Weekend Ramblings Include MLB Replay Issues, The Masters and More

MLB instant replay failed again and I for one am not surprised.

I hate to say I told you so, but… “I told you so.” Only a few weeks after the Major League Baseball season got underway and already we’ve seen instant replay problems. This was a system that seemed very cut and dried and while some problems were expected, getting the calls right seemed to still be something that wouldn’t be a problem.

Yesterday in a game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, the new MLB replay system failed miserably. On the play, the Yankees’ shortstop Dean Anna slid safely into second base for a double. BoSox shortstop Xander Bogaerts kept the tag applied however as Anna briefly took his foot off the bag.

Anna was called safe and Boston Manager John Farrell immediately asked for a review. Although numerous replays showed Anna should have been called out, the umpires didn’t get the correct angles while reviewing the play. Thus, Anna was called safe. Although the play didn’t factor into the outcome of the game, it’s at least the second significant problem now with replay in baseball.

If you read me regularly then you know how I feel about replay. I don’t just despise it in baseball, I dislike in all sports with very few exceptions. Sports are contests played by human beings and should be officiated by human beings. Players make mistakes and so do officials. If you want to have scoring plays reviewable then I can accept that but let’s stop reviewing every darn situation that occurs on the field or the court.

Until it can be done without fail it shouldn’t be done at all.

Could Spieth become the youngest Masters' winner ever today?

Masters’ Tournament Could Have a Great Finish

Not surprisingly, this year’s version of The Masters’ has declined significantly in terms of television ratings. This is what happens when Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods doesn’t participate.

Sadly, those that are choosing not to watch are missing what could be a great finish. Currently tied for the lead -5 are former champion Bubba Watson and 20-year old Jordan Spieth. Trailing them by a single stroke are Matt Kuchar and Jonas Blixt while two shots off the pace are Miguel Jimenez and Rickie Fowler.

As great of a story as Watson winning a second green jacket would be or Jimenez winning a major at 50 years of age would be, the real story is Spieth who could become the youngest Masters’ winner ever should he be able to win today. Golf fans are longing for someone to fill the shoes of Woods who clearly isn’t getting any younger.

Whether Spieth can ultimately fill that role will not be known for some time but a victory in The Masters will go a long ways towards determining this.

So Long Knicks

The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Miami Heat last night 98-85 to clinch the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The loss by the Heat puts them in a tie with the Indiana Pacers for the top spot in the East and each have two games remaining.

The other thing Atlanta’s win does is eliminate the New York Knicks from playoff contention. This puts an end to a soap opera-style season that included shake-ups in the front office, speculation over Carmelo Anthony’s future and the hi-jinx of J.R. Smith.

I would expect new team President Phil Jackson to get to work immediately and that will start with the dismissal of Coach Mike Woodson. Jackson will want ‘his’ guy coaching the Knicks and speculation has already begun with Steve Kerr being the front-runner.

Not having the Knicks¬†and¬†the Lakers in the playoffs in the same year will not exactly do great things for TV ratings and the NBA big-wigs know it. Don’t be a bit surprised to see one or both of these teams “amazingly” reach the top three of the draft lottery.