- World Series: no instant replay. The games are so long. So long! And they’re just random ball-bounces anyway. Let the chaos reign.
- Playoffs: in the seventh inning or later, if the game is presently a save situation, then a replay umpire is allowed to call for replay of any call that can currently be challenged under the rules. The games are still very long! But they’re not necessarily on broadcast TV, so the commentators aren’t necessarily as awful, so we don’t have to dread quite as much three minutes of uninspired chatter as we watch all 17 angles on a tag at second base. But still, the games are long, so we’re leaving replay only for the most important calls, and we’re taking managers right out of it.
- Regular-season games in which both teams are still mathematically eligible for the playoffs: Same rules as for the playoffs, except replay can happen in any inning regardless of the score. The games aren’t that long and you can turn them off. Plus you can watch them in the MLB.tv archives and fast-forward through the replay part. And the announcing team is probably your local pair of homers who will spend the replay gushing about the newest pizza-burger options on the right-field side of the third deck. But because both teams have something to play for, you probably don’t want to turn it off, so we’ll keep the whole thing where the manager stands on the top step of the dugout and hovers in the liminal space between replay and not out of these games.
- Regular-season games in which exactly one team is eliminated from the playoffs: Same as above, except managers also get to call for one replay per game in case the replay umpire misses something. And no hovering. The challenge must be made within three seconds after the play ends.
- Regular-season games in which both teams are eliminated from the playoffs: The current rules. These games are only for the TrueFans so the most pure (which is to say purely garbage) set of rules must apply.
- Spring training: The current rules, except the call is made by wheeling video screens out to the field and having the field umpires make the decision. In addition, the manager can retract an appeal at any time with no penalty until the moment the home-plate umpire activates a buzzer in his hand indicating that the umpiring crew has made up its mind about the call. Spring training is not baseball, so we may as well make a mockery of it with the replay rules.
- All-Star Game: Robot umpires call balls and strikes. Yes, plural. Use two different ball-tracking systems. If they disagree on a call, they play tic-tac-toe to determine which system’s call prevails. Every aspect of every ball in or out of play, including foul balls into the seats, is automatically reviewed from every available angle, with one command-center umpire responsible for each camera. All-Star Game voting should be a punishment (“No midseason vacation for you!”), not a reward.
Timing is everything. Two nights ago, Ryan Rua happened to be up in the bottom of the ninth of a mid-March exhibition game, snuck in right before they shut the doors. Ryan Rua happened to get a belt-high fastball from Brooks Pounders, who was already halfway back to his hotel. A runner happened to be at third, so as Ryan Rua spun out of his 1.5-handed swing, holding his bat up like an exclamation point, he happened to earn twenty seconds of mlb.com video footage. Before that, Ryan Rua happened to hit one out to straightaway center on the day the scouts visited, happened to get away with a 67 on that history final he didn’t even crack the textbook for, happened to win the genetic lottery of conception.
Ryan Rua happened to reach first base and fist bump a faceless coach; without the footage, it’s just as likely he would have disappeared halfway up the line. For us, let’s assume he did. This piece has nothing else to say about Ryan Rua.
This piece is about Garrett Hampson, the shortstop.
Garrett Hampson is still waiting for his perfect moment. A third-round pick in 2016, he’s landed a reputation with many scouts as a grit-guy: speed, arm, a bat like a foam pool noodle. Despite the label, he’s done nothing but hit in his first two levels, stole 51 bases last year alone, and will be expected to fail again in Double-A. But if he can just make one impression, define himself for an instant: maybe then he could re-write his reputation. All he needed was to happen to be in one right place.
Somewhere between the beginning and the apex of his leap, he realized that he was, in fact, not in that place.
Yesterday, Garrett Hampson was reassigned to minor-league camp.
FINALLY getting out of the house, can’t wait to see what this whole college thing has in store for me! Moving on up…small town to college town, it’s not nothing, but it’s at least something. Can’t wait to meet up with those dudes on floor three I bumped into at orientation, they seemed pretty fun…going to have to share my Ocarina of Time tips with them to see what’s up…maybe share a couple of killer CD mixes.
A plan? A PLAN? Look I don’t know I suppose I’ll get a part time job while finishing at community college but I’m gonna do this, it’s fine, heck, this was the plan all along, I got this: ready and awake, eye on the prize, it’s going to be fine.
Alright fine, the whole mono thing was bad but I’m fine, they moved me to full time at Guitar Center and I’m happy, really, I couldn’t have asked for anything else. No, why are you asking?
wait WAIT MY STUDENT LOANS ARE HOW MUCH ARE YOU KIDDING ME HOW IS THIS LEGAL? THERE IS NO WAY THIS IS KOSHER WHO DO I HAVE TO CALL OH NOOOO—
alright maybe I’ll go back to school, I don’t know, nobody is hiring, it sure was a great plan to come of age right around the second biggest crisis capitalism has ever faced, no, it’s fine.
please god someone give me a job or else i’m gonna have to go to grad school
Is He Awake? Check His Pulse, See If He Is Breathing.
alright to hell with this, I’m turning 30, it’s time to figure this crap out
I suppose the first thing is I should cut my hair
Thank you for reading
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