Re-play Molina?

September 29

                     The patient is still breathing.  The Giants are not declared dead yet, thanks in part to baseball’s new instant replay. 

                     In an 8-4 Giants win over the Diamondbacks Tuesday, Andres Torres kept Ryan Roberts’ drive in the park after the ball bounced out of Torres’ glove and off the top of the fence, back on to the field.  Torres caught the ball and showed it to the umpires, but no sale.  It was initially ruled a home run, game tied 2-2. 

                     I yelled for Bruce Bochy to throw the red flag.  Oops, wrong sport.  Anyway, Bochy came out to argue, umpires kibbitzed for a moment and then went under the stands behind home plate to get a video replay.  Fans wondered whether the umps went to the Acme Chophouse for some Mac and Cheese, or maybe to Starbucks across the street.  It seemed like an eternity before they re-emerged, but they got the call right:  ground rule double.

                    Replay is a good thing for major league baseball but a couple of changes are needed.  It probably should be expanded to include foul line calls, and the reviews could be sped up.  I know the replay machine at A-T-and-T needs to be closer.

                    Somehow I don’t think Bochy cares right now.

                    My favorite quote of the night came from Bochy, referring to Miguel Montero’s two bombs off Jonathan Sanchez:  “You take away those two hits he has a shutout.”  You could have taken away one of them if Sanchez didn’t shake off Bengie Molina’s sign.  Instead he threw a fastball, the same pitch Montero parked a couple of innings before, and Montero put it in the water.

                   Bochy also mentioned he had a long talk with Molina.  Free agency looms.  This will be one of the trickiest decisions for the Giants: sign a catcher who is somewhat banged up and will be 36 next year, a guy who will want a two-year deal and perhaps more money, or let him go and lose the heart of the team? 

                   Molina wants to win but he also wants to play, and he probably won’t want to be a mentor for Buster Posey.   Well-rested on Tuesday, Molina hit two home runs and reached a career high 20 for the season.  It was emotional because he promised his late father he’d reach that milestone, an impressive stat in San Francisco.  You have to be happy for Molina, but it might end up being a fond parting moment.

                   Molina will be part of our review of the Giants roster tomorrow.  Should he stay or should he go?  Stay tuned.

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