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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Reefer and Replay Madness.

Reefer Madness (1936)
"Tell Your Children" (original title)
 66 min  -  Drama  -  1938 (USA)

Cautionary tale features a fictionalized and highly exaggerated take on the use of marijuana. A trio of drug dealers lead innocent teenagers to become addicted to "reefer" cigarettes by holding wild parties with jazz music.


The film was "rediscovered" in the early 1970s and gained new life as a piece of unintentional comedy among advocates of cannabis policy reform.[5][6] Today, it is in the public domain in the United States and is considered a cult film.[6] It inspired a musical satire, which premiered off-Broadway in 2001, and a film based on the musical in 2005.

The Major Baseball League (MBL) commissioner Allen Huber "Bud" Selig has cast himself as Steroid Sheriff Bud Selig in his war on performance enhancing drugs (PED), especially steroids.  Sheriff Selig recently appeared on the CBS News program 60 Minutes, along with his trusted deputy Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Chief Operating Officer.  Manfred admitted on national television something that had been reported for some time: that Sheriff Selig paid $125,000 to a known criminal for stolen documents to be used to prosecute baseball star Alex Rodriguez.  The amazing thing is that revelation on a TV show watched by all kinds of grandparently types hardly caused a stir.  Baseball had its own brand of Reefer Madness.

The reefer reference seems appropriate since the MBL is belatedly cracking down on PED as marijuana is being legalized in some places: Uruguay, Colorado, Washington, maybe New York.  Selig is always behind the curve.

Which brings us to Replay Madness.

Friday, January 17, 2014  Bud Selig's instant replay (review): typically, too little, too late, too lame.

Forget all the nonsense and just look at the instant REPLAY on the big screen and determine on the spot if the play was called incorrectly.  That would be much quicker and more comprehensive than what the MBL finally agreed to implement.

More oddities from the MBL press release:

"No monitors or additional electronic equipment will be permitted in the dugout."

"Clubs will now have the right to show replays of all close plays on its ballpark scoreboard, regardless of whether the play is reviewed."

Say what?  May people in the dugout look at the big screen?  If not, what is the punishment?

"Major League Umpires will be staffed as Replay Officials at the Replay Command Center ... have direct access to video from most cameras in the ballpark in real-time, regardless of whether they are shown on the live broadcast."

So, additional umpires will be hired and umps will be rotated through the Command Center on desk duty.  And they will have access to some but not necessarily all cameras.  Wouldn't it be easier to just look at the replays being broadcast on television?  You know, the replays that start in about ten seconds.  If that is shown on the big screen wouldn't the field umps be able to see it right away and decide whether to change a call without a protest?

Instead the decision will be made in the Command Center and then given to the umps actually working the game who will receive the decision using a "hard-wired headset".  How quaint.

Wow, all that sounds really stupid.  REALLY stupid.  Maybe the MBL is concerned that a team will try to influence the process by how and what it replays.  Viewing fans are accustomed to seeing replays right away.  The TV director would need to view the replays himself BEFORE showing them to the viewers.  Oh yeah, that would really be popular.  And what if the director decides unilaterally that the replay shows that the call was harmful to his team?  Not show any replays?  Does anyone actually think all that would happen?

That Command Center could really get busy.  Aren't there often multiple games being played concurrently?  Maybe a dozen or more?  Things could get backed up at the Command Center.

"Once the manager has exhausted his ability to challenge plays during the game and after the beginning of the seventh inning, the Crew Chief may choose to invoke instant replay on any reviewable call. In that circumstance, the Crew Chief is not obligated to invoke instant replay if requested by the manager."

Oh yeah, the manager is going exponentially more ballistic than he would have before this review system.  The manager will ague like a madman.  And I'm guessing that the umps will pretty much always "invoke instant replay" so that they won't seem unreasonable.  That will delay games even more.  And the manager can double down on the delay by waiting until the process is over and then initiating a changing the pitcher ritual.  Oh yeah.

Finally, conspicuous by its absence from the list of plays that may be reviewed is the infamous neighborhood play at second base in which the shortstop or second baseman does not touch the bag while attempting to execute a double play.  Rather than correct the problem Sheriff Selig will continue to allow rules to be flagrantly violated.  Sounds like grounds for suspension.  How about 162 games for the Sheriff?

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

[last lines]
Major Clipton: Madness! Madness!

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