Umpiring and Cameras

When we were kids and had pickup baseball games, we never had umpires — didn’t really need them.

As a life-long baseball fan, the issue of using TV cameras to improve umpiring calls is hard to ignore. I am from the sect that believes in getting the call right.

The NFL has led the way in this department. Coaches are offered three challenges per game. TV cameras provide many views — sometimes it’s a clear view of a missed call.

Making corrections to referee errors is accepted and often appreciated by football and its fans. Cameras enhance the quality of calls; hence, the integrity of the game.

How can a limited-use of TV cameras be bad?  We’ve all seen many poor umpiring calls the past few years.

The technology is available to improve the Major League product. Getting the call right – even through competent video assistance — should be baseball’s overriding concern in this matter.

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Behind the Tech Times

High technology caught me from behind. I had no idea it was back there.

The computer was the first technology to lap me.  As a kid, my speed was black and white TV and a few channels.

After many years, the computer let me catch up to the basics. Along the way came the VCR, cell phone, DVD and now the giant HD TV.  The Blackberries, home theaters, multi-purpose cell phones and other high-tech paraphernalia  have advanced with purpose.

Heck, those commercials showing confident use of new-fangled electronics are impressive and convincing; I am behind the times.

Nowadays, for many of us, the computer remains the Grand Poobah of gadgets.  It’s mysterious, and with a computer you could have a love-hate relationship going. The computer has become the TV of a newer generation.  

My grandfather, from the old country, used to refer to a car as “the machine”. He didn’t drive.

For me, the computer is “the machine”. I’m still learning to drive.

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Red Sox and Renewal

The season winds down for the Red Sox , a recent thought of greatness gone quickly with the injuries — including Youkilis, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Varitek  and assorted pitchers. 

But the 2010 season has brought us four new stars, additional strength for the Sox:  third baseman Andre Beltre, shortstop Marco Scutaro, pitcher Clay Buchholz and relief ace Daniel Bard. Beltre and Scutaro became MVPs of the eight position players.  Victor Martinez and David Ortiz have kept the ship on an even keel.

To date, Boston has played well despite problems – more than 10 games above .500 is a good mark in a tough division. The losses of Pedroia and Youkilis were significant, yet the Sox have played well. 

Injuries gave us a year of new outfielders. We saw them ahead of time, and many young players got valuable Big League experience.

Manager Terry Francona has kept the machine working. He’s stayed in balance and has the team striving. Red Sox minor leagues and GM Theo Epstein have provided the gloves and bats.

Next season, when the regulars return to the field — particularly Pedroia and Youkilis – Boston will challenge. With an assist from the pitching staff, the Red Sox will again reach the World Series.

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