Monday, May 25, 2009

Upon further review...

Fenway finally had its first instant replay review on Saturday, and then it went ahead and got another one on Sunday. Funny the way that works sometime. I like the idea of the replay. Nothing wrong with getting the call right. I was lucky enough to be at Saturday's game, so it was interesting to be able to see the whole thing work itself out.

First, the home run on Saturday was, unfortunately, obvious. The thing cleared the wall, and caromed back. When they umps called it a double at first, I assumed that I didn't know the ground rules. Nobody could miss that call, so clearly it wasn't a home run. One part that bothered me was the process. After the call, all the umpires huddled around and discussed it. Obviously, without replay, this would be the way to go. Get together and ask if anyone had a good view. But, there was replay. Shouldn't it have been a 2 second conversation to send someone to look at the video? What were they discussing?

The question I had about the play was Francona's argument. Apparently, he was arguing that the Mets third base coach physically held Sheffield to keep him at third...when everyone (in blue) thought it was just a double. Francona argued that Sheffield should be out, since the coach isn't allowed to touch the runner like that. Apparently, the answer he was given was that after the home run was called, Sheffield was awarded home, so it didn't matter. Was this just because of the replay? On a regular home run, you still have to run the bases properly to count. Even if the home run had been awarded after the ball clears the fence, you still have to touch all the bases, you can't pass another runner...that sort of thing. I could understand if Sheff was tagged out at home, they would reverse the out and let him score (although a similar type thing hosed Manny once) But, to not be called out for illegal baserunning? Home run, or no home run, the base coach can't direct a runner by touching him. I wonder what the distinction is.

One of these days, I gotta get myself a rulebook.

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