2006_03_sarodjapan.jpgGothamist has watched tons of baseball games and every so often after a player tags-up, you see an appeal to the umpires. We've never actually seen that appeal work. In yesterday's World Baseball Classic game between the United States and Japan, it did. In the 8th inning with bases loaded, Akinori Iwamura hit a fly ball to left off Joe Nathan. Tsuyoshi Nishioka tagged up from third and easily beat an off-line throw from Randy Wynn to the plate. After the Nishioka apparently scored, the US appealed at 3rd, with the 2nd base umpire denying the appeal. Buck Martinez, the US manager came out and appealed to home plate umpire Bob Davidson who called Nishioka out after a conference. While replay wasn't an option for the play, it showed that Nishioka was clearly still at 3rd when Wynn caught the ball.

And why isn't replay in use? The WBC is obviously a baseball exhibition - why not test out a replay system? There wouldn't be the argument from the umpires unions that their members would be second guessed as those in the classic aren't on the MLB staffs. It could serve as a good testing ground for experimenting on new rules.

Even more shocking than the 8th inning controversy was Alex Rodriguez coming through in the clutch! Pay-Rod hit the game winning single with two outs and the bases loaded in the 9th inning giving the US a 4-3 win. The Boss must be thinking, "Save it for the season, Alex!" A-Rod wasting his clutch performances is almost as bad as an injury.

Photo by Chris Carlson/AP via WBC.com