Back Home, More Replay, Blair Podcast

Fort Wayne returns home today for the start of a four-game series against the Dayton Dragons. The TinCaps just took two of three from Lansing, while the Dragons lost two of three to Lake County. Over their last 15 games, the Dragons are 9-6.

The TinCaps just saw Dayton earlier in the week, and were nearly swept at Fifth Third Field. In the first two games of that series, Fort Wayne lost by one run both times. This is a good opportunity here over the next four days to try and cushion the advantage in the playoff race, which right now sits at 2.5 games over Lake County. The Dragons are in last place not just for the half, but also for the season.

Matt Wisler gets the call today. Fort Wayne is 12-8 when he’s on the mound, and they’ve won five of his last six starts.

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, I talk with TinCaps Pitching Coach Willie Blair about:

-Ruben Mejia’s solid start on Thursday

-James Needy joining the rotation

-Matt Stites’ stellar season

and where Willie’s son is headed to play college baseball:

MORE REPLAY

Interesting report here from Yahoo! Sports:

“Major League Baseball owners have agreed to test two different advanced replay systems live during games starting next week, and if they prove accurate they could precede an overhaul of the system for the 2013 season, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

MLB will analyze a radar-based system and a camera-based system, both similar to the one used in tennis for down-the-line fair-or-foul calls. Yankee Stadium and Citi Field will be the guinea-pig parks for the systems, which have been installed recently.

MLB will analyze a radar-based system and a camera-based system. (AP)The use of the systems will be strictly in the background and for analysis. Because the number of questionable plays during games is likely to be limited, MLB plans to do extra testing on non-game days. Before implementing the technology in its 30 ballparks, the league wants to ensure its accuracy is up to standard.”

I always get a kick out of those tennis replays because they seem so advanced. That and I have absolutely no clue as to how they work, which I suppose makes them more intriguing. I think it would bring a nice change to baseball to help eliminate the uncertainty that can go along with making certain calls.

Last night, Baltimore’s Mark Reynolds was ejected from the game after a call was reversed, eliminating what would’ve been a spectacular infield out. Here’s the full story: http://www.nesn.com/2012/08/mark-reynolds-blasts-umpires-after-reversed-call-says-situation-almost-like-screw-the-orioles.html

Replay later showed Reynolds was right, but the umpires overturned the original call. In last night’s TinCaps game, there were a handful of calls that were close. Lansing’s first batter of the game, Nick Baligod, hit a double off the 23-foot high wall in left field, which Fort Wayne argued was a foul ball. The call stood as a double. Then, in the eighth inning with Lansing leading, 5-3, Aaron Munoz appeared to have hit a two-run home run down that same left field line.

Munoz’s fly ball landed just above the wall, and where the silver railing guarding the concourse meets the foul pole. That’s not an easy call when you’re the home plate umpire. The initial ruling was a home run, which incensed the entire TinCaps bullpen, which had a clear view of it, and Austin Hedges, along with Manager Jose Valentin, got into a very heated debate with the umpires. Eventually, the call was overturned.

Yesterday’s game also included a near home run by Lansing’s Kevin Patterson, which was a ground rule double. If you look at the outfield fence and see that grey railing above it (near the 330 sign) you’ll see there are railings there. Well, if a ball passes through those railings, it’s a ground rule double. Over the railings? Home run. Patterson hit a ball to the deepest part of the park, 412 feet away from home plate, and it was ruled to have gone through the railing. Of all the places he could’ve hit a ball. Just an interesting game yesterday, that definitely could’ve been aided by replay. It appeared, though, that the umpires did get the call right on all of the tough plays yesterday.

Certainly replay won’t be coming to Minor League Baseball, but it looks like a good first step for MLB.

MUSICAL GUEST

Since I know folks are torn that Limp Bizkit is breaking up, today they are our Musical Guest. What? Nobody was disappointed that the band is done? Ah, well..here’s Fred Durst to explain it:

“The reason? We just don’t know what’s going on in America. It’s all about the new catchy thing and that’s always changing. America is driven by record sales. It’s the home of corporations. We’re just Limp Bizkit, so we don’t know how to do anything but Limp Bizkit.”

The old “defining a word by using that same word” explanation. Here goes nothing…

If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me at Couzens@TinCaps.com or on Twitter @MikeCouzens.

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