Let's See That Again
Source: South Williamsport, Pa.
Date: Saturday, August 21, 2010 ET
Replay has been expanded for this year's Little League Baseball World Series and it's already gotten quite a bit of use. In Saturday's contests alone, four challenges were issued by managers in different games.
And so far, its coaches-3, call on the field-2. Three of the four Saturday challenges were successful in reversing the call on the field, improving on an 0-for-1 mark from Friday's contests.
Calls were reversed in both Saturday's opening and closing games, with the first-ever reversal under the new replay format occurring in the early game between Hamilton, Ohio, and Toms River, N.J.
In the bottom of the third inning, Mid-Atlantic's Jeff Ciervo sent a ground ball to Hamilton third baseman Brooks Robinson. First base umpire Ken Garrison called Ciervo safe, saying he beat Robinson's throw. But the play was reviewed, and replay showed Ciervo was out.
The replay was completed quickly and Robinson said he didn't feel like the flow of the game was interrupted.
Hamilton manager Ken Coomer wasn't a fan of replay at first, but after having it explained to him better, he has since come around. He was definitely happy it helped his team.
"It benefitted us," he said. "I thought that was a big out."
After getting the first out of the inning, Jarod Morrison struck out the next two Toms River batters. It was the first scoreless inning of the game for the righthander.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Toms River manager Paul Deceglie challenged a call of his own at first base, but replay upheld the original ruling.
"I thought it was close and I had nothing to lose," he said. "It could have changed things."
In the nightcap, Plymouth, Minn. manager John Vecere challenged a play that called Lucas Wencl out at third on a fielder's choice. But further umpire review showed the tag was not applied in time, resulting in a manager who literally jumped for joy all the way to the dugout.
Each review is done by a replay official, who must see conclusive evidence to overrule a call. A replay can be initiated by the umpires or a coach can challenge a call. If the play is overturned, the coach may continue to challenge. If he is wrong, he can't ask for the review of any more calls unless the game goes to extra innings.
Little Big League
Orel Hershiser and Mike Mussina were spotted having a friendly chat outside Howard J. Lamade Stadium during the Hawaii-Georgia game Saturday afternoon. That's a combined 474 major league career wins for the conversing duo. Hershiser is in Williamsport on assignment with ESPN, while Mussina lives in neighboring Montoursville.
Mussina, who won 270 games during his 18-year career, was a five-time All-Star. Hershiser, who had 204 victories in his 18 seasons, was a three-time All-Star and the winner of the 1988 National League Cy Young Award.
Other former major leaguers who have made appearances at this year's World Series are Andre Dawson, Nomar Garciaparra, Bobby Valentine (manager), Jose Valentin, Dick Drago and Kyle Peterson. More are expected throughout the week, so stay tuned.
Rolling Down The River
The crowd during Saturday's first game between the Great Lakes and the Mid-Atlantic seemed to skew in favor of "home" region. That shouldn't come as a surprise, since Hamilton (Ohio) is twice as far from Williamsport as Toms River (N.J.).
The advantage in the stands didn't play out on the field, as Hamilton won, 16-6.
Great Lakes manager Ken Coomer said it was so loud on the field and in the dugout that it was impossible to hear where the cheers were even coming from. Because of the noise, Coomer joked he might have to develop a different way of communicating with his team.
"I'll have to learn some sign language or something for next game," he said.
Write This Down
Authors of the children's baseball book "A Glove of Their Own" were at the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum on Saturday to sign copies of their work. Debbie Moldovan and Keri Conkling were joined by former major leaguer Dick Drago, who was on hand to help promote their baseball story.
Moldovan and Conkling wrote the book with Lisa Funari-Willevar. They all hail from New Jersey and were nothing but thrilled when the Toms River squad showed up at the museum. The boys took a picture with Moldovan and Conkling and also received words of wisdom and encouragement from Drago.
Do A Little Dance
While waiting for Saturday's final game between Auburn, Wash. and Plymouth, Minn. to begin, Dugout was busy dancing with anyone it could convince to join in.
Dugout wasn't the only one putting on a show, however. Plymouth infielder Michael Segal wowed the crowd with a series of handsprings down the first base line.
Behind The Numbers
Friday night's historic first-round meeting between Little League dynasties Japan and Mexico had a number of significant numbers attached to it:
- Mexico and Japan have met 11 times in pool play prior to last night's game.
- On three occasions – in 1997, 2006 and 2008 – the two teams have met in the international final. Mexico took a pair of one-run wins (1997 and 2008) while Japan won the 2006 matchup, 3-0.
- Mexico went on to win the 1997 title, but the teams were foiled in 2006 and 2008 by a pair of 2010 Little League World Series participants in Columbus Northern (Southeast) and Waipio (West), respectively.
- Friday night, a game won by Japan, 6-2, was the first time the countries had ever met on Opening Day or as the teams' first matchups.