White Sox

Play it Again, Bud

Play it Again, Bud

Thursday, November 12th

As Ive been laid up at the house for the last week, dont ask, Ive been able to watch even more sports on TV than usual. (I know what youre thinking, and yes, I have been contacted by the Guinness folks.(not the beer!)) One of the things that struck me, yes I said one of, is the incredible amount of instant replay use and its consequences.

Whether it be in hockey, basketball or football, its hard to watch a game without a controversial play being re-played over and over. And that is the point to fans. If we can see it, why cant everyone? Almost everyone Ive talked to at the bar wants instant replay to be used, in every sport.

As the powers to be of Major League Baseball met at an OHare hotel this week, fans, including yours truly, were hopeful that the expanded use of replay in baseball would be discussed. This past years post-season was exhibit one, and should have been fresh on everyones mind. There were almost as many frustrating calls as what I experience with my AT&T cell phone service. Thats right, almost! Those of you talk to me on the phone know how annoying it can be for a call to be dropped and its the same when youre watching a baseball game. Especially, a playoff game!

Im always amused by the archaic view that the replay process will take away from the flow and integrity of the game and most of all, take away the human element. What?! How does getting a call right take away from the game? The A-Rod home run call took about 2 minutes and it reversed ANOTHER wrong call by the umpires on the field.

There are several things that need to be considered here. First of all, the game is being played at a speed that seems to be too fast for the naked eye. Baseball is full of calls that are assumptions, most notably, when a ball beats a runner to a base, hes almost always automatically called out, whether the tag was applied, or not. Theres a reason for the expression. phantom tag.

As far as the integrity argument, are you kidding me? What can be more honest than what is? Getting the call right should be first and foremost. Mistakes will be made, but if its easily correctable, why not fix it? Just like say, finally admitting that drugs were an issue, and then banning them. Better late than never, right?

The main thing though is to understand the age in which we live. These are your fathers games but theyre being taken to a whole new level. So is the way in that they are watched. Hi-def TV with TiVo enables the home viewer an incredible experience, and soon enough it will be the norm. Folks at home dont have to wait for a replay from the network to see what they just saw. I know its hard to believe, but the technology is moving at light-speed. My 3 year old wakes up every morning and turns on our computer. (NO! She is not typing this for me!) In fact, she has a computer lab in her pre-school! The next wave of fans are going to find Don Dekingers blown call in the 85 World Series as a reminder of how antiquated things were in those times of Huey Lewis and in-dash cassette players.

In a game that has souped-up the ball, shrunk the dimensions of the field of play and made the strike zone the size of a grapefruit in an effort to increase scoring and increase its fan base, why does it not recognize that this fan base is more tech-savvy? The NFL has, and although still not as fast as all would like, understands that this is a new age and you have to think with it to keep up.

As a parent that watches kids who are borderline addicted to all of their electronic accompaniments, I understand that its a brave new world, whether I like it or not. I just wish that one of the games that I love would get its collective head out of the sand and realize that keeping up with the times is not necessarily a bad thing. It just might be the thing that allows the game to prosper in the century ahead.

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with Frank Thomas


White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with Frank Thomas

White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas came on the podcast to talk with Chuck Garfien about his past, baseball's present and the future of the White Sox. He talks about his first major league hit (a stand-up triple!), how fame affected him when he was a player, his appearance on David Letterman in the 1990s and more. 

Plus, what was wrong with the baseball this past season? Thomas has some ideas and tells Garfien how many home runs he would have hit with that baseball in his prime. He talks about working with Alex Rodriguez at FOX and what it was like whenever girlfriend Jennifer Lopez came to visit in the studio.

Thomas praises the White Sox rebuild and reveals an idea he presented to GM Rick Hahn about where all the top prospects should play this upcoming season. He describes what it was like going to Roy Halladay's funeral, if he sees the White Sox signing Manny Machado in 2019 and much more.

Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here:

Lauri Markkanen has career-high 26 points in loss to Suns

Lauri Markkanen has career-high 26 points in loss to Suns

Lauri Markkanen continues to impress.

The 20-year-old rookie had a career-high 26 points in the Bulls' 113-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night. He also picked up 13 rebounds.

After the game, in which the Bulls fell to 3-11 on the season, coach Fred Hoiberg had high praise for the Finnish.

"I thought Lauri was phenomenal," Hoiberg said. "But when he is open, we gotta get him the ball. When he's got it rolling like he did tonight, guys were switching and we had him a couple of times with the point guard buried in his back and we didn't get him the ball."

Watch what Hoiberg had to say about the Bulls' tight loss in the video above.