The Schedule Monkey

October 12, 2009 |

It seems to happen every Postseason. A couple of the division series wrap up early and teams sit around for days waiting for their pre-scheduled series to begin. The Rockies are clinging to a 2 – run 9th inning lead against the Phillies as I type. I sure hope they win and force a game 5, not because I’m a big Rockies fan but, because the ALCS isn’t set to begin until Friday evening, just in time to go up against the NFL and college football this weekend. The Angels and MFYs will sit around for the next 4 days playing Madden ’09 and watching “Keeping up with the Kardashians” rather than playing baseball. And for what reason? Isn’t it bad enough that we have to suffer through a regular season of asinine 2 game series, Coast to Coast road trips, and a complete lack of Saturday day baseball. Now when we get to October, baseball’s chance to shine, we have the prospect of nearly an entire work week with no baseball. Who makes this schedule? I’m going with the proverial monkey flinging poo at a big board. Probably the same monkey that decided the All Star game winner should determine World Series home field advantage.

As usual this Postseason there have been quite a few blown calls by umpires. Nothing as egregious as the infamous Jeffrey Maier/ Richie Garcia incident, but blown calls none the less. Joe Mauer’s obvious double down the line in Friday’s game being called foul is the most glaring example. The ball was fair by nearly a foot and the umpire was less than 15 feet from where the ball landed.

I don’t understand why, in 2009 when you can order a pizza from your phone and put a GPS chip in your dog, MLB can’t find some way to incorporate technology to eliminate these umpiring blunders. I see 2 options:
1. Give managers 2 challenges, a la the NFL’s red flags, per game. Once the game reaches extra innings any reviews would be at the discretion of the umpiring crew. This would allow managers to use their 2 challenges if need be and not have to save one in the event the game goes to extra innings.
2. Take the 2 worthless slobs standing down the baselines and put one of them in the press box. The replay Umpire would watch the same feed as the viewers at home and have the ability to watch replays as necessary. If the replay Ump thinks a call should be reversed then he would alert the crew chief and the call would be changed.
True, either of these options could increase the time of games, but TBS and FOX don’t seem terribly concerned about game times when they stop to show another “Lopez Tonight” commercial. Let’s just get the calls right, ok?