Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Baseball In The Daytime: 8-27-08

A trio of day games are perched on today's MLB slate, but the bigger news is out of the bag: Instant replay starts tomorrow. That's right, tomorrow. Not at the start of next year. Not with a trial period in Double-A or the Instructional League. Today's games will be the last wholly governed by humans, and tomorrow we deputize the machines for assistance.

Look, I'm not anti-replay. I like technology. Like Reggie White once said, give the Japanese a toaster and they'll give you a watch. And I like getting calls right, and I hate dismissing good ideas in the name of asinine traditions. But who, other than the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, tries to change rules in the middle of a season? How is that possibly a good idea? How is it that umpires, who don't like this adjustment and who weren't consulted in its implementation, will manage replay with any sort of skill on the fly? How will they not botch more calls now than with the old system?

I predict that this season is fucked on this front. This will affect the pennant race and this will affect the playoffs. At this point I don't know the specifics of this change--once I get filled in I'm sure I'll have many more thoughts. But for now, Bud, this overreaction gets a fat thumbs down from this fan. On to the games...

Chicago Cubs @ Pittsburgh, 10:35 Mountain I don't know what the weather's going to be like in the Steel City today, but let's assume the forecast calls for glorious. If you're in Western PA, you can make your way downtown and to PNC Park to take in a matinee against the first-place Cubs. You can shell out twenty bucks (what the average Pittsburgher clears in a week) for a seat and twenty more for some peanuts, Cracker Jack and a brew. You can sit in the sunshine and watch the game languidly unfold before you. And then you can realize that you are in Pittsburgh and you have more than a fourth grade education, and you can get the fuck out of there before the dumb and the fat infect you. Jason Marquis and Zach Duke are your starters.

Arizona @ San Diego, 1:35 On the other hand, if you live in San Diego, you can fuck off. Seriously. No one likes you. D'Bags starter Randy Johnson doesn't like you, although he's pretty grouchy with everyone. Padres pitcher Cha Seung Baek doesn't like you--he'll only live in your fair city for a few more weeks before being shipped to yet another club. I don't like you. Brian Giles likes you, but only because he's so enthralled by your beautiful city he refuses to play anywhere else. Go to hell, San Diego.

Minnesota @ Seattle, 2:40 The AL Central has just turned into a God damned dogfight. Daily hand-to-hand combat. With Detroit's complete implosion, only the Twins and the White Sox are left standing, and Chicago's fine play of late leaves them two games free as of press time. Minnesota tries to stay close with Glen Perkins on the Safeco mound today opposite Ryan Feierabend. Seattle is still playing hard, for one reason and one reason only. They're on pace to be the first team ever to lose 100 games with a payroll in excess of $100 million. You can do it, Mariners. 82 down, 18 to go. Stay strong and resolute in your commitment to losing, and Play Ball!