right of home plate, then whipped the ball to second base in an attempt to get Benintendi. Benintendi clearly beat the throw, but shortstop Manny Machado kept the tag applied. After Benintendi was ruled safe, the Dodgers challenged, arguing that Benintendi’s hand may have come off the second base bag for a microsecond while Machado’s glove was on him. The ruling on the field was upheld and the Red Sox continued to rally.
Replay review over base-keeping is not in the spirit of the rule and shouldn’t be permitted. Hopefully Major League Baseball considers changing the rule in the offseason. Besides the oftentimes uncontrollable minute infractions, these kinds of replay reviews slow the game down more than other types of reviews because they tend not to be as obvious as other situations.
Baseball has become so technical and rigid that it seems foolish to leave gray area in this regard. A runner is either off the base or he isn’t. However, the gradual result of enforcing these “runner’s hand came off the base for a fraction of a second” situations is runners running less aggressively and sliding less often so there’s no potential of them losing control of their body around the base. Base running, particularly the aggressive, sliding variety, is quietly one of the most fun aspects of the game. Policing the game to this degree, then, serves to make the game less fun and exciting.
Where does one draw the line then? To quote Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, describing obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio, “I know it when I see it.” This is one area where I am comfortable giving the umpires freedom to enforce the rule at their discretion and making these situations impermissible for replay review.