Maybe somebody could explain to me why proponents think it is a good idea to have more instant replay in baseball.
Baseball already has replay for close calls on home runs and is thinking of adding replay to help umpires with trapped balls. Too much replay puts the sport on a slippery slope toward technological umpiring.
Even after last season, when umpire Jim Joyce cost pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game in Detroit on a blown call at first base, I couldn’t agree with those who think baseball needs more instant replay.
Human error adds to the drama. Seldom does a bad call affect a game’s outcome.
Remember in the 2009 playoffs when umpires missed when they called Joe Mauer’s double to left a foul ball? If, in other innings, the Twins had run the bases properly and hit just mediocre with runners in scoring position, they would have won the game and the wrong call would have been a footnote.
Baseball is good because fans don’t know what’s going to happen - and that includes an umpire’s blown call. Theater should be the only form of entertainment where the audience knows what’s going to happen.
* Looks like the Yankees’ “core four” is deteriorating fast. Andy Pettitte has retired. Shortstop Derek Jeter, 37, is trying to show he hasn’t lost it. Catcher Jorge Posada, 39, is hitting .149 and thanking manager Joe Girardi for staying patient with him. Only closer Mariano Rivera, 41, is playing well, and he might go until he’s 50. The four had been together for 18 seasons before Pettitte’s retirement.
* The Associated Press reports that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt will not be able to make his May 31 payroll. All this is confusing, but here are questions for McCourt: Why did you take $100 million from the team for you and your wife? What did you spend it on? Why do you deny it when it is in the court divorce records?
* Who is more to blame for the fall of the last-place White Sox in the American League Central? General manager Ken Williams is more to blame than manager Ozzie Guillen, given that Williams built the $125 million roster by signing designated hitter Adam Dunn and outfielder Alex Rios, and trading blue-chip prospects for pitcher Jake Peavy (shoulder), who likely has a chance to return to the rotation Wednesday.
* Turns out Tampa Bay’s bullpen isn’t as bad as everyone thought it was going to be after losing six pitchers from 2010. The Rays’ bullpen went into Saturday with a 2.73 ERA and 79 innings pitched, tied with the Twins for the fewest in the league. It’s hard to believe the Rays started 1-8.
* The Nationals’ Ian Desmond is one of four players to take advantage of baseball’s new paternity leave, which allows players to take off three days for the birth of a child and for a team to replace him on the roster. In addition, Oakland’s Kurt Suzuki, the Mets’ Jason Bay and Texas’ Colby Lewis have taken advantage. The rule was proposed by general managers last offseason and gives players a chance to enjoy their special moment without feeling the guilt of leaving their teammates one player short.
* The game I look forward to seeing this week: Phillies at Marlins. Roy Halladay is scheduled to pitch for Philadelphia against Josh Johnson. The two power pitchers could be the top two candidates for the NL Cy Young Award.
* Interesting that the Marlins are contending even though their manager, Edwin Rodriguez, wasn’t ownership’s top choice a year ago after firing Fredi Gonzalez. The Marlins are winning with a strong rotation, an improved bullpen and better defense, although three of their top players - Hanley Ramirez, John Buck and Omar Infante - haven’t produced liked the Marlins had hoped.
* Loved the note by the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan that the Cub had $45.8 million worth of players - Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Pena and Carlos Zambrano - in the bottom three spots of their order in a 5-1 win against the Dodgers.
* Cliff Lee had 16 strikeouts Friday night. Perhaps that the reason Phillies fans were cheering Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth on his return to Philadelphia. Werth’s signing in D.C. made it possible for the Phillies to bring Lee back.
* Hall of Fame outfielder Willie Mays turned 80 Friday. My first memory of seeing Mays play was in 1965, when he hit a leadoff home run for the National League in the All-Star Game at Metropolitan Stadium in Minnesota, the current site of the Mall of America. (Home plate is marked in the mall.)