It was announced today that Major League Baseball will begin using instant replay starting on Thursday. For now, video will be used on so-called "boundary calls", such as determining whether fly balls went over the fence or whether potential home runs were fair or foul.
Videos will be collected at the office of Major League Baseball Advanced Media in New York. If the crew chief at a game decides replay needs to be checked, umpires will leave the field, technicians from MLBAM will show umpires the video and the crew chief will make the call.
The reason that this decision has been rushed in is because of a bunch of missed calls and controversial plays during a two-week period in May. And you know that there is no way baseball wants to enter October without this available.
MLB has been saying that replay will not be expanded. But that is my one worry. Just like a bunch of missed calls happened back in May, what if a bunch of other missed calls happens during the next two weeks? Line drives down the lines, close calls at the plate, people will be screaming for replay. If there is enough heat from fans or ownership groups, I think replay will be expanded. That is why I am against all of this replay business. It will only open the door to expanding this to a lot more other calls. I hope I am wrong and MLB keeps it to only home run calls, but it will be a very sad day if this ever is expanded to more calls.
Games are already taking a very long time. The average time of games are around two and a half hours. How long will replay reviews take? Yes, you want to get the call right on a home run, but you don't want games lasting over three hours.
Another problem I have is when the playoffs start and the extra umpires are added to the games. The two extra umpires are placed on the left and right field lines. What my problem is is that these extra umpires stand right behind the first and third base umpires. Why are they so close? MLB should let the first and third base umps call fair/foul calls down the lines. They should then move the two extra umpires to left center field and right center field. That way they can be out there to see if a ball is really caught. They would also be closer to the walls to see if a ball leaves the yard. It would be much smarter that way instead of having the second base ump dashing to the outfield to try to make the call. Let the two extra umps take care of that.
All in all, it should be interesting to see how things are handled by MLB. Just keep the replay shenanigans to only home run calls and hopefully all of this will work out for the best.
Mark Buehrle pitched seven solids innings tonight to give the Sox their second consecutive shut-out against the Royals. Just when the bullpen had been depleted by pitching too many innings, Javy Vazquez and Mark Buehrle put in back to back solid games to give the bullpen some much needed rest. These two veterans need to start stepping it up for this club down the stretch and pitch some big balls games. The youngsters in Gavin Floyd and John Danks have been outstanding. But this team will only go as far as how well Vazquez and Buehrle pitch.
It was announced today that Lance Broadway will get the start for tomorrow's game against the Royals. Last year Broadway earned his first Major League win against these same Royals when he pitched six scoreless innings while striking out eight batters.
With the recent injury to Jose Contreras and the poor play of Boone Logan, the White Sox made two moves today. Contreras was placed on the 15-day DL and Logan was sent down to Triple-A Charlotte. Replacing these two players the Sox called up pitcher Lance Broadway and infielder Chris Getz both from Triple-A Charlotte. For right now, D.J. Carrasco will be placed into the starting rotation replacing Contreras. He is scheduled to start on Thursday.
Some rumors that are circulating are possible trades that could be made by the White Sox to acquire a starting pitcher. Two names that have come up are Cleveland starter Paul Byrd and Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn. Paul Byrd has already cleared waivers. He has recently pitched great so it is kind of a surprise that he has not been moved yet. Jarrod Washburn is scheduled to clear waivers by Monday but has yet to be claimed. There is word that the Sox might put a claim in on Washburn.
Jose Contreras returned to the Sox Saturday night after spending some time on the DL. But his return was very short and he also likely pitched for the last time this season. In the second inning, while running to cover first base, Contreras ruptured his left Achilles' tendon. The recovery time for this injury is nine to 12 months. Contreras was looking very sharp during the very short time he was out there. His velocity was back up and his split finger was looking very good. The Sox were looking for some big innings out of Contreras in this pennant race as he returned to action last night. But now they will have to go find another option to fill his spot in the rotation with.
D.J. Carrasco came in for Contreras and did a great job. He pitched 4 1/3 innings giving up only one run. But then in the seventh inning, Boone Logan came in and things got very ugly. Logan gave up four runs on four hits without recording one out.
In a move to improve the bullpen, the Sox traded for Kansas City reliever Horacio Ramirez right after the game on Saturday night. The Sox sent the Royals OF Paulo Orlando from their Single-A team. To make room for Ramirez, the Sox sent down 3B Josh Fields back to Triple-A Charlotte. There was no sense in keeping Fields up with the big club since he was not playing at all. Boone Logan was also told he would be demoted to Charlotte before Sunday's game, but no official announcement has been made yet.
So now the Sox must fill Logan's spot on the roster as well as Contreras' spot as he heads back to the DL. Newly acquired Horacio Ramirez will take over Logan's role, but do they now call up two more pitchers or just one pitcher and one position player to fill in on the bench with Josh Fields now back down in Charlotte. The main question is who is going to fill in Contreras' spot in the rotation. Do they stay inside the club bringing someone up or do they go outside and sign a free agent? The free agent crop right now is very thin. Some names that are out there would be Shawn Chacon, Matt Clement, Freddy Garcia, Byung-Hyun Kim, Russ Ortiz, John Patterson and David Wells. None of those options really stand out. Freddy Garcia did pitch the other day and about 12 teams were there to watch him. But his fastball has just disappeared as it is only reaching the low to mid 80's. Esteban Loaiza was supposed to be the option to fill in for this type of situation but he never worked out and was released back on July 25.
Some bad timing indeed for all of this to go down. But you know Kenny Williams is working very hard to do what is right for this team. It should be a very interesting final two months of the season.
This crazy 10 game road trip could not have ended soon enough. After a strong start in taking two of three in Detroit, the Sox finished very poorly. I guess you can't really complain after they went 4-6 during the trip, but with the way they played, it was very frustrating. With having leads in most of the games, they could have easily finished 7-3. The pitching was just awful during the trip as the starters and relievers did not give this team a chance to win. But having played this bad and to only be a half game out of first, I guess things could be worse. Now the Sox head home and will play 16 of their next 19 games at U.S. Comiskular including the next 10 straight. That can only be a good thing as the Sox have one of the best home records in baseball at 35-16. I personally would like to forget about this road trip and just focus on taking advantage of being home for 10 straight. The pitching needs to improve very quickly and return to the form it was in prior to the break. Clayton Richard is just not ready to be up here regularly but Jose Contreras is planning to be back for his next start. Richard is not the only problem though as no one is pitching good right now. Every day Scott Linebrink is out just shows how valuable he has been to this team this year. But I am one Sox fan who is not worried. With two months to go in the season, there is still plenty of time left to battle for the division crown. This race will definitely go down to the final weeks of the season. But for right now lets sit back, relax and enjoy some home cooking during the next week and a half.
In a very unexpected move Thursday, GM Kenny Williams traded for future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. The White Sox sent pitcher Nick Masset and infielder Danny Richar to the Cincinnati Reds. As of right now, the deal is still pending approval from the commissioner's office. Reports say that the Reds and White Sox will split the remainder of Griffey's contract including a $4 million buyout for 2009. Griffey is currently hitting .245 with 15 HR. He extended his hitting streak to 12 games last night as he hit his 15 HR of the season against the Houston Astros.
Now the big question is where does Griffey fit in? All three outfield spots are set as well as DH with Jim Thome. Playing time will be limited. But with Konerko struggling, Swisher could be moved to first base opening up a spot for Griffey in the outfield. But his legs are not what they used to be. He is too slow to play center field but that will be the only spot open for him. Unless they keep Swisher in the outfield and play Griffey at first base. Is another move in place? Could Konerko be gone? His hand is still bothering him so maybe a trip to the DL could be happening very soon. But as of right now, there is no room for Griffey in the lineup.
As far as who the Sox gave up, I don't really have a problem with that. Nick Masset has been struggling out of the bullpen this year. He was out of options as far as being sent down, so his days were numbered. With Danny Richar, there really is no room for him on the big club. So by giving up on these two guys, the Sox really didn't have to sacrifice much to get Griffey. But there still is no room for him in the lineup. With three hours to go before the trade deadline, let's hope that Kenny Williams is working hard to get some much needed help for the bullpen and starting rotation.
Last time I checked, there are 57 games left in the 2008 Major League Baseball season for the Chicago White Sox. But with the Sox on a current three game losing streak, with the last two losses courtesy of the Minnesota Twins, everyone seems to be panicking. Yes the Sox lead in the Central is only a half game, but with two months in the season remaining, let's all take a chill pill. The race for the AL Central crown is going to go down to the wire. And let's not forget that the Twins still have to go two long road trips. One is 10 games while the other is a very long 14 game road trip from August 21 to September 4. So let's all relax now.
The Sox are beat up a bit right now with Joe Crede, Jose Contreras and Scott Linebrink all on the DL. I don't think the Sox will make any moves before the deadline tomorrow, but with these three returning, it will seem like a trade as they are all very valuable to the White Sox's success. But the one man who needs to get his butt in gear in Paul Konerko. Konerko is hitting .213 with 9 HR and 35 RBI. That is just not going to cut it. Will time on the bench make things better? Moving him in the line-up? Or does Ozzie not do anything and just try to ride it out? I personally would rather see Nick Swisher playing first base with Brian Anderson in center field. Anderson needs more playing time and is the Sox best defensive outfielder. If Ozzie does bench Konerko, I believe that this would be the best solution with Swisher at first and Anderson controlling center. It's not time to panic, but it is time to do something a bit different.