For purely partisan reasons! Because the Mets have been successful five out of five times, because it created a winning streak, because its turned around our season, and because the oddball dimensions of Citi Field demand it.
Not, mind you, because it always gets the play right because I'm not convinced it does. But as long as the Amazins keep winning games in the video booth, I'm officially a fan.
Last night's video review of what ended up as a game changing 2-run Daniel Murphy home run was the fourth time in the last five games that the game turned in the Mets favor thanks to a review. Last night's situation revealed the negative side of the quirky dimensions of Citi Field. Because the “Pepsi Porch” on the second level juts so far into the in-play “airspace” of the field, that a towering fly like the one Murphy hit can be a home run if it barely glances off the porch on the way down.
Adding to this inherent design flaw is the fact that the bright yellow Subway ad that covers the front of tthe Porch is so light that you can't make out the white baseball against it. So the umps had to determine if the ball lightly glanced off the impossible-to-see sign to be able to thereby determine if it was a home run. Which is why I refer to the porch as a design “flaw” because it can turn a magestic home run into a silly game of visual cat and mouse.
I confidently refer to the ball as a homer due to the height and trajectory before it changed directions and dropped onto the field. I believe it barely glanced off the Subway sign otherwise there was no way it could have changed directions as it did. One could argue that the evidence is circumstantial, since its impossible to see it actually hit the Subway sign. But unless Isaac Newton revised the rules of gravity from the afterlife I don't see how it could have dropped the way it did WITHOUT glancing off the Subway sign.
Murphy's controversial homer was a game changer for sure, as was the fan-touched, Green-Monster-clearing, Papelbon-silencing shot off the bat of Omir Santos in Boston Saturday. While I'm confident the Santos homer call was correct, I'm not so sure about the other controversial call in the Nats series. The ball Sheff hit Monday was another towering fly coming straight down; to me its impossible to tell if the fans arms are in home run territory or not when he touches the ball.
One thing is for sure, the amazing luck and good fortune of these replays seem to be running through Gary Sheffield, who has been involved (hitting or on base) with all of them. Sheff has been a revelation, a red hot and intimidating hitter with the ridiculous bat waggle who has turned the clock back a decade on his swing. If there was bad magic at work at Shea the magic so far has been all good at Citi (after that terrible first game) The fact that Sheff is Doc Gooden's couisn and has always dreamed of playing for the Mets fits right in to the story.
Note to the baseball Gods: I know its only May, its a long season and luck will eventually even out. Thanks for the pixie dust you have shared so far.
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Written by Mark Reichman