Sports

Valentine Still Seeing Red Over Balls and Strikes

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Bobby Valentine  argues  Jim Rogash Getty Images Sport

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By STEVEN WINE   AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) _ A day after being ejected, Boston Red Sox manager
Bobby Valentine was still steamed about umpiring, and said
technology should be used to eliminate human error in calling balls
and strikes.
“I want a ball called a ball and a strike called a strike.
Figure out how to do it,” Valentine said before his team began a
series Monday at Miami.

Valentine, upset with plate ump Al Porter, launched a tirade
with two outs in the ninth inning of Sunday’s loss to Washington.
The Red Sox dropped all three games in the series, and Valentine
said his frustration about the way pitches were called built
through the weekend.

But he said he has long been in favor of using technology to get
such calls right. Covering the Little League World Series as a
network announcer convinced Valentine change was needed.
“It was the most criminal thing I ever saw,” he said. “I
wanted to cry when a kid, in the sixth inning with the bases loaded
and his team down by one run, was called out on a strike three on a
pitch that was six inches outside. He couldn’t reach it with his
bat. I cried for him. That kid is scarred for life playing our game
by an injustice.
“And then someone says the most ridiculous words that I ever
hear _ `But we like the human factor.’ It’s criminal that we allow
our game to scar a young person like that. And then it continues. I
think in 2012 it should not be part of the process.”

Valentine declined to propose a specific solution, but said the
technology exists to improve the accuracy of calling pitches. He
said he doesn’t fault umpires, because he believes it’s impossible
to see the final few feet of a pitch traveling 90 mph and sometimes
breaking sharply.
“The umpires are very well trained, and I think they’re very
good at what they do,” Valentine said. “I think it’s almost
impossible to do what they do. So why do we ask them to do the
impossible?”

Valentine said he had yet to hear from Major League Baseball
regarding his tirade Sunday.
“I probably will,” he said. “They fine you and take your
money and reprimand you, as though I did something wrong. It’s a
great system. I love it.”

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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