Monthly Archives: July 2011

Another Case for Instant Replay

Late last night—rather, early this morning—the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves wrapped up a 19 inning game on what appears to be a blown call by home plate umpire Jerry Meals. The videos over at are real-time, of course, but nowhere near the up close and personal view Meals had. It’s tough to see a 100% conclusive tag of Julio Lugo by Pirates catcher Michael McKenry. The internet is a powerful tool, however, as are DVRs and camera phones.


This picture was tweeted by @Silber_Bullet:




This one comes from Pirates blog Raise The Jolly Roger:




Obviously, the play is still really close. But it pretty much looks like Lugo is out. Calls like this are the exact reason expanded—but still limited—instant replay is needed in Major League Baseball. For the record, I do NOT believe balls and strikes should be called by a machine. I still believe a balk should be a judgment call. And I do not want unlimited challenges throughout a game. But something needs to be done. Umpires are human and make mistakes, so why not take steps to eliminate some of that? Fair or foul, out or safe, home run or not…these are true-false calls that don’t have to have anything to do with judgment. Umpires, players, coaches, and executives in the game have to want the calls to be correct, no matter which way they go. Expanding instant replay is a really easy way to accomplish that.

It’s time for MLB to step into the 21st century. It ain’t 1985 anymore.


Denkinger 85



We can’t stop here…

I have become a wasp assassin.

I got stung by a wasp at an early age…I’m sure I had bee stings and other bug interactions that I don’t remember at this point, but one event still stands out: I was playing with the neighbor’s cat and it ran into a large bush. Fearless Ignorant kid that I was, I followed to “rescue” the cat from the bush…and got stung right between the shoulder blades. For some reason, it stuck in my mind as some of the worst pain I’ve ever felt. I was like five or six years old. Nearly 30 years later, I remember it like it was yesterday.

So to this day, I have a very general fear and loathing of insects that sting. It’s not a paralyzing phobia, but I get startled easily by these buzzing agents of pain and do what I can to sufficiently flee or destroy them when confronted. Unfortunately, when you live in an old house like I do, you’re often confronted with gaps and spaces that allow for critters to enter. This is especially true of brick homes and how the soffit/facia lines up near the roof. I think you can see where this is going.

I work from home, and my office is in the only room on the second floor. That room is surrounded by a lot of inaccessible (to us) attic space, and I know wasps live in there. I’ve seen them go in from the outside. And since there is quite a bit of remodeling work that still needs to be done, there are less-than-flush seams in certain walls/closets/etc. So I’m faced with the low-frequency buzz of a wasp entering my office space at least three times a week. It is infuriating and usually leads to me spouting a string of profanities followed by me chasing my enemy around the room with a fly swatter like in the famous “bat country” scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Today alone I killed two of these bastards. They both received the Osama bin Laden treatment from me: taken out with a precision weapon (fly swatter) then buried at sea (toilet). I find them in other areas of the house, too…usually the bathroom for some reason. The other day I picked up a pair of shorts from the floor and one flew out of the clothing’s folds.

Am I the target of some coordinated attack scheme? Do they know my fears and countermeasures? Can they hear me right now? These little pricks must die, and I must be the one to kill them. No rest for the weary.