The Rays Tank: Instant Replay News; The Rangers Just Get Stronger

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 17: Pitcher Roy Oswalt #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on against the San Francisco Giants in Game Two of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 17 2010 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Roy Oswalt

There were two main news stories around baseball yesterday that caught my eye, so let's delve on in.

First of all, screw the Rangers. I dislike them with a passion after the way they've eliminated the Rays from the playoffs each of the past few years, and it doesn't help that their star player, Josh Hamilton, has a bit of a history with TB. I've hated the Phillies every since 2008 as well, and it's been glorious to watch them fall to pieces this season and watch their fans slowly realize that their team is a mess -- but with the Rangers? They're far too good, and it's annoying.

Sadly, things only go worse yesterday. The Rangers signed Roy Oswalt to a one year, $5 million deal to play with them through the rest of the season, and he'll be filling in the rotation spot vacated by Neftali Feliz. Oswalt is far from the ace that he used to be -- and he'll need some time to get into game shape -- but still, he's about the exact last team I'd hoped would sign him. The Rangers are en route to cruise into the postseason, and they have a strong enough team that the World Series doesn't seem that far out of reach. Why couldn't it have been the Orioles or Dodgers that signed Oswalt? Sigh...

Second, it looks as though MLB isn't quite as clueless as they appear at times. Apparently, MLB is ready to roll out expanded replay in 2013 (albeit, only for a limited number of scenarios) and the replay decisions will be made by an umpire not on the field, but in a booth somewhere. It's unclear if the replay ump will be at the game itself or in "a central location" (which is what MLB is hinting at), but either way, they have the right idea. You don't want to drag the game on any longer than you need to, and if baseball instituted a replay rule like football, it'd be painful as heck. This sounds a lot more like what hockey uses, and I'm excited to see it in action. We'll have to be patient, as it's still going to be some time before MLB is using replay on every play, but this is a step in the right direction.

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