Giants

More replay on the way for MLB?

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More replay on the way for MLB?

From Comcast SportsNetINDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) -- Baseball is considering a broader expansion of video review for umpires than first discussed.Instant replay in baseball began in August 2008 and has been limited to checking whether potential home runs were fair or cleared over fences. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has been saying since early 2011 he wants to expand it to two additional types of calls."He was talking about really basically fair-foul, trap plays. But we're looking into more than that," Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations, said Wednesday at the general managers' meetings.Torre did not detail what types of calls a broader expansion might include.During tests late this year at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, MLB experimented with the Hawk-Eye animation system that is used to judge line calls in tennis and the TrackMan radar software used by the PGA Tour."We still have some questions on the way it is now, if that's going to fit with baseball," Torre said. "I'm not saying it can't be adjusted or they can do something would make it work for our game."He pointed out tennis courts are smaller than baseball fields."It's easier to cover as opposed to what we have," he said.Depending on what baseball decides, changes might have to be negotiated with the umpires' and players' unions.Selig has said he hopes to have wider replay in 2013."I know what the commissioner said, that he expects it to be done, but again, he relies on us," Torre said of the staff.New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi called for wider use of replay after second base umpire Jeff Nelson blew a call at second base in Game 2 of the AL championship series, leading to an argument and Girardi's ejection. Nelson admitted he blew the call on the play, which should have ended the eighth inning before Detroit expanded its lead from one run to three. The Tigers won 3-0 and swept the Yankees before getting swept by San Francisco in the World Series."Too much is at stake. We play 235 days to get to this point," Girardi said. "In this day and age when we have instant replay available to us, it's got to change. I have been thrown out of games enough to know it would be quicker to get the call right or wrong or right on replay than for me to go out there and argue."

Strickland's lack of reliability rears its ugly head once again

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USATSI

Strickland's lack of reliability rears its ugly head once again

Hunter Strickland is as automatic as a closer has ever been. When there is a tantrum to air, he airs it for the world to see.

His latest and maybe most spectacular snap came last night when he lost a fight to a door at AT&T Park after being bested by Miami’s Lewis Brinson in the Marlins’ 5-4 win over the Giants. He punched said door with his pitching hand, broke his right pinky and will miss the next six to eight weeks while thinking about what he’s done.

Again.

Like Wile E. Coyote.

Strickland was defending the old baseball code of frontier justice for people who celebrate success on a ballfield, as Brinson did last week in Miami. He threw a pitch at Brinson, then gave up a base hit to the anemic-hitting outfielder, and decided upon reflection that the clubhouse door was taunting him by existing.

So he punched it, with the predictable result.

Strickland’s M.O. here has been of a hard-throwing red-behinded American who brooks no slights and holds all grudges, for weeks or even years at a time (hello, Bryce Harper). But to break his hand because he couldn’t outduel a .179 hitter best known for being a joke candidate for the National league All-Star Team through the auspices of the Dan Le Batard radio show in Miami...well, this cements Strickland’s reputation as the man you go to when you want to show your children what self-control doesn’t look like.

One can speculate how the Giants, who have endured his microscopic fuse before, will view this latest transgression against common sense. One could see Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy arguing halfway through a commiserative beer before tabling the subject for as many weeks as it takes for him to heal. They could agree that Strickland is more trouble than his results are worth, they could agree that his talent trumps his tantrums, or argue about it until they finish the beer.

But Strickland’s lack of reliability or decorum has interfered more than once with his career, and it seems unlikely to get any better in the foreseeable future. He is Hunter Strickland, the beanballing, door-punching hothead who can always be relied upon to be unreliable.

And the Giants have to decide quickly whether he is worth any more of their precious bother. They don’t have to announce the results, but they do need to reach a denouement with Strickland and his flaming forehead.

The guess? They will endure until they can find someone willing to take him and his flailing fists off their hands. That, we suspect, may take awhile. And by then, he might have broken his foot kicking an ottoman after a game against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds. As in red-ass. I mean, if you're going to go, go all the way.

After blowing save vs Marlins, Hunter Strickland fractured his hand punching a door

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AP

After blowing save vs Marlins, Hunter Strickland fractured his hand punching a door

SAN FRANCISCO — Hunter Strickland’s temper has at times tarnished his reputation, led to a suspension, and ignited a fight that was a low point of the 2017 season and ended Michael Morse's career. Now, it has cost the Giants their closer for a couple of months. 

Strickland punched a door after blowing a save Monday night and suffered a fracture in his pitching hand. The right-hander was having surgery on his right pinky finger Tuesday afternoon and is expected to miss at least six to eight weeks. 

Manager Bruce Bochy said he did not find out about Strickland until he got home after a 5-4 loss. He said the news “crushed” him, noting that Strickland had grown as a pitcher and person since taking over the closer role at the end of spring training. 

“The closer has got to have emotional control,” Bochy said. “We all get frustrated and that’s a tough loss and a gut-wrenching loss. I’m sure he felt full responsibility. He didn’t think before it happened. I’m thoroughly disappointed, trust me. I’m crushed, because this guy has grown as a pitcher and a person. I know Hunter cares deeply.”

Strickland had shown signs of growth since a fight with Bryce Harper last season. Members of the staff noticed a change in his demeanor on the mound, and a new, calmer slider led to a start that had him getting All-Star consideration. Strickland had a 2.01 ERA and 13 saves in 16 opportunities before facing the Marlins. They took advantage of a night when Strickland had poor command, scoring three runs to take the lead and steal a win. 

Strickland chirped at rookie Lewis Brinson as he walked off the field. Brinson had celebrated after getting the game-tying single. Shortly thereafter, Strickland apparently threw an ill-advised punch with his pitching hand. 

Without Strickland, Bochy said he will lean on Tony Watson and Sam Dyson for the ninth inning. Mark Melancon, who got a record deal to be the closer, is not viewed as durable enough at this point because of his own injury issues. Watson and Dyson have been having strong seasons, and Bochy said one of them will get the lion’s share of the save opportunities. Rookie Pierce Johnson will return to take Strickland’s roster spot.