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News » NOTES Macha shuns instant replay Debated call doesn't change his mind

NOTES Macha shuns instant replay Debated call doesn't change his mind

NOTES  Macha shuns instant replay  Debated call doesn't change his mind
All of Milwaukee might have been up in arms over Friday night's "fair" call that helped win the game for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but don't include Brewers manager Ken Macha.

"That was a very difficult play," Macha said before Saturday's game. "It looked like when the ball hit the dirt, the dirt went on the line.

"It's a tough call."

The play in question happened in the eighth inning, when Tony Clark sliced a ball down the left-field line that landed right next to or just on the chalk line, depending on whom you ask. Even in slow motion, as Macha pointed out, it is still a difficult call.

Macha said the umpire had a better view than he did from the dugout, but he went out to argue because of third baseman Bill Hall's reaction to the call.

And after nearly 24 hours to think more about it, Macha reiterated his dislike for instant replay in Baseball.

Some of the greatest plays in sports history happened because an umpire or referee blew a call. Macha mentioned Franco Harris' immaculate reception; Jackie Robinson's steal of home that had Yogi Berra irate; and the one that hits closest to home for Macha, Derek Jeter's flip play against the Oakland Athletics in the 2001 playoffs that kept the New York Yankees alive in the series they eventually won while Macha was a coach in Oakland.

"He's safe," Macha said about the base runner on the play, Jeremy Giambi. "(Everybody says,) 'Oh, the greatest play ever. Look how Jeter flips it over there.'


The idea of replays irks Macha, who watches a lot of college football and said when he goes to a game, he doesn't want to sit around watching refs under a curtain.

He feels the same about Baseball replays. Macha doesn't like the home-run replay rules and doesn't want video cameras to affect any of the other areas of the game.

"Just forget the instant replay." Macha said. "I'd rather just play the game.

"The game is played by human beings, as it is umpired by human beings."

Braun sits with stiff back: Leftfielder Ryan Braun sat out Saturday's game with back stiffness that started bothering him during Friday's game.

The Brewers delayed putting out a lineup before Saturday's first pitch while Braun received treatment and decided if he could play. Just before batting practice, it was announced that Braun wouldn't go, and Macha wasn't even sure if he'd be well enough to pinch hit.

Braun did not take batting practice and received more treatment about an hour before game time. He was unavailable to comment on his condition before the game.

"He complained of tightness (Friday)," Macha said. "I don't know exactly where it's at. What they said was it got tighter as the game went on (Friday)."

Struggles continue: Reliever Carlos Villanueva had another rough outing Friday night. He threw two-thirds of an inning and allowed two runs on a hit and a walk, pushing his earned run average to 7.30.

He has been inconsistent so far, looking terrible one day - like when he allowed two runs on three hits in an inning Monday - only to look like he has it all figured out - like when he got the save Wednesday.

Macha said one of Villanueva's problems is hitters aren't checking for the inside fastball against him. He is living too much on the outside edge, allowing hitters to cheat by worrying about only one side of the zone.

"The approach that the hitters were taking last night (against him), they weren't worried about the ball inside," Macha said. "They're laying out over the plate. (Conor) Jackson was actually fouling his changeup (the other way to the right side). You have to let these guys know you can come inside."


The Brewers have been getting some hot pitching, but their bats have been just as warm. Entering Saturday, the Brewers were among the best hitting clubs in the National League over the previous 10 games:

Category No. NL rank

Hits 93 1st

Slugging pct .457 1st

Home runs 13 2nd

Batting avg .278 2nd

Runs 48 3rd

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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Added: May 3, 2009

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