After further review, why stop with HR calls?
Now that baseball's glorious era of instant replay is one whole week old, we'd like to let our good friend Bud Selig know exactly what we think of his latest innovation:Bud, it's great. It's long overdue. We're grateful to you for making it happen. Now let's start tweaking it already. Yes, friends, we're here to inform the commissioner that he can make the replay era even better than it is now.
- 1. Fair or foul.
2. Trap or catch.
3. Correctly positioning runners after fan interference or an overturned call, and
4. Sorry to be sacrilegious, but (gasp) even for selected out-safe calls on the bases.
Bud [Selig] is not there yet. But most clubs think this is just the beginning.
--A club official, on the future of replay
The umpires get 2½ minutes to look at the replay. And no more arguing -- from anybody. No spitting. No hat-throwing. No dirt-kicking. If anybody wants to create a spectacle after a reviewed call, it's an automatic suspension, with longer suspensions to come for multiple offenders."So it would create less confrontation," said one NL executive. "And that would be a positive." Right you are. But it wouldn't even be the biggest positive. And neither would the whole new level of second-guessing you'd be handing over to fans, who could then complain nonstop about how their favorite managers were using the red fungo. No, the biggest positive couldn't be more obvious: You'd get more calls right. Big calls. Game-turning calls. Even season-turning calls.
OK, gang. Test the Cy Young Award trivia portion of your brains. CC Sabathia won the AL Cy Young last year, and he's a contender for the NL Cy Young this year. Only one active pitcher has won a Cy Young in one league one season, then finished in the top two in the other league the next year. Can you name him? (Answer later.)
Ready to Rumble• Deadline, schmeadline: Now that the Pedro Alvarez controversy has raised the issue of MLB improperly extending deadlines, how come nobody has investigated what happened at the trading deadline? There has been nonstop buzz in the industry for weeks that MLB extended the 4 p.m. ET July 31 trading deadline by as much as a half-hour to accommodate the Red Sox, Pirates and Dodgers in completing the Manny Ramirez/Jason Bay trade. Of course, Scott Boras wouldn't make an issue of that, because he needed to get his esteemed client, Manny, to a new destination.
Headline of the Week
From the highly amusing parody site, serioussportsnewsnetwork.com:
Quote of the Week
From Ozzie Guillen on 5-foot-9 Dustin Pedroia, a guy the White Sox kept off the bases exactly three times in 15 trips to the plate in a three-game series last weekend:"I never thought I would walk a jockey. I must be the worst manager in the history of baseball right now, walking a guy that just came from being on top of Big Brown to beat the White Sox."
Stat of the week
Pitchers who've recorded the most 1-2-3 saves in 2008:
• "What might have been" dept., Take II: Then there's Ty Wigginton. The Astros couldn't possibly have been more interested in unloading him earlier this year. So of course, he then went out last month and hit 12 homers, tying the high by any player in the big leagues in any calendar month this year."Anybody could have had him," said one NL exec. "All you had to do was ask. Just goes to prove again that sometimes, when you think you know what you know, you don't know anything."
Pedro Martinez won the National League Cy Young in 1997, finished second in the AL voting the next year, then won the next two AL Cy Youngs in 1999 and 2000.
Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com. His book, "The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History," was published by Triumph Books and is available in bookstores. Click here to order a copy.