Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What's So Great About The Month Of August?

Little League World Series,   That's What !!!

Upon further review, turns out instant replay in baseball isn't such a bad idea after all.

The very first Little League World Series was held back in 1947 in South Williamsport, PA and it is still held there every August.

Managers at this month's Little League World Series will be able to challenge certain calls under a revised instant replay system.

The 2-year-old system also will be expanded to include more plays, including force outs, tags on base paths, missed bases and hit batters.

Reviews were previously limited to plays that should have resulted in a dead ball, but were called otherwise by the umpire, such as questionable home runs and other close plays at the outfield fence.

While Commissioner Bud Selig and major league umpires continue to treat the idea of video replay as if it were radioactive, Little League President Stephen Keener is expanding its use at this month's World Series to include virtually everything except ball and strike calls.

"This is just another tool to help them do their job better," Keener said of the volunteer umpires who will work the 16-team World Series, which begins Aug. 20. "This retains not only the human element, but the volunteer element."

A spokesman for Selig declined Monday to comment on Little League's latest innovation, but expect MLB to be watching. It was Little League that made the use of batting helmets mandatory, 10 years before they were required in the majors. And it was Little League that pioneered the postgame ice cream and pizza parties, though that idea still hasn't gained much traction in the pros.

"It's exciting news," Barry Mano, a former college basketball official and publisher of Referee magazine, said of instant replay. "I would expect that something that happens in Little League baseball, [Selig] would look at it. They will look at any evaluation they can get their hands on."

The Little League World Series has used instant replay the last two summers, limiting it to plays that should have resulted in a dead ball, such as home runs. During that time four rulings were challenged, with replays showing the umpire's call was correct each time.

But Little League decided to go ahead and expand the use of instant replay anyway, largely because it can. Each game in the tournament is scheduled to be televised by ESPN, which will use 12 to 14 cameras and up to 16 playback machines. That's nearly twice as many network cameras as ESPN uses for many regular-season major league telecasts.  Read Full Story

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