Is the game getting to technocratic… video gimmicks on game broadcasts? And, what’s with the long instant replays? That and more gets batted around by the MLBRT crew…
1) In the season-opening “Sunday Night Baseball” game between the Cardinals and the last weekend, the K-Zone… a box superimposed over the plate as a definition of the strike zone… remained on the screen throughout the plate appearances rather than being summoned by producers after the pitch. As each pitch crossed the plate, this provided an instantaneous read on whether it was a ball or a strike, and how the momentum in the ball-strike count had shifted.
What’s your opinion of keeping this graphic on the TV screen throughout the game during plate appearances?
Archie: It is another need gadget and promising technology, however I see it as another step toward eliminating the human factor (umpires) in MLB. For that reason I am not a fan of constantly having something on the screen that shows the inconsistencies in calling Balls/Strikes. For me it is okay if you want to show last pitch on pitch tracker to allow fans to decide for themselves when there is a controversy call, but every batter every pitch….no way.
Just televise the game as naturally as can be done.
Steve: I don’t have any problem with having the strike zone box after in regards to a replay and if the pitch was called correctly, but having it on the screen at all times is just annoying and looks ridiculous. So with it being on the screen all the time throughout the game, I don’t like it at all.
2) For the third time since Citi Field opened for the 2009 season, the NY Mets introduced a new outfield configuration for their home opener.
Should there be more oversight by MLB on how, often a team can change a field configuration within a certain time span?
Archie: I never thought about it before and I can see where it would be an advantage to the home team prior to the game if the home team has sufficient time to practice and get ready for it. I don’t think MLB should dictate the field configuration unless it becomes a safety issue for the players or fans. Hell, mixing things up from time to time gives the attending fans a distraction to talk about between innings.
Not sure what the time limit should be but changing the field 3 times in less than 6 years seems excessive to me and just a tad manipulative.
Steve: I look at it this way. Home field, is home field and the teams should be able to change it any time…AFTER THE SEASON. I don’t like the idea that teams can change the dimensions of the field mid-season or whatever. But you have to think, the two teams will play on an equal playing field, so they both will have to play with the dimensions of the ball park. While the home team will have the advantage because they play on it 81 games out of the year, its their field, so do what they need to do in the offseason.
3) Thursday night (4/16), during the Mets/Marlins game, Ichiro tried to score from third on a ground ball to the second baseman the throw was a tad wide and Ichiro made sprawling slide and tried to evade a seep tag by the catcher and touch home plate, there was no call by the ump, the catcher went to tag Ichiro as Ichiro tried to stretch and touch home the ump called him out. There was an appeal and although the video shown on TV was inconclusive the out call was reversed and Ichiro was ruled safe.
While the TV video was inconclusive… which if true means the out call should have been sustained… the replay officials may have had other video that showed Ichiro had touched the plate.
However, the replay officials took almost 6 minute before making the call.
In your opinion is this a valid use of the replay rule?
Archie: Well, it’s like you said, there may have been different footage that was not seen by TV fans. That is one faction of the whole replay process that I do not like as well. IF the fans cannot be shown the evidence used to overturn a call on the field then it should not be overturned. Now fans have even less faith that the system actually works. BS in my opinion.
Earl: 6 minutes is far too long. I saw the video, and it looked like Ichiro didn’t touch home plate. Don’t think the umps needed 6 minutes to make what is supposed to be a judgement call. I like the instant replay rule, but the umpires need to get that time limit down to a 2 minutes or less situation.
Joe: I saw the replay videos… many of them and from various angles… watched them over and over and over again… no choice… the replay officials took so damn long deciding what was what and the TV folks had to do something.
But, regardless the replay system should not take almost 6 minute for the replay officials to make a determination whether a call stands or does not stand.
I thought there had to be irrefutable evidence and that the evidence should be obvious. It ain’t obvious if it takes the officials almost 6 minutes to make up their minds.
Steve: Instant replay should be there for calls like this in an effort to get the call right. However, if it takes you six minutes to make a decision on a call, then obviously it cannot be conclusive of a call. An umpire should be able to make a solid decision within a minute and a half or less, anything outside of that is too much and should be deemed inconclusive, and the call should stand.
4) As of Friday night The Mets are 8-3 this season, tied for their 2nd-best 11-game start in team history… are they a legitimate playoff team this year or will they fade to be a middle of the pack team… good but not good enough?
Archie: IMO the Mets and Braves both will slide to second and third in the NL East. They both are playing good fundamental baseball right now and are fun to watch as a fan. I think one of them can continue good enough play to finish in the WC hunt. Still a long way to go before the end of the season.
Earl: The pitching is great. David Wright being hurt again is definitely an issue but I think the Mets will definitely be in the hunt this season. I think the Nationals take the NL East at the end of the day, but I expect the Mets to be very competitive in the Wild Card hunt.
Joe: Actually, I think their pitching is pretty damn good and their defense is better than adequate… so… if, they can score a bit more than they did than last year then they could be a surprise this year.
Steve: The Mets came into this season as a potential playoff contender. I think with Matt Harvey healthy, the Mets have a pretty solid pitching rotation, not to mention, they are able to score runs, which has been a downfall for them in years past. so yes, I think the Mets will be in the hunt all season long, though I think still that Washington will run away with the division. The Mets will most definately be a playoff contender though.
5) The Colorado Rockies (7-2) have matched the best start in team history and are undefeated through six road games for the first time. Same question for them as was just asked for the Mets… are they a legitimate playoff team this year or will they fade to be a middle of the pack team… good but not good enough?
Archie: I think it will be even tougher for the Rockies to finish in the playoff race. I just don’t see where they have the fire power or pitching to contend with the Padres and/or Dodgers once those two teams really get to cracking. It’s good to see them up front right now but like the Mets and/or Braves I can see them slipping to 3rd.
Earl: Nah, I’m not confident in the Rockies. Their advantage is playing in Denver’s thin air, but the summer heat will negate that some. The rest of the NL West will overwhelm them over the next few weeks.
The Rockies can hit, so, that’s not their problem… they can play decent defense, so, that’s not their problem… It’s the pitching that I think is suspect.
I think they fade as the season gets a little longer.
Steve: No, the Rockies are off to a great start, largely in part due to playing some pretty piss poor teams. Even the Giants this year probably will not amount to much as it is an odd year, and they only perform in even years. The Rockies have a good lineup, but they lack some solid pitching that will not hold up, especially when it gets warmer and the atmosphere in Denver weakens, then balls will fly out of Coors Field as usual. The Rockies have started hot the last couple years but just tend to fade around May. I see the same thing happening this season.
MLBRT Extra Innings…
Friday (4/17) was the 60th anniversary of Roberto Clemente making his major league debut with Pittsburgh Pirates. Clemente is considered by many experts to be the greatest defensive right fielder of all time winning 12 Gold Glove awards. He also was a great hitter as well… he totaled 3,000 hits, and, had a career batting average of .317. Clemente won four batting titles and made 12 All-star teams. He won the National League’s most valuable player in 1966, the World Series MVP in 1971, and was the first Latin American baseball player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
He played his entire career as a Pirate and in was on the Pirate teams that won two World Series championships in 1960 and 1971.
Clemente got his 3,000th major league hit in the very last plate appearance of his career during a 1972 regular season game.
That off season Clemente was tragically killed in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972 while helping deliver food and supplies to people in Nicaragua after a terrible earthquake left many without food, water or suitable lodging.
Clemente was a hero not only in sports but in life as well…
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