Let the record show that the first use of instant replay in Major League Baseball was used on Wednesday to confirm an Alex Rodriguez home run in the Yankees' 8-4 win over Tampa Bay (a more deserving recipient there has never been). But wait, was it the first? Stacy Long of the Montgomery Advertister digs up the fact that, in a 1999 game between the Marlins and the Cardinals, umpire Frank Pulli used television replay to downgrade a home run to a double by Florida's Cliff Floyd.
It was 1999 and even involved current Ray Cliff Floyd. More I didn't remember — Pulli originally called it a home run and changed it to a double. Something I did remember — Major League Baseball quickly sent out an edict that replays weren't to be used again. I double-checked and my memory isn't totally shot.
Here's a story on that game. So, let's call this the first use of it in the modern replay era (MoRE). Why is it Florida teams who always get burned? The result helped the Yankees and their new allies, the Red Sox, who beat the Orioles on Wednesday, 5-4, and are now just three games behind the Rays in the East. Our technologically-enhanced A-Rod was 3-for-4 with four RBI. It was his two-run shot in the ninth off Troy Percival that third base umpire Brian Runge immediately ruled a homer when it bounced off a catwalk and then behind the foul pole in left. The Rays protested, causing the umpires to ... review the tape! And it only took 2 minutes, 15 seconds to conclude that, yes, the homer did not impact the game. Um, I mean, the call was upheld. So, does the monitor now go to the Hall of Fame? Edwar Ramirez (5-1) got the win in relief of Carl Pavano. Rodriguez had a run-scoring double in the third and a run-scoring single in the fourth. The homer was No. 549 of his career, breaking a tie for 12th place with Mike Schmidt. So, welcome instant replay, and welcome to the new reality of Red Sox fans rooting for the Yankees. Fun! Bad Television [CNN] Replay For Yanks-Rays Ump Not A First [Montgomery Advertiser] A-Rod Homer Upheld By Instant Replay; Yankees Beat Rays [USA Today]