Umpires shockingly overturn call in Virginia-Ole Miss game on stolen base (GIF)

After watching this play on Friday night at the College World Series in a game between Virginia and Ole Miss, there is very little doubt that college baseball could use instant replay.

Virginia star hitter Mike Papi singled in the first inning for the Cavaliers and tried to steal second base with two outs. The throw beat him there, but Ole Miss’ infielder covering the bag never had control of the ball. In fact, the ball was actually on the infield dirt in front of second base when the umpire called out Papi.

Mike Papi stolen base Virginia

Though the half-inning initially ended, the umpires convened and decided to overturn the call. The game was being televised by ESPN and went to a commercial break after Papi was called out. When they came back from commercial, the umpires sent Ole Miss back out to the field and put Papi at second.

Not only did I share this because it was such a ridiculous call it needed extra attention, but also just because I like to type the name “Papi” and say it in my head while I’m reading it. Mike Papi. Mike Papi. Mike Papi. Oh, and kudos to the umps for doing what was most important: getting the call right.

Umpires use replay and still botch Yunel Escobar count (Video)

Yunel-Escobar-at-batThe umpiring crew that was working the Minnesota Twins-Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night completely botched one of Yunel Escobar’s at-bats, and instant replay somehow didn’t help. Escobar struck out in the bottom of the fifth, but the question of whether he fouled off a pitch appeared to mess everything up.

Why didn’t reviewing the sequence of pitches help? We have no idea. If you skip ahead to the 1:22 mark of the video above, you’ll see the pitch sequence to Escobar. The count was clearly 2-1 when he started to swing at a pitch that was up in the zone but stopped. It was unclear if he fouled it off or if it simply deflected off the catcher’s glove, but home plate umpire Paul Schreiber appeared to rule it a ball. That would have made the count 3-1.

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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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