Cubs lose first challenge in MLB history (Video)

First-MLB-challengeCan you think of a more fitting way for Major League Baseball to debut its new instant replay system than for the Chicago Cubs to lose a challenge? Neither can we.

The first regular season instant replay challenge in MLB history took place in the fifth inning of Chicago’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija bunted into a double play with runners on first and second, and Chicago manager Rick Renteria believed Samardzija had beaten the throw to first.

Renteria called timeout and told crew chief John Hirschbeck that he wanted the play to be reviewed. Hirschbeck then called the replay command center in New York and the play stood as called. The entire process lasted about a minute and a half.

Do the Cubs know how to lose or do the Cubs know how to lose?

NFL adding centralized replay center to help referees

instant replayNFL owners voted on Tuesday to allow a centralized replay center that will assist referees with their replay reviews.

The centralized replay center will be the Officiating Command Center in New York, where there are feeds of every game being played. Those in the replay center will be able to communicate with referees on reviews through headsets and will be able to begin reviewing plays before the officials do.

Though the ultimate calls will be made by the referees, the NFL is adding the reviews to ensure mistakes are not made.

“It’s still a referee review; he has the ultimate authority. We’ll come to a consensus. We’re certainly not going to let him make a mistake, but the referee has the final authority on the call,” said NFL VP of officiating, Dean Blandino.

The NFL joins MLB and the NHL when it comes to using a centralized replay system.

I’m sure all the conspiracy theorists out there probably just think this another way for the league to Buffalo Wild Wings the game, but it probably will help to have the ability to hear from someone else about replays. That should help refs make the right calls.

Joe Girardi: Managers could use challenges to take pitcher out of rhythm

Joe GirardiMost baseball fans agree that integrating expanded replay review into the game is a good thing for MLB, but there could be some unintended consequences.

MLB owners will vote in November on extending the plays that can be reviewed with instant replay. The expansion will go into effect pending approval from the owners, players, and umpires.

Managers will get the opportunity to challenge one reviewable play from the first through sixth innings, and they will get two more challenges after that. MLB has not finalized the list of reviewable plays, but they should listen to the comments of Joe Girardi when making their decisions.

The New York Yankees manager had an interview with WFAN’s Joe and Evan on Friday and discussed how managers could use expanded replay challenges to their benefit.

“You might even see [managers use challenges] just to take a pitcher out of his rhythm,” Girardi told the hosts. “There’s a lot of things that could go into that. All of us will do what we think is best for our club in a lot of situations.”

Girardi also stressed the importance of the clubhouse video guys for determining whether managers should use challenges. He said you’ll have to trust what your players tell you and what your video assistants recommend.

“[You have to listen to your players] and I believe your video guys are going to have to be pretty quick. I think your video guys are going to become a lot more important because of that,” Girardi said.

I’m not sure how MLB will be able to manage the situation. In tennis, players sometimes use their challenges to give themselves a rest or to similarly try taking an opponent out of rhythm, as Girardi suggests This may be one of the consequences of adding replay, but I think it’s a minor one in comparison to the benefit of getting more calls right.

Thanks to LBS tipster David

Angel Hernandez may not have overturned call in protest of instant replay

Angel Hernandez Bob MelvinAngel Hernandez and his umpiring crew refused to overturn an Adam Rosales hit in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s Oakland A’s-Cleveland Indians game despite instant replay showing the ball went out of the park. Had Rosales’ hit been correctly ruled a home run instead of a double, it would have tied the game. Nobody could figure out why Hernandez’s crew did not overturn the call despite reviewing the play on instant replay, but Peter Gammons offered a theory.

During an interview on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Friday, Gammons said he and others thought that Hernandez may have ignored the instant replay out of opposition for the technology.

“Well that was certainly the impression many of us had,” Gammons said. “You couldn’t rationalize seeing what he was able to see and say, ‘it was a double.’”

Hernandez refused to allow a reporter to record his comments after the game. He only said there wasn’t 100 percent evidence to overturn the call.

“It wasn’t evident on the TV we had [that] it was a home run,” Hernandez said, via MLB.com. “I don’t know what kind of replay you had, but you can’t reverse a call unless there is 100 percent evidence, and there wasn’t 100 percent evidence.”

Gammons said he thinks MLB does not pressure umpires to speak with the media after games to alleviate tension between the league and the umpires union.

Though the call was wrong, Gammons does think the mistake and backlash can lead to a good change.

“I do think that this sort of almost belligerence to ignore the replay is just going to move baseball to a better system of replay,” Gammons said.

So is that why Hernandez and his crew refused to overturn the call? Or did they really not see 100 percent evidence the ball traveled out of the park the way everyone else did? I have a hard time believing that they could have watched that replay and not seen the ball go out.

Many umpires dislike instant replay because they dislike admitting they were wrong. I guess this is one way to keep from admitting it.

Adam Rosales robbed of home run after umpires blow instant replay (Video)

Adam Rosales was robbed of a game-tying home run after the umpires blew an instant replay review in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game between the Oakland A’s and Cleveland Indians.

The A’s were down 4-3 with two outs in the top of the ninth. Rosales was facing Indians closer Chris Perez and took him deep to left. The ball traveled out of the park and hit the railing in front of the seats in the left field bleachers. It deflected off the railing and hit off the top of the wall, landing back in play. Rosales ran out the play and ended up with a double.

Despite reviewing the play on instant replay, the umpires gave Rosales a double instead of a home run. Oakland got the next two runners on, but Seth Smith grounded out with the bases loaded to end the game.

In the screenshot below, you can see that the ball hit off the iron fence:

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Bud Selig believes baseball needs more instant replay and less champagne

Bud Selig would like to see some changes in his game in 2013, one of which I imagine will be well-received while the other will result in him being called a Scrooge. For starters, Selig wants expanded instant replay. He made that clear during a recent Q & A with Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

“I think we’ll have it for sure,” he said when asked about instant replay. “They’re working on cameras in all the ballparks. We need the right cameras. Should we have them by next year? We’d better.”

If the man in charge says we are probably going to see instant replay next season, it’s probably safe to assume it’s coming. What makes Selig’s comments particularly interesting is that it was only a few months ago that he said baseball didn’t need expanded replay because attendance numbers were fine. Perhaps he now realizes that was a dumb thing to say, or maybe he knows horrible calls like this one shouldn’t be affecting the outcome of playoff games.

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Nate McLouth barely misses out on home run off foul pole (Video)

The Orioles missed tying Game 5 of the ALDS against the Yankees by inches when umpires ruled that a fly ball hit by left fielder Nate McLouth was foul.

McLouth was batting in the top of the sixth with the Orioles down 1-0 went he blasted a 3-1 pitch deep down the right field line. The ball seemed to be foul, but then it started curving toward the pole at the last second.

The initial call by the right field umpire was that the ball was foul. The umpires gathered to review the play using instant replay, and let the original call on the field stand. McLouth struck out on the next pitch.

Later in the game, TBS sideline reporter Craig Sager says he spoke with an usher who believed the ball “nicked” the foul pole.

Replays were inconclusive, but after seeing zoomed-in, spot-shadowed looks on TBS, I believe it did touch the pole. The trajectory of the ball changed as it got to the pole.

Instead of being tied 1-1, the Orioles remained down 1-0 and didn’t get on the board until the eighth inning. They lost the game 3-1, and the Yankees advanced to the ALCS.

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