UPDATE: No, MLB is not using a 14″ CRT for replay

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UPDATE: A pretty big correction is in order.  Earlier today I was given a picture by a source who had access to a National League ballpark and who was told by a ballpark employee that the photo below was, in fact, the replay machine used at the park.  I have been told by Major League Baseball sources and sources from the ballpark in question that my source and the ballpark employee was mistaken. The picture is of a video monitor used by the groundscrew, not umpires for replays.

Major League Baseball shared with me photos of the actual replay monitors used. While I was told that I am not permitted to use the photos, I can describe them: they are 19″ Panasonic flat-panel monitors. I am told that they have HD capability. This conforms with what was reported about the state of the replay equipment used by MLB in the wake of the Angel Hernandez-Adam Rosales home run incident a couple of weeks ago. While there has been some question about whether the system was uniform, I am told by MLB that it is.

There is still much to be said about the state of replay in Major League Baseball and whether the current rules and procedures in place are sufficient to get the calls right. But it is not the case, contrary to my earlier post, that any park is using non-HD monitors for replay review.

Alex Bregman shows how easy it is to manufacture “controversy” in baseball

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In most sports it takes legitimate trash talk to create off-day “controversy.” In baseball, it takes the weakest sauce. We saw how weak that sauce was yesterday.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are going to face off against Nate Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS tonight. It’s worth noting that earlier this season, they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs off of Eovaldi when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yesterday, in an act which was likely somewhat inspired by self-motivation, somewhat inspired by getting in Eovaldi’s head and somewhat inspired by a simple interest in having fun, Bregman took the video of those back-to-back-to-back homers off of Eovaldi and posted it to his Instagram:

Of course, since this is baseball, where even farting off-key can be construed as “showing up” the opposition or somehow disrespecting the game, it became a thing. Or at least people tried to make it become a thing.

Indeed, it took them a bit to find someone who would help them make it a thing, because Eovaldi himself didn’t care about it a bit, nor did Astros manager A.J. Hinch or Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Eventually, however, they hit pay dirt. Here’s Sox infielder Steve Pearce talking to WEEI.com:

“Wow. I don’t know why he would do that. We do our talking on the field. If he wants to run his mouth now we’ll see who is talking at the end of the series.”

My guess is that almost no one on the planet, Steve Pearce included, would care about this in a vacuum or if they allowed themselves to think through it for more than a second. Baseball culture, though — and let’s be clear about it, baseball media culture — has conditioned most of its players and participants to think that stuff like this is supposed to be controversial, so it actually takes effort not to start dancing to this kind of tune on auto-pilot.

Kudos to Hinch, Cora and Eolvaldi for exerting that effort and not dancing to it. To the press that automatically sought out comment on this and Pearce who dutifully gave it: hey, I get it. It’s hard to resist one’s conditioning. Maybe you’ll be able to resist it next time.