Imagine if they had this technology in 1985 …
Giants manager Bruce Bochy won the first replay challenge overturn in World Series history in the bottom of the third inning of this World Series Game 7 at Kauffman Stadium when video showed Eric Hosmer failed to beat the throw to first base on a beautiful doubleplay turned by San Francisco middle infielders Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford. Hosmer slid into the first base bag — which physics have proven to be a terrible move — and the ball reached Brandon Belt’s glove before Hosmer’s hand made it in. The play was started by Panik, who made a diving grab and then flipped the ball to Crawford while still on his belly to get the speedy Lorenzo Cain.
The review took two minutes and 57 seconds. Might as well be as thorough as possible in Game 7.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.
I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.
Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.
Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?