Instant Replay: Too Much or Not Enough?

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Until recently, instant replay in Major League Baseball was limited to boundary calls involving home runs. Now, managers will have the opportunity to challenge one play per game, two if the first one is overturned. The list of what can be challenged has grown significantly compared to the single item: home runs.

Play’s that can now be challenged include: home runs, ground-rule double, fan interference, stadium boundary calls, force plays, tag plays, fair and foul in the outfield only, a trapped ball in the outfield, hit by pitch, timing play, passing of a runner, and record keeping.

This long list has some fans concerned that a baseball game will now be even more lengthy due to the replays. But will it be? With at most 4 plays being challenged per game and the minimal replays we see for home runs, having a significant amount of time added to the game is unlikely. The average time to review a challenge is 90 seconds. With that said, it seems as though there might be five to ten minutes added to a game. Is the change worth it? Is it too much or not enough?

Here’s what some of YOUR former Boise Hawks had to say …

“I think it’s a good thing as long as they don’t take too long to get the call right. I know they can’t replay everything and that’s a good thing. But replaying fan interference and home runs, I don’t see anything wrong with that, the umpires just want to get the call right.” – Jacob Rogers

“My initial reaction is that I’m in favor of it. We’ll only truly know how it’ll affect the game after we see it in action, but I like the idea of it. Baseball is the type of game where the entire season could hang in the balance of a split second decision and I think anything we can do to be sure the right call is made will only help the game” – Ian Dickson (now with the Washington Nationals)

“I personally really like the changes that were made to instant replay, making sure important calls are ruled correctly is essential. Nobody wants another Armando Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce blowing his perfect game. There are still judgment calls and the human element that is baseball.” – Eddie Orozco

“I don’t agree with it, baseball is a game of inches and close calls by the umpires. I feel like replays are going to take away from the game. People already think baseball is hard to follow because it’s slow, now they’re going to add replays which will slow the game down even more. Personally, I say leave the challenges and replays to other sports and just let us play baseball.” – Rock Shoulders

“I think it’s a good thing to have finally. All major sports are going to it, and it’s something that we needed to have to go along with today’s technology. Now we will at least have close plays looked at and the correct call made. It also saves the umps from getting harassed.” – Cael Brockmeyer

“In my opinion I’m totally for the instant replay. Just like in other sports they can revert back to the replay to see what the right call should be. For baseball it would be to decipher whether or not that big play that just happened was fair or foul, safe or out, interfered with or legitimate. That would mean the difference of a World Series if you really think about it. Or what about the perfect game that was lost due to the bad call on the final out for Galarraga. This will also be a big help to the umpires so they don’t have so much pressure to make the split second decision that could ultimately change a game or a season. I think that this is going to help the game become as true as it can be in those regards.” – Pierce Johnson

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A Life of Training with Jonathan Fierro

 

Jonathan Fierro, YOUR Boise Hawks trainer, has lived a life full of experiences most don’t get the chance to live. His father, John Fierro, was a trainer for the Chicago Cubs as well as the Phillies, Phoenix Coyotes and USA Baseball.

“When my father was still in baseball it was a lot of fun and something not a lot of kids get to experience but at the same time, it was pretty hard.” As Jonathan is figuring out on his own in his first season as a trainer, there is a fun side and a business side to the game. “The unfortunate side of the business and family life is that you travel a lot and work long hours. You don’t get off days during the season.”

While the experiences he had as a child were unforgettable, the memories he missed out on with his father arejust as memorable. “The first seven years of my life he was gone more than he was home.” Jonathan was able to hang out in the locker room a lot with his father but that was the most they would see each other. “It’s kind of a win lose situation but you grow to understand it.” And from what I gather, love it, as Jonathan chose trainer as his career.

With the effects of his career already shining through, he is having a blast with what he is doing. “I look forward to showing up at the ball park everyday and being able to travel to new places. I’ve been able to meet some great people on this team and in this league.”

Jonathan has also enjoyed learning about the different cultures and backgrounds with this team. “Everyone is from all over the world, the team forms a bond throughout the season and it’s like hanging out with your family every day. Sometimes you get into arguments but that’s going to happen.”

With playoffs just around the corner, Jonathan is just as stoked as the team is. “As a team, we didn’t commit this much time and effort to go home early.” With that being said, the off season does bring some excitement. “It’s going to be nice to see everyone again. I’ll end up working most of the off-season but I’ll sneak in a vacation and will have afternoons free to go hang out with friends and family.”

When it comes to life outside of baseball, Jonathan has a hard time getting away from sports, his life kind of revolves around it. “Oddly enough I stay away from watching baseball now a days, I see enough of it. I watch more Hockey than anything.” If he’s not working a sport, he is watching or playing it.

Growing up Jonathan played baseball through high school and one year of Jr. College. “When my dad started working for the Coyotes I tried playing Hockey but I like to pretend I’m a lot better than I am. It took me two years to learn how to stop on ice so that’s my main battle while I’m playing.”

Trevor Gretzky is On to the Next One

 

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With third-baseman Kris Bryant being promoted to class-A Daytona, the promotion of outfielder Trevor Gretzky seemed to be set on the back burner. While with YOUR Boise Hawks Gretzky hit .256 with six RBI and left this morning, August 13, with an 11-game hitting streak at Memorial Stadium. With the buzz around rumors of Kris Bryant being promoted, the move of Gretzky was kind of a shocker for some. 

“I had no idea. I was very happy and excited to move up and keep working.”

Coming into the 2013 season Gretzky struggled to get his average up. After five appearances for YOUR Boise Hawks, he was hitting .138 with just four hits out of nineteen at bats.  Hitting Coach, Bill Buckner, was a big help in getting Gretzky to where he is today. “I’ve been working with Buck for the last year and a half. He’s helped me a lot, especially with my approach.”

With fielding it was a matter of timing. “I didn’t feel like I struggled, I was confident all year, I was just waiting for my opportunity because of all of the talent we have had in the outfield.”

Now that the opportunity has come, Gretzky says that he will miss his Host Family, Lisa and Steve Capps, as well as all of the people he met that work at the stadium. “And the Hawks Reading Tree of course.” 

We wish you the best and good luck in Kane County!

Back in Boise with Eddie Orozco!

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Fan favorite and winner of the 2012 Boise Hawks Community Award, Eddie Orozco, is making an appearance back in Boise. Orozco has been on the disabled list for Kane County since June 11 with an inflammation in his right elbow. He flew in for the series against the Hillsboro Hops and made his first appearance back with YOUR Boise Hawks Wednesday, July 17. 

Orozco went one inning with three strikeouts, no hits and no walks in his returning debut with YOUR Boise Hawks. He was 3-3 with a 4.87 ERA for the Cougars before being sent down for rehab. Last season here in Boise, Orozco went 2-1 with a 1.95 ERA and six saves.

While in Boise Orozco plans to get back in game shape and see how his elbow responds to game action. With rehab and recovery at the top of his list, he is also excited for a visit. “I’ve missed the city, the people and the memories of last year.” 

Orozco spent much of his off season with family and friends while also working towards this season. “I did a bunch of golfing and fishing, just tried to relax for the first two weeks but started working and preparing the first of November trying to add weight that I had lost in Boise.” 

Off season is hardly time off. From workouts and mechanics to eating just right, it is nothing but work. “I started out just lifting and eating with minimal cardio until December when I started throwing.” In late January his routine switched to throwing bullpens and trying to get mechanically sound. “With the long layoff it takes time to get back into form. Bullpens were all out of the stretch.” Orozco focused on developing his change up and keeping his mechanics simple. 

We wish you well Eddie!

*Eddie will be making an appearance for the Hawks Reading Tree Friday, July 19th! Meet us down the first base line in Humphrey’s Hut while he reads a story to the kids!*

Corbin Hoffner’s Small Town & Big Dreams

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Since the day Corbin Hoffner can remember he has wanted to play baseball professionally. His father, Bob, coached his older brother Kyle which is what sparked his interest in baseball at a young age. Coming from a small town has been Hoffner’s biggest struggle with the chance to show scouts what he was made of being slim to none. Going to St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, Florida gave him the exposure he needed to get the opportunity he has today in the Cubs organization.

While a college education was important to Hoffner, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to sign with the Cubs when they also offered him money to finish his college education later in life. Playing baseball as his job with the chance to continue with college later was just what he was looking for. “Having that opportunity was something that I could not pass up.”

Hoffner’s first year of college ball went as well as it possibly could. He went 5-5 as a starter with an impressive 2.50 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 72 innings. “My first year of college ball went really well. Meeting new people and living on my own made me grow up and become mature as a person. It was an experience I will never forget.”

As far as Boise goes, Hoffner is just about two weeks into his stay and says it has been great thus far. “I didn’t know what to expect but so far it has been really good.” Hoffner has made 2 appearances for YOUR Boise Hawks, one of which was here in Boise where he went 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB and 4K.

Getting to this point has been a lifelong dream of Hoffner’s. “It has been a dream to play pro ball since I was a little kid playing tee ball, I have always wanted to play professionally.” Hoffner says his family has been the best support system throughout the years. “They are always there for me through thick and thin with whatever the situation has been.” Hoffner has 2 siblings, an older brother Kyle, a younger sister Carly, and his parents, Bob and Tammy. He is not sure if they will make it out to Boise but he knows they are trying to.

Hoffner is from Sebring, Florida, a little town in the middle of the state. He enjoys golfing, hunting, and playing ping pong with his buddies. His best advice to pass on is “Put everything you have into the game you love and have no regrets when you look back on it one day.”

The Dunston Men

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A common denominator when it comes to YOUR Boise Hawks is the fact that their father’s were the one’s to get them started in baseball. From playing tee ball to acting as the bat boy for a major league team, these boys started out with their father’s by their side. For Shawon Dunston Jr., baseball and life are one in the same between him and his father.

While it is hard to remember where it all began, Shawon Jr. says that his most vivid memory is acting as the Giants Bat Boy for the last two seasons his father, Shawon Dunston Sr., played. “Just being there with him everyday and seeing guys like Barry Bonds do what he did was pretty special.”

In the Dunston household, baseball is life. “My dad has related life and baseball together since the day I can remember.” When it comes to Shawon Jr., Shawon Sr. tries to help out mentally whenever he can. Shawon Jr. says the best advice his father has given him is “You’re in a lose lose situation. If you go 0 for 4 then you’re not good, but if you go 4 for 4, it’s because your father played. Just play hard, you are somebody and everyone is watching, so remember everything you do, people are watching close.”

Shawon Jr. started out with YOUR Boise Hawks last season but was sent back down to Mesa. Throughout the off season Twitter and Instagram posts told the story of his fight to get mentally prepared and come back strong for 2013. “While my father helped me mentally, physically I took it upon myself to work harder, put on weight, and to be prepared and ready once spring came.” While the season is just two games in, Shawon Jr. is batting .500 and proving himself on the field already.

While Shawon Jr. will not be able to see his Dad for Father’s Day as he is coaching the Giants against the Braves in Atlanta, his older sisters Whitnie and Jasmine drove down to meet him, “he’s pretty excited about that.”

Shawon Jr. says that his father has always told him he did not have to play baseball, but, “if you want to do what I did for a living, there’s going to be sacrifices you have to make.” Missing out on special days such as Father’s Day is definitely one of those sacrifices. One of his father’s favorite sayings is “you’ll have me now, but love me later.” I think that says it all.