Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

It took exactly four days for me to do a complete 180° on MLB's new replay review system. It happened when umpires lost track of the count in the ninth inning of last night's Yankees-Astros game, and spent more than three minutes using replay to count balls and strikes. I went from let's use technology to make sure we get every call correct to oh my god, I don't even care if they blow this call, I just want this game to end so I can go to sleep.

It happened on a 3-1 count to Yangervis "True Yankee" Solarte. explains:

"I asked the umpire, 'What's the count?'" [Astros catcher Carlos] Corporan said. "And he said, 'I don't know, I've got 2-1.' I said, 'I've got 2-1 as well.' I kind of forgot about the pitchout that we made. [Solarte] was like, 'No, it's 3-1,' and [the umpire] said, 'Of course you're going to think it's 3-1.' They wanted to make sure, so they took a little time."


I do not know why the other umpires on the field didn't know the count, or why the video boards weren't trusted, or why Solarte, Corporan, and pitcher Brad Peacock couldn't between them recount the four pitches so far, or why home plate ump Brian Knight's little ball-strike clicky thing wasn't working. All I know is I hated baseball in that moment.

Both managers praised the umpiring crew for its meticulousness (though Bo Porter admitted the Astros dugout knew it was 3-1), so I'm just being cranky here. But ball-strike counts being reviewable could have practical repercussions: CBS Sports' Mike Axisa points out that this review was initiated only after prodding from Corporan, and a more devious manager could always use something like this as a way to buy time for a reliever to warm up.

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