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Sweeny: Joe Girardi Would Be OK With Expanded Replay

Joe Girardi (credit: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Joe Girardi (credit: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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By Sweeny Murti
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When Washington’s Tyler Moore was thrown out at home plate in the eighth inning Saturday, it proved to be a crucial play in sending the game to extras, a game the Yankees would go on to win in 14 innings. But TV replays showed Moore was safe, and if the call was able to be corrected using a video replay system, then the Yankees most likely lose that game.

After a brief debate with Richard Neer on the air Sunday morning, I posed the question to Joe Girardi: knowing that replay would have likely cost you a win Saturday, would you still be in favor of expanded replay?

The answer was yes:

While many agree on the need for some sort of expanded use of replay, the way to go about it is not easy for anyone to agree on. Girardi offered up the idea of a challenge system similar to football, but in the NFL a coach who loses a challenge loses a timeout. What do you give up here? An out? Makes no sense.

Expanded replay is coming at some point, and I’m sure it will help correct some of the blown calls by umpires. But it won’t fix the whole problem and it won’t be problem-free. The replay system in the NFL seems to work pretty well and we still get controversies there. Whatever we come up, it will hopefully be better—but it will not be perfect.

*Curtis Granderson does not consider himself a home run hitter. It doesn’t matter that he hit 41 last year and has 21 already this year. Granderson’s rationale, as he told me in April after his three-home run game against the Twins, is that he doesn’t see opposing outfielders move back when he steps into the box, similar to the way he does for some of the game’s elite power hitters.

Whatever, Curtis. All I know is that you’ve hit 86 home runs in two and a half seasons as a Yankee. This year you have 21 home runs through 65 games. Okay, I’ll start playing this game: through 65 games in 1961, Roger Maris had 26 home runs.

*There was some debate amongst fans and media on Saturday about the broken-bat double hit by Washington’s Jesus Flores in the second inning. The ball landed at the base of the fence in left-center just in front of the 377-foot sign. Many fans think Raul Ibanez should have caught that ball, based on their assumption that Brett Gardner would have caught it.

Two things on that: First, as my friend Chad Jennings of the Journal News has pointed out, Gardner might be considered the best defensive left fielder in the league. There seems to be this perception that Ibanez is killing the Yankees out there, and while is not fleet a foot, the truth is anybody the Yankees can put out there right now is not going to be as good as Gardner.

Second, the broken bat is part of the equation that everybody has ignored. An outfielder’s read on the ball is based on how the ball comes off the bat. A splintered bat is not a signal for the outfielder to race back to the fence. Even as good an outfielder as Gardner would have had a hard time getting the correct read, therefore hurting his chances of tracking down that particular ball.

I know the Yankees miss Gardner’s defense, but it’s pointless to say “Gardner would have caught that” every time a ball falls in. It’s not as if Joe Girardi has decided not to play Gardner. The man is hurt, and until he gets healthy it’s as pointless as saying “Mantle would have caught that” or “DiMaggio would have caught that.”

That said, if Gardner does not get healthy before the July 31 trading deadline, I think they have to explore the idea of getting an extra outfielder here.

Sweeny Murti
www.twitter.com/YankeesWFAN

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