|Indians manager Eric Wedge not interested in adding replay to baseball|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 05 October 2007 15:58|
To him, the NFL's instant replay procedure has no place in baseball.
``I hate that,'' Wedge said Friday, referring to the way pro football coaches ask the officials to review a controversial play.
Wedge was asked about the possibility of instant replay one day after a disputed leadoff homer by New York's Johnny Damon in Game 1.
Damon's shot to right field was initially ruled foul by umpire Jim Wolf, who was working the line. After the Yankees protested, the umpires huddled and crew chief Bruce Froemming overturned Wolf's call.
TV replays were inconclusive, but Craig Stammen, who caught the ball, said Damon's drive was fair.
``It hit me right in the stomach,'' Stammen said. ``It was fair all the way, but curving.''
Wedge said he lost the flight of Damon's ball in the sun's glare. He would favor instant replay only in such cases. Beyond that, he's not so sure.
``The old school in me doesn't like it,'' he said. ``The human aspect of the game is a big part of it. It's part of the history of the game.''
Indians general manager Mark Shapiro, too, believes controversial calls are part of baseball's appeal.
``I'm a big believer in the human element in the game,'' Shapiro said. ``I don't think you can do it on a play at the plate or on a trap or no trap. You start trying to figure out where runners go. You're going to stop the game and it will take too long.
``Home runs, fair and foul, we can get it right. We should get it right.''
Shapiro had little doubt that the umpires got Damon's call correct. He's also in favor of baseball taking a closer look at the possibility of adapting an instant-replay policy for such plays.
Major League Baseball has kicked around the idea of using instant replay in the past.
And following the dramatic ending of the San Diego-Colorado tiebreaker, which the Rockies won on a disputed play at the plate, the time may be ripe for more discussion about using technology to help the umpires.
``I'm sure it's going to be brought up,'' Shapiro said. ``If there are calls you can get right and do it quickly, why not do that? I haven't heard a good reason for why not.''
WAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL: Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, left off the first-round playoff roster when his sore back flared up, has been working out in case Boston makes it to the second round.
Wakefield threw the ball from 90 feet in the outfield during Thursday's off-day workout.
``He felt better,'' manager Terry Francona said Friday before Wakefield went through another warmup session in the outfield before Game 2 against the Los Angeles Angels. ``That all just goes on how he's feeling every day.''
Wakefield was 17-12 with a 4.76 ERA this season, and he was lined up to pitch out of the bullpen in the best-of-five series before an injury to the back of his shoulder flared up the day before the series opener. Lefty Jon Lester was placed on the playoff roster instead.
If the Red Sox advance to the AL championship series and Wakefield recovers, he is expected to be the No. 4 starter.
TARP KARMA: The last time the Phillies played at Coors Field, they were heroes in the truest sense of the word.
On July 8, there was a rain delay and a gust of wind sent the tarp out of control just as the grounds crew was covering the infield. Several of them quickly were trapped underneath it in a terrifying scene.
While the Rockies had already retreated to their clubhouse and were unaware of the developing drama, the Phillies were milling around their dugout and rushed onto the field to pull the men to safety.
``We're baseball players, yes, but we're also human beings,'' Phillies third baseman Gregg Dobbs said Friday. ``We're not just professional athletes that are only looking out for ourselves and not anyone else. We have families, we have friends, we have people we care about. You get into a situation like that, lending a helping hand is obviously way more important than a game.''
Dobbs said the group rescue brought the team together, too. They won that night - and were serenaded by an appreciative crowd when it was over - to take a 44-44 record into the All-Star break. They went 45-29 over the second half (Colorado went 46-29 after that night).
``I do believe in karma. Do I think that's going to have any effect on our game tomorrow? No,'' Dobbs said. ``But it was nice to leave here on a note like that where the fans acknowledged what kind of people we are, that we're human beings, we're not just Philadelphia Phillies.''
RATINGS UP: The first two days of baseball's playoffs averaged 4.6 million viewers per game on TBS, up 23 percent from the 3.7 million average last year on ESPN and FOX.
Cleveland's 12-3 rout of the New York Yankees on Thursday averaged 6.7 million, Arizona's 8-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs 4.6 million and Colorado's 10-5 win over Philadelphia 3.3 million.
The 5.3 rating for the Yankees-Indians' game was the highest for a TBS broadcast since June 2002.
NOT QUITE OUT: Four teams have won a division series after dropping the first two games, and Lou Piniella managed one: the 1995 Mariners. So if he decides to give a pep talk, the Cubs manager can draw on his experience.
Seattle dropped the first two games of the division series to the Yankees in New York but took the next three at the Kingdome, including a memorable 6-5 win in Game 5. The Yankees scored a run in the 11th to go up 5-4, but Edgar Martinez drove in Joey Cora and Ken Griffey Jr. with a double in the bottom half.
``It can be done,'' Piniella said. ``But again, you can't look past (Saturday's) game. (Saturday's) game is the one you need to win. It would be nice to win three games in one day, but it's not going to happen.''