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."

A's spring training Day 9: Alcantara trying to add new wrinkle

A's spring training Day 9: Alcantara trying to add new wrinkle

MESA, Ariz. — Right-hander Raul Alcantara, who could factor in as a starting or long relief option for the A’s, is experimenting with a split-finger fastball this spring.

Alcantara, who made five late-season starts last season in his first big league call-up, threw the pitch for the first time to hitters Tuesday, so he’s still in the infant stages with it. The A’s would like Alcantara to develop a solid third pitch to go with his fastball and changeup, though he does dabble with a curve and cutter too.

“In general, we’re looking for a ball that’s gonna dive, something where the bottom’s gonna fall out,” Oakland bullpen coach Scott Emerson said.

Alcantara, 24, faces crowded competition for the No. 5 starter spot with Jesse Hahn, Andrew Triggs and Paul Blackburn among those also going for it. Claiming the last spot in a seven-man bullpen is a possibility, though the A’s could surely utilize a second left-hander to go along with Sean Doolittle.

Making Alcantara’s case more interesting is that he’s out of minor league options, meaning he would need to make it through waivers unclaimed before the A’s could send him down.

Alcantara throws a hard changeup that clocked 86-87 miles per hour last season. Ideally, Emerson said his splitter would settle in the low 80’s.

Speaking through interpreter Juan Dorado, Alcantara said he’s gradually getting a feel for the new pitch.

“Obviously it’s a little more difficult on the hitters to know that there’s a different pitch,” he said. “They’re used to me throwing a fastball, a cutter and a change, and now implementing a split would just help me out to show them something different.”

CAMP BATTLE: Lefty Ross Detwiler, who re-signed with Oakland in the winter on a minor league deal, offers depth as a potential swing man who can start or relieve. Detwiler went 2-4 with a 6.14 ERA in nine games (seven starts) last season for the A’s. Those numbers look ugly in a short sample size, but Melvin values the veteran beyond what the stats show.

“I think he liked being here and we wanted him back.”

QUOTABLE: “I must be a little behind this year because the guys are hitting me a little harder than they normally do. Healy took me over the batter’s eye three times in a row.” — Melvin, who throws a couple rounds of batting practice every day.

NOTEWORTHY: The A’s will hold a pair of two-inning intrasquad games Thursday at the Lew Wolff Training Complex, with both set to start at 11:40 a.m.

49ers assistant GM Gamble leaving organization

49ers assistant GM Gamble leaving organization

The San Francisco 49ers Wednesday announced that Tom Gamble is leaving the organization. 

“The 49ers organization has tremendous respect and appreciation for Tom Gamble and his many years of service,” said General Manager John Lynch. “He is a class act who has helped a great deal in this transition, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him. After working together over the last month, Tom and I agreed that it would be in both of our best interests for him to pursue other opportunities. Tom is a true professional and we wish him and his family great success in the future.”
 
“I must thank Jed, the York family and the entire 49ers organization for the wonderful memories they provided me and my family, but it is time I move on,” said Gamble. “This past month, I have had the pleasure of working alongside John Lynch and the talented staff he has assembled. The team is in capable hands and I wish them nothing but the best.”

Gamble, who recently completed his 29th NFL season and 10th with the 49ers, returned to the team in January of 2015 as the senior personnel executive and was later named assistant general manager on July 25, 2016. He spent the 2013-14 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles as vice president of player personnel. Gamble originally joined the 49ers in 2005 and spanned eight seasons with San Francisco including two as the director of player personnel (2011-12). He oversaw both the college and pro personnel efforts of the 49ers. As the 49ers director of pro personnel from 2005-10, Gamble monitored every NFL roster with an emphasis on scouting talent of upcoming pro free agents, while also maintaining continuous depth of personnel on the team’s roster.

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