Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

“Don’t feel entitled to anything you didn’t sweat and struggle for.”   -Marian Wright Edelman

I’m not one of those people who think athletes, as a whole, deserve this or that but there are some instances where I believe some athletes are entitled to a certain career.  Joe Montana should have been a 49er for life.  Michael Jordan should never have had to put on that ridiculous Wizards jersey.  Ray Borque should have won a championship with the Boston Bruins and not have to do with it the Colorado Avalanche.  Can you imagine if back in the late 1950’s the Boston Red Sox had decided that Ted Williams was past his prime and maybe he should ply his trade elsewhere?  After all, he only hit .254 in 1959.  That’s not very Splendid Splinter like and it was the lowest batting average for the career .344 hitter.  Instead, Ted Williams came back and retired on his own terms and, more importantly, retired as a Red Sox player.


This never should have happened

This brings me to Derek Jeter.  Am I a Yankee fan?  No, but I’m not a hater either.  I seem to be in the minority that thinks that Jeter deserves to be a Yankee as long as he wants.  Derek Jeter grew up a Yankee fan and his goal early in life was to be a Yankee.  He worked hard and achieved his dream.  He debuted in 1995, won rookie of the year in 1996, won five World Series, an All-Star MVP, a World Series MVP and five Gold Gloves.  I’ll talk more about Jeter’s most recent Gold Glove later.

Derek Jeter has become a New York icon.  He OWNS the Big Apple.  He’s the damn captain of the New York Yankees but the Yankees want to play hardball with his contract negotiations.  He’s been such a huge part of this franchise that he deserves, nay, is entitled to stick around as long as he wants.  It’s not like, at 36, he’s washed up.  Sure, he doesn’t have many good years left but he does have something left in the tank.

The sign says it all

His demands of somewhere around $25 million a year for five years is a bit steep.  Jeter’s agent denies these demands.  The Yankees are offering $15 million a year for three years.  The Yankees offer seems more reasonable given Derek Jeter’s age but their differences shouldn’t be dragged out in the media.  The Yankees told Jeter to test the market and see what’s out there.  How dare you?  Whatever the Yankees and Jeter are doing should be kept behind closed doors.

Then again, this is not The Boss’ Yankees anymore.  As much of a hard-ass George Steinbrenner was, I doubt he would allow this to be played out in the media.  Why all the sudden are the Yankees worried about spending money?  This is the same team that game Jason Giambi $120 million over seven years and Carl Pavano a four-year $40 million dollar deal.  Why is money so important now, and with a legend and future Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter?  Hopefully the Yankees and Jeter can come to terms and find a number they both can agree on.

On to the most recent Gold Glove won by the Yankee captain.  The Bearded One and The SandRant both derided the decision to bestow a fifth Gold Glove on Jeter as, “a joke”.  Why is it such a stretch?  Derek Jeter only had six errors in 2010.  Those six errors are the lowest in his fifteen full seasons.  Those six errors are also the lowest of any American League shortstop.  His .989 fielding percentage was also the lowest of any everyday American League shortstop.  Only two American League shortstops were involved in more double plays than Jeter.  Those players are Alexei Ramirez of the Chicago White Sox and Cliff Pennington of the Oakland A’s.  That’s nice but Ramirez had twenty errors and a .974 fielding percentage.  Pennington had twenty-five errors and a .966 fielding percentage.


He can still get it done in the field

I have a feeling the major argument anyone will make has to do with range.  Yes, there are eight AL shortstops that have a higher range factor than Jeter but how much stock should we take in this number?  Most of the shortstops above Derek Jeter in range have double-digit errors.  You definitely want a shortstop with range but let’s not get too excited about it.  How many of those extra chances a player gets by having range ends up in the stands?  Sure, getting to that ball might save an extra base hit or a run here or there but I imagine that gets cancelled out with an errant throw that allows player to advance.  Maybe Cesar Izturis of the Baltimore Orioles deserved a closer look for the Gold Glove but to totally discount Jeter is the real joke.

Besides those stats, here are some other stats you might be interested in.  Here’s a list of Derek Jeter’s girlfriends over the years.

Mariah Carey (before she became a cow)

Miss Universe Lara Dutta

Joy Enriquez

Jordana Brewster

Venessa Minnillo

Jessica Biel

Minka Kelly

Jessica Alba

Scarlett Johansson

Gabrielle Union

Vida Guerra

Rachel Uchitel (Tiger Woods knows her too)

Adriana Lima

Yankees, pay the man!


Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy the Giants won. We managed to get a win with Cliff Lee starting on the mound, the scariest opponent in the postseason in my opinion. But this was one of the worst games of baseball I’ve seen in a long time. The box score really doesn’t do an adequate job of explaining this game. It’s been awhile since I’ve written, but today was a perfect game for a rant.

Box Score says 8 hits off Cliff Lee: I would love to say that the Giants got 6 earned runs and 8 hits off of Cliff Lee driving him out of the game before finishing five. Unfortunately, we didn’t see Lee in his true form and I already have his next start marked as a loss for the Giants. Lee didn’t have control of his pitches and when you’re a control and not a speed pitcher, that’s a bad spot to be in. The bright side of this: The Giants capitalized. Honestly, half the time I watch the Giants I swear they would strike out on a tee. They clearly know this (and how could you not? Everyone comments on their miserable offense) and their batting practice was evident. I’m not ready to say they took enough batting practice to be able to hit good pitching, but they did take enough batting practice to be able to hit mistakes. The recent offensive contributions from everyone on the roster not named Cody Ross have also been a welcome change. Hopefully this game was the confidence booster they needed to add continued run support.

Box Score says 8 hits off LIncecum: Lee had a bad game, but so did Lincecum. What was supposed to be an even better pitcher’s duel than last week’s Halladay vs Lincecum turned into a batting practice session.  Lincecum, known for being a strikeout pitcher, only rung up 3 today over 5.2 innings of work. He gave up a double to Cliff Lee. He issued a walk in the first with no outs and a runner on. He’s usually lights out once a runner is on. He luckily calmed down a bit after his first two innings of work and avoided the train wreck that was foreshadowed in the first two innings. He wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t the end of season Tim Lincecum. Unfortunately for Giants starting pitchers, I just don’t think we can win this if they’re anything less than perfect. Our offense produced today, but I don’t think we can count on that continuing. This team is undeniably built off our starting pitching and although it’s unfair to put all the pressure on them, it’s the situation they’ve been in all year. I expect a better outing from Lincecum the second time around…not that improvement from a 6.35 ERA today is an outstanding goal for a two time Cy Young winning pitcher.

Box Score says 6 errors: Thank God for both teams that baserunning errors aren’t included. Just about everything the Giants do on the bases is an error. For having such bad hitting, you would think the Giants would learn to be aggressive on the bases. Instead, they actually supplement their awful hitting with awful baserunning.  I guess I can’t be completely mad at him, going 4 for 5 today, but there’s still not much of an excuse for Freddy Sanchez. In the bottom of the first, a ball got away from Bengie Molina that should have resulted in moving the runner up. Sanchez didn’t even attempt to go to third. With one out, you especially need to take third base if it’s given to you for free so you can set up the sacrifice fly. To add to his baserunning upset, he got doubled up on the next play getting too far off the bag on a fly ball. I’ll give Kinsler credit, he made an amazing play, catching a ball over his shoulder and immediately spinning and throwing to nail Sanchez at second. Only thing is he would have gotten him whether or not he made an amazing play. Sanchez can say he fell, but he fell while three quarters of the way to third. What business does he have being three quarters of the way to third? With one out and a pop fly in potentially catchable zone, he should have been waiting. If they drop it, he’s making it to third even if he’s only a quarter of the way. I won’t go into it, but I also thought Andres Torres should have scored from first on the Sanchez double. As a leadoff hitter, you should have the speed and aggression to score on that when the outfielder is chasing a ball into the corner with his back to you. This also could just be the tipping point for me on Andrew Torres after he refused to steal second in the Phillies series when a ball got away from Carlos Ruiz (similar to Sanchez not stealing third today).

I don’t care if a pitcher can’t hit. Lincecum’s spin move the other day is about what I expect from a pitcher hitting. One thing they should know how to do though: sacrifice bunt. So why is Lincecum turning at the last second as if he’s bunting for a hit? Turning at the last second makes everything about a sac bunt harder; making contact with the ball, making sure your bat head is up, and cradling the ball, so that you’re not pushing It towards the fielders and making a play at second possible. From pitch one Lincecum was turning too late, so it’s no surprise that he popped out and ruined an opportunity to move up his runner.

In the other dugout, I think it was Kinsler, who made the most elementary of baserunning errors and threw away his infield single. After running through first, he made a move towards second before realizing that the ball hadn’t gotten past Aubrey Huff. Heads up fielding by Huff to immediately tag Kinsler out.

Box Score says the Giants used 5 pitchers in the final 2 innings: For a bullpen that gets as much credit as the Giants, I am a bit sad that Bochy used so many pitchers to close out the last two innings when we had a four run lead going into the eighth and a 7 run lead going into the ninth and there’s a game tomorrow. I just don’t think it’s worth the risk of having a sore bullpen.

Bright sides to the game:

It was nice to see some 3-2 counts. A characteristic swing happy team finally worked the count and got Lee out early. They were disciplined and made Lee throw over 100 pitches before getting retired.

Santiago Casilla came out hard after struggling a bit with Philly. No issues today.

Freddy Sanchez hitting 4 for 5. Our number 1 and 2 hitters are finally producing and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Juan Uribe. The following is a quote from a gchat conversation I was having with a friend around the fourth inning.

Me: “Uribe wants a homerun or nothing. Bad hitting.”

Friend: “It’s Juan Uribe. Of course it’s bad hitting.”

This friend is a Dodgers fan, so I was thrilled when he jinxed Uribe for the better and Uribe made it to those fences he was swinging for. Although his 4 at bats today included 3 swinging strikeouts (the true box score of someone looking for a homerun), I couldn’t be happier with the timing of his hit. Just as the Rangers pulled Cliff Lee hoping that that would be the end of their woes for the day, Uribe crushed it and kicked them while they were down. Wonderful and much appreciated.

Taking the first game was huge for the Giants, and more important is making sure they win as many home games as possible since it’s not gonna be easy in Texas.

I would love to see the Giants bring a championship to San Francisco, but I’d really rather see it in a good series. Tomorrow I’m hoping for the good starting pitching this series promised and less than 6 errors.

I would just like to conclude by responding to another comment made to me earlier, and say that I still don’t believe Cliff Lee is human.

I repeat: NOT HUMAN


It’s League Championship Series time and, boy, did I get it wrong.  Before the divisional series started I thought Minnesota, Tampa, Philadelphia and San Francisco would all go through.  Well, I got half of it right.  I though the Giants had too much pitching for the Braves and the same went for Philadelphia against the Reds.  I was right about that part.  The other two games, not so much.

The Twins finished the season playing .620 baseball over the last two months while the Yankees limped in going 29-30 in August and September.  Maybe the loss of Justin Morneau was too much for 3rd best hitting team in the majors.  Having Joe Mauer bat .250 with no extra-base hits didn’t help either.


Joe Mauer will OWN baseball someday, just not this year


Cliff Lee and Texas were too much for the Rays.  When you’re 26th in batting during the regular season, like the Rays were, it’s hard to score runs when you fall behind.  A team like the Rangers can get hot in a hurry, Tampa can’t.


New York Yankees v Texas Rangers

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1 @ Texas – CC Sabathia v C.J Wilson

Game 2 @ Texas – Phil Hughes v Colby Lewis

Game 3 @ NY – Cliff Lee v Andy Petitte

Game 4 @ NY – Tommy Hunter v A.J. Burnett

The rest of the games are TBD.  Game 5 is also in New York and the final two games are in Texas, if necessary.

Sabathia and Hughes are probably the better pitchers in the first two games.  A win by either or both would be huge for New York.  Game three is where it gets tricky.  Andy Petitte has been money whenever the Yanks have needed him in the postseason but he’s no Cliff Lee.  Lee is 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA lifetime in the postseason.  He went 2-0 with 21 strikeouts in two starts against the Rays.  Texas is paying the price for not closing out Tampa in the ALDS.  I’m sure the Rangers would’ve wanted Lee and/or Tommy Hunter in those first two games in Texas.


Can he stay hot?


Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz tore it up for Texas against Tampa but they will need Josh Hamilton and Michael Young to find their swings if they want to beat New York.  Kinsler batted .444 (8/18) with 3 homers and 6 RBI.  Cruz went 8/20 (.400) with 3 homers but struck out six times.  That might be a problem against the Yankees.  Hamilton and Young went a combined .132 (5/38) with six strikeouts each.

Curtis Granderson is batted .455 (5/11) against the Twins.  He only batted .247 in the regular season.  Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have seven hits between them but they’re all singles and that won’t be enough for the Yankees to get by.  As a team Texas is batting .254 while the Yankees come in at .314.  Can the Yankees keep up this pace?

I saw on ESPN where they have the team matchups and they gave the edge to Texas in coaching.  How do you figure?  Am I wrong or did Joe Girardi win the World Series last year?


San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1 @ Philadelphia – Tim Lincecum v Roy Halladay

Game 2 @ Philadelphia – Jonathan Sanchez v Cole Hamels

Game 3 @ San Francisco – Roy Oswalt v Matt Cain

Game 4 @ San Francisco – TBD v TBD

Joe Blanton (Philadelphia) and Madison Bumgarner (SF) are the other starting pitchers but either or both teams might opt for a three-man rotation.  Game 5 is also in San Francisco and the final two games are in Philadelphia, if necessary.

Make sure to watch game one of this series.  Even if your team is not playing right now and you have no interest in this game, this is a must see game.  Lincecum and Halladay are two of the top pitchers in the game over the last three seasons.  If you like baseball, you’ll love this game.  Tim Lincecum threw a complete game one-hit shutout against the Braves in game one of their series.  Roy Halladay did him one better by throwing the second no-hitter in postseason history against the Reds in game one of that series.  I can’t say it enough, watch this game.


You usually don't want to bet against this guy


Jonathan Sanchez and Cole Hamels are similar in regular season stats.  Hamels threw a complete game shutout with 9 strikeouts to clinch the series against Cincinnati.  Sanchez gave up 1 earned run with 11 strikeouts in a no-decision against Atlanta.

Roy Oswalt and Matt Cain are also similar in stats but Oswalt has a lower ERA.  Cain went 6.2 innings with 0 earned runs in a no-decision against the Braves.  Oswalt only lasted 5 innings in his only outing, giving up 3 earned runs and 2 home runs.  This matchup could determine who wins this series.

Neither team is hitting particularly well.  Both teams hit .212 in their divisional series.  Don’t expect that number to get any higher in the first game.

Who Wins:

Philadelphia has too much pitching not to win this series.  Roy Oswalt only needs an above average game to beat the Giants.

Same goes for New York, too much pitching.  Sabathia and Hughes are better than Wilson and Lewis.  Lee should be able to handle Petitte.  It’s game four that will be huge.  A.J. Burnett was terrible in the regular season.  He went 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA.  Tommy Hunter went 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA in the regular season but lasted only 4 innings against the Rays.  Is A.J. Burnett better than a 10-15 pitcher?  Yes.  Can he show it against the Rangers?  That remains to be seen.


Which A.J. Burnett will show up?


Get ready for a Philly – New York World Series.  I’m sure the rest of the country can’t wait for that.


I'd watch this, again.


College football is finally here. And next week we’ll celebrate the beginning of the NFL season. These events also signify the end of the awkward time of year when baseball needs to carry the weight for the four major sports.

As a final thank you to baseball for providing entertainment during the hockey, football, and basketball offseasons, I’d just like to sum up a few key moments from the last couple months.

The Kid retires- Ken Griffey finally called it quits. After a few weeks of being treated like shit by the media, Griffey Jr. finally gave in and announced his retirement. This maybe hit me a little harder as he was one of my first childhood heroes, but his end to baseball was unfitting for one of the most respected players in baseball history. He was one of the few clean players able to make a name for himself during the steroid era and will be an easy Hall of Famer. While the asterisk has been used as a notation for the substance abusers of the past decade, Griffey Jr. should be the one with the asterisk next to his name so that the future will always remember that his numbers are an understatement of his dominance and there’s no telling how much more he could have produced in a non-steroid era. I think we all wish he had decided he had to retire at the end of last year, but at least he ended on a high note with the walk off hit.

Ken Griffey Jr.* *Never tested positive for, or was accused of, substance abuse during baseball's "Steroid Era".

Ozzie can’t keep his damn mouth shut- Let’s at least give him credit that he brought up a good, debatable issue. Too bad he can never present anything in a reasonable manner. The comparison of a Spanish speaking player to a Japanese speaking player in the United States is just not bringing tons of sympathy. He really just highlighted how hard Japanese players have it and how few people speak Japanese in the US. Of course, he is correct that non-native English speakers should always have access to translators if they feel they need it, and hopefully he’s encouraged all new players to work this into their contracts, but why did he continue with his banter about how he’s the only one warning Latinos about drug use? Especially when the League is spending much more time warning Latinos about drug use than they are warning Asians. And bringing up the mention of rookie salary when there’s a clear difference of signing an inexperienced player from Latin America and a player who has already proven himself in an Asian professional league. Guillen definitely has some points and is bringing up things that should be considered, but it would be nice if he would realize that these are highly debatable issues and there are clear arguments against his emotional rambling.

The Cardinals and Reds put on a show- It was a dick move, but HILARIOUS (maybe not for Cardinals fans) when Brandon Phillips decided to publicly shit talk St Louis. One day before playing them, he actually called them “bitches”…”all of them”. It would have been disappointing if a brawl hadn’t broken out. Those front row, behind the plate seats were worth every penny as the whole field got pushed up against the backstop. The show included beatings left and right, including kicks in the head provided by Red’s pitcher Johnny Cueto. And hey, Ozzie, one of his teammates acted as his translator during his press interview.

"I hate the Cardinals. All they do is bitch and moan about everything, all of them, they're little bitches, all of 'em."

A-Rod, with a struggle, hit 600 homeruns- This really wasn’t that exciting. Maybe it was for A-Rod personally, but for the public, no. For the last 10 years, we’ve all been waiting for him to do this. No one ever doubted it would happen. What was interesting to me, though, was the little coverage on his steroid use. A-Rod is destined to be the homerun king, but while Barry Bonds’ road to the top was covered by hateful media as he became the face for the steroid era, A-Rod’s is glory, media support, and maybe one line thrown in about his steroid use. As a Giants fan and a Bonds fan, I can’t say that I’m not bitter about this.

The Nationals’ had a rookie sensation for a couple months- He was all I heard about for weeks. The anticipation was incredible. He was supposed to be the biggest thing to happen to baseball. And he actually lived up to his hype in his first start. He dominated. His rookie card went for an absurd amount of money, a stupid amount of money, even if he had continued playing well. Instead, we saw the rookie pitcher’s season come to a halt within a few months of his MLB debut.  The rookie phenom just underwent Tommy John surgery, which will keep him out all next season. Hopefully he can bounce back and continue to live up to his reputation, but we’ll have to wait until the 2012 season to find out.

As a side note, keep an eye on Buster Posey. As a rookie, he’s been carrying the Giants in their playoff race, and has put up incredible numbers thus far. He’s currently hitting .329 with 10 homeruns and 54 RBIs (about 1/10 of the Giants’ total RBIs) in just 82 games.

100 game winners? – As the season comes to end we should have some excitement to see if either the Yankees or the Rays can reach 100. Although both are on pace to break 100, their 7 games against each other in the final weeks and the almost certainty that they will both be going to playoffs make this a bit less likely.

To summarize:

Dear MLB, thanks for, once again, getting us through summer.

-The Sand-Rant

Joba Walks

Posted: August 27, 2010 by The Bearded Guy in Baseball
Tags: , , , , ,

Recently ESPN’s Rick Reilly did a story about a blind Yankees’ a fan named Jane who walks to approximately 30 games a year on a trip that takes her 2 and half hours.  The story reminds me of some of real good stuff when he was on the back page of SI, a moving piece about life and sports. It was also a great public relations move  (They surely wouldn’t have done it without all the press knowing about it).  My interest is why aren’t we talking more about Nebraska native and current Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain’s walking abilities or why didn’t Reilly include the second part of the Joba quote:

“Hey! Slow down!”….”I haven’t made this walk since last Spring!”

I mean, wasn’t it rather recently (late 2008) that he was arrested for a DUI?  If this is the case, maybe he and Jane could walk together more often, but alas the state laws only suspended his license for 60 days for a first time  offense.

But consider if Joba took this stance, ‘I am going to walk every day to Yankee home games.  I know I am going to go out and have some drinks after the game with either my teammates, or some good-looking fan and I want to make the responsible decision, and not repeat a past mistake. I want to show people I have really learned.’

It would be a revolutionary move in Public Relations, and plenty of reporters would come out with the Yankee pitcher and paint him as a face of responsibility. Imagine that someone going out partying as a young professional athlete while also being the spokesperson for responsibility.


The Bearded Guy

There have been an outrageous amount of horrible calls and missed calls throughout this World Cup, that have spurred renewed conversation of FIFA’s use of technology and instant replay during the World Cup. With most of the talk being motivated by horrible foul calls, I’m really hoping this doesn’t happen. I’m not against instant replay. I think it has its place in football (the American type) and basketball. And although I would agree with The Mark, who earlier wrote about his opposition to using replay in baseball (see Baseball Is Just Fine The Way It Is), I really don’t have a strong opposition to it in baseball, I would just like to keep the game as traditional as possible…but with the addition of steroids, the designated hitter, the wild card, and relief pitchers in the last half decade, I’m basically giving up my hopes on that. While I think instant replay may have a place in soccer, it’s a small place at best, and wouldn’t help right the foul calls that have people upset.

For Foul Calls?

My opposition pretty much comes down to one thing, soccer is just too fast paced to have instant replay. Replay is fine in other sports that have breaks and adequate time between plays. Football, there’s almost always a 30 second break after each play, except for in the sadly underused no huddle offense; In basketball when each team has 5-6 timeouts per half and there are 30 stops for free throws per game, they are not concerned with adding a couple more breaks to review questionable calls. Soccer on the other hand has zero timeouts per game and rarely has stops over a couple seconds. There are hardly pauses for most foul calls, as most teams are trying to get the game going before the other team has a chance to reset. This sort of play also allows for an advantage to the most physically fit team, so to add a break for instant replay would take away strategy and advantage from the game.

If they don’t decide to stop the game, then the other option would be to let play resume and review, but how would they correct the call. Reverse the call and reset the game clock to where it was? Offer a makeup call? Basically, when it comes down to putting instant replay in effect, you can either stop the game and ruin the pace of the game or you can let the game proceed and have no effective way to reverse an incorrect call.

Also consider though, since there is so much interpretation involved in what’s a foul, yellow, and red card, it’s practically impossible to have a perfectly called game. What I think is a yellow card is a foul to someone else, what some else thinks is a red, I think is a yellow. Is a player intentionally hitting someone or was it an accident (foul or yellow)? Replay will never solve the difference in interpretation and if done by a review booth, could potentially cause inconsistency in calls.

If any of the people who were bitching that instant replay was necessary in soccer for foul calls could please tell me how they planned on enacting it without destroying the game, that would be greatly appreciated.

For Goals, Red Cards?

I will agree with the pro-instant replay people that it should be used on goals (unless sensors start getting used, which would be even better). Unlike most other stops to the game, this stop is longer, with adequate time to review the call from a booth. And it’s the most crucial part of the game to call correctly. I don’t see this having a huge effect on the game except ensuring accuracy.

There are some areas that still lie in a gray area for me, though, such as the review of red cards. I don’t think it was fair that Kaka had to sit out a game for his slight brush against Keita that sent him (evidently convincingly enough) crashing to the ground in the worst imaginary injury to date in the World Cup. All review showed that this was simply a case of Keita abusing slight contact and the ref’s bad view of the situation. So, do we undermine the refs and review double yellows? And again, do we undermine them and tell them that what they saw as an intentional foul, which should merit a yellow, we happened to feel was unintentional and should simply be a foul call? I think there should still be no instant replay with these, since it’s just too complicated to reverse, just as I said with a regular foul call, but it hurts me to say that when there are clear mistakes being made.

So We Just Let The Horrible Officiating Continue?

There’s bound to be error in soccer, I know. It’s very difficult to be in proper position when the ball is moving so quickly, there’s no way to always be in a correct position to see any possible call and foul, and to add to that, the ref is running the whole time while trying to keep an eye on 22 people at once. But I’m not asking for perfection, I’m just asking for the copious amount of bullshit calls to be reduced to a small handful.

While I disagree with instant replay, there needs to be some change in the officiating. I don’t know that I can stand to watch another World Cup where players spend more time on the ground fake crying than up on their feet actually playing the game; I’ve already lived through Vlade Divac’s career and don’t care to see this type of play in any sport again.

Other solutions.

More refs. Baseball has 4 umps for a max of 13 players and they are watching a much more limited area of play, and all of this with more time to react, instant replay for homeruns, the ability to consult each other, and even more umps in playoffs. Football has 7 officials for 22 players and are watching 1 direction of play (for the most part) and all of this with only one play going on at a time, time to consult, instant replay, and booth review. Basketball has 3 officials for 10 players and are watching on a much more limited court size, and all this with the ability to consult and have instant replay. Basically what we see with soccer is there are fewer officials, more players, and due to the speed of the game and the inability to consult at length, 2 of the 3 officials have a lot of power taken out of their hands and the power really lies with the head ref. This has just been encouraging the fake fouls, since the players are taking advantage of the lack of vision on the field. I think the addition of more refs, (maybe another on field, and split power like in basketball?) would discourage this embarrassing behavior.

"The foul's, who cares?"-Coulibaly

Explanations. One thing that’s clearly necessary is justification of calls. I don’t think that the Coulibaly call is evidence of a need for replay as much as it’s evidence for mandatory explanations. The Bearded Man just wrote about this in his recent controversial post Why The World Cup Sucks and I absolutely, absolutely agree. The fact that he is unable to say who the foul is being called on is unacceptable. Even worse is FIFA’s avoidance to address the issue. Even as quick paced as the game is, he does have the two seconds it takes to tell a scorekeeper the players number. There’s no point in having headsets if they’re clearly not being used properly.

All I can say, is hopefully some sort of change will be made. I would like instant replay to stay out of the game, but if it does in fact sneak its way in, at least I won’t have to watch another miserable World Cup with the refs being the third team on the field.

-The Sand-Rant

Yes, Armando Galarraga got jobbed out of a perfect game.  No, that doesn’t mean baseball needs to start thinking about installing instant replay for every single play.  The worst thing MLB could do is have instant replay.  It would be a knee-jerk reaction that would damage the game that hasn’t quite recovered from labor strife in the mid-90’s.

Perfect games aren't that special anymore anyway. There's already been two this year.

Baseball is no longer America’s favorite pastime.  The NFL is king and baseball will never be able to touch football when it comes to fan interest and the amount of money it generates.  The 1994 strike damaged the game and you could say it never really came all the way back.  Sure, the long ball brought fans back but not everyone.  Baseball and baseball writers looked the other way when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were launching cartoonish bombs out of every stadium they went to in 1998.  Remember the jacks Sosa and Jason Giambi were hitting at Miller Park during the All Star game in 2002?  MLB and ESPN were eating it up and now they’re both disgusted with the players of that time and all the reports of PEDs.  Sometimes how we remember things and how they actually happened aren’t the same.

You let it happen Bud because baseball needed them

Now, Armando Galarraga is about to throw the 21st perfect game in baseball history, the 19th of the modern era, but a horrible call by first base umpire Jim Joyce spoiled the party.  Immediately the guys at the Worldwide Leader jumped on it and instant replay was all the rage with the talking heads.  Bud Selig, who seldom gets things right said it best when he said, “the human element has always been an integral part of baseball.”  The thing that makes baseball great, in my opinion, is that humans are in charge.  And, as we all know, humans make mistakes.  Sometimes the ball that outfielder dove for was a trap, sometimes that called third strike was a bit low and sometimes the runner is out when the umpire calls him safe.

I F'd up, it happens

As much as Selig has always opposed instant replay, he may have no choice but to give in on this one because you know the owners will be breathing down his neck.  The owners would be making a big mistake getting replay involved in every game.  The games are already long enough and kids aren’t flocking to the game like they used to.  Do you think more stoppages and longer games will help?  World Series games already end at close to 12 a.m. on the east coast.  I can envision games lasting until 1 a.m if replay is involved.

I was talking to a guy, let’s call him Tom, and he liked the idea of instant replay.  On a side note, this conversation really happened.  It wasn’t someone else’s conversation that I heard or read and made my own.  You’d be surprised how often this happens, even in Korea. Back to replay.  Tom thinks that because someone is already at the stadium watching the replays then why not have him do it officially.  The replay guy could butt in between pitches if he thinks a play should go the other way.  No challenges or anything.  He can just call down whenever he feels like it to change the game.  Sounds easy but what about the managers getting pissed and coming out to argue the overturned call?  That won’t make the game any faster.  Calls on the bases, catches, stolen bases, etc….  When does it stop?  Soon people will be clamoring for pitches to be reviewed and that will add to the nightmare.

I hope we don't see this in Major League Baseball

Don’t fix baseball ’cause it’s not really broken.  The players might be bigger, faster, stronger but the game is still the same as it’s always been.  Sometimes the guys in blue get it wrong but hey, it happens.  Don’t give in Bud, you’ve hurt the game enough.

It's the same game Stan "The Man" played

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come. ”  -James Earl Jones, Field of Dreams”