Bud Selig is doing his annual All-Star press conference as we speak. And he continues to believe this noise:
“The appetite for more instant replay in the sport is very low.”
I hate it when people tell me I’m not hungry when I really am. I mean, how could they possibly know that?
I dunno. Maybe he believes that if he repeats that nonsense enough times it will actually become true.
Added Joe Torre, and I am not making this up:
“I don’t know why we want everything to be perfect. This isn’t a perfect game. Life isn’t perfect.”
That same reasoning could be used by any player who decides not to improve his game. “Hey, I’ll never be Babe Ruth, so why bother trying to be the best I can be?” I’m guessing Torre wouldn’t much care for it if one of his players said that.
Torre added his concern about “pace of the game” if replay were expanded. I can’t imagine an instance of greater chutzpah than the man who presided over scores of four hour Yankees-Red Sox games pretending to care about “pace of the game.”
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.