It's gone, gone… it's all gone
ESPN announced today that its coverage of Monday’s Home Run Derby will include the use of “Ball Track” — a Doppler radar system that can track the distance the ball travels off the bat and inform the viewer whether or not a fly ball will result in a home run before it lands.
I know this is an instantaneous society we live in, but have the three or four seconds it’s taking to discover whether a fly ball clears the fence become too time-consuming for us? Have we really become that impatient? The ESPNification of the sporting world never ceases to confound me.
Then again, if this technology keeps us from having to listen to Chris Berman say, “Back back back back… gone,” well, then, I’m all for it.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Rafael Betancourt will likely be activated in advance of Thursday’s game, Eric Wedge said. Betancourt tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings for Triple-A Columbus last night. He needed just 10 pitches to get through the outing.
- The Indians, as of this writing, have not announced their plans for Sunday’s start. That would be Jeremy Sowers’ day to pitch, but, as previously noted, he might be headed to the bullpen or the Minors because of his inability to get through the opponents’ order a third time. Tomo Ohka is in the bullpen, but he could take Sowers’ spot in the rotation.
- Fausto Carmona, contrary to my previous speculation, will probably not be back immediately after the All-Star break. Wedge said that scenario is “possible, but not likely.” So, the Indians are not just considering what they should do about Sunday’s start but what they should do about the rotation coming out of the break. They have a four-game set at home against the Mariners to open the second half, followed by an off day, so they can skip the fifth spot in the rotation that first time through. Perhaps they’ll go without Carmona for the Mariners series, then work him back in the second time through.
- I suppose we’ll know a little more about the Tribe’s plans when Betancourt is activated and we see who gets sent out.
- Pitching coach Carl Willis said the reports on Carmona weren’t quite as positive after his last outing Sunday for Columbus. Carmona got out of his delivery a few times and didn’t have quite the same sinker that he had displayed with Akron and Lake County. There was a report floating out there about Carmona’s velocity being down, and Willis said that is a function of Carmona taking a little off in an effort to improve his command. “I think the velocity is still in there,” Willis said. “He’s trying to re-establish his delivery, then work the velocity back up.” Carmona will start for Columbus on Friday in Louisville.
- B.J. Ryan was released by the Jays. Generally speaking, if a team is willing to pay a guy about $15 million to not pitch for them, it tells me a lot about the guy. It will be interesting to see what kind of market there is for Ryan. Any team that signs him gets him for the prorated portion of the Major League minimum, so he’s probably worth a shot, especially if you’re a team with the bullpen issues that the Indians have. But if there is a group of contending teams who make a play for Ryan as a left-handed specialist, one would assume he’d be more inclined to give himself a chance to win.
- Regarding the questions about Andy Marte and the Indians’ ability to call him up, commenter “amseeley” had it right. Marte would have to be added to the 40-man, with his contract purchased from Columbus. If the Indians ultimately decided they wanted to send Marte back down, he would have to be designated again. And if he cleared waivers, he could only be outrighted to the Minors with his consent.
- I have gotten no indication that the Indians have any intention of calling Marte up at the moment. And now that Wes Hodges is off the Columbus disabled list, Marte could see his playing time at third threatened. For now, Hodges is mainly playing DH.
- Another 0-for-4 for Victor Martinez last night. He’s now 4-for-51. Wedge thought Martinez showed improvement in batting practice and his at-bats last night. Martinez was seen postgame studying video and then sitting in his uniform in front of his locker in some sort of meditative trance.
- The Indians have lost 16 of 21, if you’re keeping track. The standings certainly are.
- The Tribe’s 5.34 staff ERA is dead last in all of baseball.