Another week is in the books in the Bronx and things are getting shaky. The Yankees suffered some big blows in last night’s Red Sox games with even more injuries striking our roster. C.C. almost looked good for an entire outing but fell apart at the end. Carlos Beltran has found his stroke and Brian McCann looks like he’s just about settled in to the Yankees’ lineup. And then there was that series with the Red Sox.
It is always great to take any series from the Red Sox, especially when it puts the Yankees in a tie for first and the Red Sox into last place. There were consequences, however. As always, in any Red Sox’ and Yankees’ series, there had to be a little controversy. The Bronx is boiling, folks, and I need to blow some steam.
INSTANT REPLAY IS KILLING ME
I can’t stand it. I love baseball, don’t get me wrong. But it is a very long game already. Replay is already making it feel longer just two weeks into the season. Here are a couple interesting stats I found to take a look at:
1. Excluding Sunday’s games, there were already 64 challenges in the 141 total games that had been played. 21 of those said challenges have been overturned. Think about that. That is 1,269 innings of baseball and replay has been used on a minuscule 64 plays. The umps have been wrong 32% of the time on calls in which replay has been needed. Those numbers seem microscopic compared to how much longer it feels games are taking to be played. It also comes out to one mistake every 6.7 games. Think about how many innings and at-bats occur in a game. ONE mistake in every 6.7 games is remarkable.
2. Reviews are averaging over two minutes per challenge (2:15 to be precise). That’s just flat out annoying.
Take that information and let it sink in for a second. Then think about the fact that this weekend at Yankee Stadium, against the Red Sox nonetheless, the umps blew a call not just once, BUT TWICE with the use of replay. That’s just fantastic. Of course the first muffed replay call has to be in a Yankees game. Now I will have to hear from every Yankee hater in the nation how once again WE are the world’s biggest cheaters due to an umpire not doing his job correctly.
For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, flashback to Saturday’s game against the Red Sox. Dean Anna hit a double and slid head first into second base where he was called safe. This was the correct call. However, as he slid through second base, his foot came off the bag and he was tagged out. John Farrell rightfully challenged the play. What ensued was that anyone watching the replay on TV clearly saw that Anna was out, however, the umpires did not. The double was upheld. Luckily, it had no impact on the outcome of the game.
John Farrell told reporters after the game that the Red Sox had five clear views of the blown call. The Yankees and Yankees’ fans at home did as well. The umpires, however, did not. How is this acceptable? How are you wasting our time with a replay that the umpires don’t have the conclusive view that some fat, hairy, drunkard sitting on his couch watching NESN has on his TV. That’s just flat out embarrassing for MLB and, as I said, of course it has to happen in a Yankees’ game.
Sunday evening had another questionable call. As ESPN announcer John Kruk pointed out during the replay, according to the rules laid out for instant replay, the play was called correctly. It was awfully close though. Francisco Cervelli was legging out a fielder’s choice. He came across the bag as the ball hit Mike Napoli’s glove. According to Kruk’s interpretation of the rule, the glove must be closed to be considered an out, in which case the play was correctly overturned and a run, the game winning run, scored. Joh Farrell then made history as the first manager thrown out arguing a replay. It was a really close play. If it had been the other way around, I would hope Girardi would be in an umpire’s face arguing it as well. Then again, I would hope Girardi would have ample people on his bench in case of injuries in a baseball game, but as we saw tonight, he doesn’t. (Seriously, how do you not carry a third catcher when you are playing your primary back-up at another position? It is a recipe for disaster… but I digress.)
When all is said and done, the Yankees won the series. It’s just ashame that it had to be a run which was the end result of yet another highly questionable replay in the Bronx. It’s a new process that the umpires and MLB are still adjusting to, so more mistakes are on the way. It’s almost as if Bud Selig scripts it so these muffed calls happen on the biggest stage with the two biggest media circuses covering it. If you weren’t aware of the MLB’s new replay rules, America, you sure are now. And what does Bud Selig care if you blame him for a flawed system? He’s out of here in less than a year!
Well, today is an off day. Hopefully this all blows over and Girardi figures out how to adjust our roster and deal with all of these injuries. I’m just glad we Yankee fans get to go to sleep up 3-1 on the Red Sox and above .500 our first two weeks into 2014.