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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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!*

Hawks Eye View: Hall of Shame?

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The world of social media and baseball blew up yesterday when there was no one voted into the Hall of Fame. This is only the second time in four decades this has happened. It was said that the steroid generation took away from both the hall and baseball itself. Record breakers such as Clemens, Bonds and Sosa didn’t come close to reaching the 75 percent needed to be inducted. What does this say for the future of the Hall of Fame; what message does this send out about steroids; what do you think?

Here are the views of a few of YOUR 2012 Boise Hawks!

“I understand why those guys didn’t get voted because it’s viewed that steroids is cheating, which it is. What I don’t understand is how Biggio didn’t get voted in. He is one of the top 2 second basemen in history, I don’t understand.”Michael Heesch

“I’m upset that no one got voted in because I feel there were some legitimate candidates, notably Craig Biggio and Jack Morris. I do not feel that heavily linked steroid users should have the distinction of first ballot hall of famers. With that being said, I do think the ones who are statistically worthy should eventually be allowed into the Hall of Fame but after some time has passed possibly.”Matt Iannazzo

“I believe that the guys on the ballot this year are well deserving to be in the Hall of Fame based on their performance and impact of the game. However, it’s really important to realize that steroids are cheating and harmful to one’s health. Ultimately steroids were a part of that era of baseball and there were many players using performance enhancing drugs. Although they were cheating, they were the best players and deserve recognition for that.”Stephen Bruno

“I think the Hall of Fame was made to honor the best players of baseball and the impact their individual efforts had on the game. Therefore, if you were a great baseball player in your era than you deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. The steroid was no different from the era of greenies and amphetamines (which players in those eras got into the HOF), it’s a double standard. It sucks for the steroid era that didn’t do any performance enhancing drugs because it negatively impacts them and their perception (like guys question whether they did or didn’t and therefore don’t vote for them), guys like Craig Biggio that did everything he could possibly do to get in. There’s no way of determining past and present players of who did what. You have to put the players that deserve to be in the HOF, in the HOF, plain and simple.”Eddie Orozco

“It makes a huge statement. If you cheat, you’re not getting in no matter how good you are. I’m not sure how I feel on not letting guys in based only on suspicion. But if your under suspicion for so long then there has to be good reason for it. If they were truly clean then they wouldn’t be under heavy suspicion.”Carlos Escobar

#WhatCanUBecome

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It’s been just one week since YOUR Boise Hawks left Boise for home. For some it had been a year since they had seen their families and for others a few months, but in either case YOUR Boise Hawks were looking forward to seeing their friends, family and getting the taste of a home cooked meal. In the short time the boys have been home, they have lived it up hitting the beach with the boys, taking the parents out to dinner, and playing with the niece and/or pups. While some of the boys went home knowing that they didn’t have to leave again until spring training, others knew that they had just one week with their friends and family before they would be back in Arizona for instructs.

For a lot of our young guys the day of travel came yesterday as they left their families once again to leave for Arizona. Today, September 17, 2012 begins the 2012 Instructional League for our young cubbies. Twitter has already flowed with their travel experiences and excitement to be back with some of their friends and teammates.

The Instructional League will start off with the normal one-on-one instruction, practice, with actual games beginning September 21. With YOUR 2012 Boise Hawks being the youngest team in their league, the Instructional League gives them the time, coaches and tools to look into specific aspects of their game and prepare for the next season. YOUR Boise Hawks participants include Jose Arias, Nathan Dorris, Pierce Johnson, Juan Paniagua, Willson Contreras, Justin Marra, Lance Rymel, Gioskar Amaya, Stephen Bruno, Jeimer Candelario, Marco Hernandez, Dan Vogelbach, Albert Almora, Trey Martin and Carlos Escobar (half of the final Boise Hawks 2012 roster).

Before I was able to talk to any of the guys there was one tweet that caught my eye from Chicago Cub, Dave Sappelt, “Just took BP with Albert Almora, the man’s looking good. #WhatCanUBecome.” Seems like a compliment on talent from someone who has already made it to the “Bigs.” What will these guys become? I will keep you updated throughout the post-season and on …

Here are a few updates on some of YOUR 2012 Boise Hawks

Carlos Escobar never got to go home. He was sent to Arizona for rehab just before the playoffs were over and will be participating in the Instructional League but not for another two weeks while he waits for his ankle to heal.

Rock Shoulders flew home, spent two days with his family and then went to Orlando to visit his friends. He also seemed to enjoy the time home with his pups! He will not be going to the Instructional League this season.

Ian Dickson was quickly thrown into college courses as he works to finish his degree. He has 12 weeks left in this “semester,” and will finish his degree in a future off season. Ian just celebrated his birthday September 16 and will not be in the Instructional League this season.

Eddie Orozco has enjoyed his family more than anything as well as his friends. He has found it hard to take his attention off of his niece but has still managed to make it to the gym and make time to hangout with friends. Eddie will not be in the Instructional League this season.

James Pugliese has been hanging out with his friends and family and enjoying his home cooked meals, although he says he misses Judy’s home cooked meals as well. He will be going to sign up for a class today, September 17, and will start lifting and running this week. “I’m excited.”

Bijan Rademacher was only with us for a short time in Boise but I figured we could use an update on him as well. He is currently in the Instructional League after finishing his season and spending a week at home. He had the chance to spend time with his family and work on his game before reporting to instructs. “I didn’t play as well as I had hoped but overall I look at my first season in pro ball as a success.”

Michael Heesch was caught off guard when I asked if he would be able to read to the children for KeyBank Reading Tree tomorrow, his response, “We could do it over FaceTime.” He is doing great and just as caring now as he was when he was still in Boise. I caught him on his way back from a fishing trip with his father. “It is nice being with my family, I miss playing every day though.”

Hayden Simpson has been spending plenty of time with his friends and family but Rianne Herron, his fiancé, seems to be most excited about his time home. “It’s been amazing to have him back home! He’s finally got to spend time with his soon-to-be niece. She was born at the end of April and he’s finally getting a chance to see her and spend time with her. His entire family and mine are so happy he’s back home for a while and having him back has taken a lot of stress from planning the wedding off of me! Plus it’s nice to be able to go on a date that doesn’t include a computer, Skype, or FaceTime.” The happy couple will get married before spring training on December 15, 2012.

Some will become graduates, some husbands and others uncles but they all will be returning to Spring Training 2013 and taking the next step in their journey to the Big’s figuring out just what they can become! I wish them all the best of luck in all they do and fans, I will continue to keep you updated as there is more to report.

Itching for the Big Leagues

YOUR Boise Hawks have had a great season here with the Cubs organization but what lies ahead is what may be on the minds of fans. Many of the boys have already started to tweet pictures of their bags packed and ready as well as talking about getting home. Where will YOUR Boise Hawks be this fall and winter or even next year? I plan to keep in touch and let you all know what lies ahead for YOUR Boise Hawks but for now I want to see what these guys are waiting for most at home.

For Tayler Scott, from South Africa, it is the food. He has been lucky enough to have his family here to support him this season but he misses the food in South Africa. “Won’t be home until December, but looking forward to the food and I’ll probably go eat first thing!” His go to food here is chicken but at home he enjoys the seafood most.

Eddie Orozco, from California, is all about family, family first all of the time. “Looking forward to seeing all of my loved ones number one. My bed. California. First thing I’m going to do off the plane is go to In n Out on my way home to see everyone. No fall ball for me just gotta show up to spring training.” Orozco loves baseball and what he does on and off of the field, but missing his family and missing out on his niece growing up is the hard part.

Rock Shoulders, from Florida, also misses family time. “I am looking forward to seeing my family the most so the first thing I’m going to do is take my dad and mom out to dinner.” He has also planned a few beach trips and possibly a cruise with his close friends.

Trey Martin, from Georgia, can’t wait to get back to family and food. “Eating Zaxby’s, Atlanta’s Best Wings. Seeing family and friends. The first thing is to beat my little brother in FIFA and I will be in the instructional Arizona League this fall.”

Fall ball or no fall ball these guys will be back whether it is here in Boise or with another team. I will keep you all updated from my blog throughout the offseason if you would like updates visit highheelsandhighlights.wordpress.com.

Thank you all for a great season and I look forward to keeping in touch!

-Courtney

YOUR 2012 BOISE HAWK AWARD WINNERS

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At Saturday night’s game we announced the MVP, Cy Young and Community Players of the Year. We ended up having 2 MVP’s, Daniel Vogelbach and Stephen Bruno, Cy Young, Tayler Scott, and 2 Community Players of the Year, Michael Heesch and Eddie Orozco.

Bruno and Vogelbach were fortunate enough to have their father’s here to share in the moment receiving their awards and were both happy to accept them. Bruno’s father, Steve Bruno, said that he feels very privileged for the opportunity that the Cubs have given his son.

Scott had one of the best season’s anyone could ask for and was also lucky to have his parents here to see him receive his award. He is a young player from South Africa who moved to the states, alone, when he was just 16 years old. His mother and father have been here to support him throughout most of the season. “It felt great winning it my first year with the Cubs. Couldn’t ask for a better season and I’m grateful and excited to have won the Cy Young this year.”

Elizabeth Griffin and I had the opportunity to award a Community Player of the Year award but we weren’t able to pick just one. We had 2 guys who were always willing to go on appearances, offered to do autographs and read for the KeyBank Reading Tree events. Not only were they willing to make the appearance but they did it with smiles on their face and positive attitudes. It was always apparent that they wanted to be working with the children and talking with fans! Michael Heesch and Eddie Orozco stole the hearts of many, especially one little boy, Phoenix, who I liked to call their “biggest fan” at the KeyBank Reading Tree events.

“It’s an honor to receive an award for the off the field aspect of this game because we are in a position, as players, to go out and positively influence the lives of others as well as give back to the community that is supporting us. This award shows the positive influence of my family and UCR on my life to go out and give back to the others and the community and it’s something that I really enjoy to do.” Orozco has a 7 ½ month niece at home he is anxious to get back to as well as his mother, brother, 2 sisters, a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law.

Tonight is the start of the best-of-three Northwest League East Divisional Series. We take on the Yakima Bears in hopes of winning the first series and moving forward to the final championship!

“Work Smarter, Not Harder”

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Eddie Orozco has been playing baseball since he was just five years old due to the encouragement of his older brother Tony. Tony, who is nine years older than Eddie, started influencing him by teaching him to play catch, taking him to the batting cages, and simply teaching him the game. “I fell in love quickly.”

Eddie lost his father eight and a half years ago and has since learned a lot about hard work from his mother. I asked Eddie why he looked up to his mother the most in life and this is the heart touching response I got,

” That’s my lady! My family lost my dad eight and a half years ago to a heart attack and my mom has been the absolute rock of my family. At the time my mom was not a citizen (they were both from Huejucar, Mexico), no driver’s license, knew minimal English, and had just lost her manufacturing job a couple months before. In the past eight and a half years she has become a citizen (which is a tough test), has taken English classes and now knows a lot more English, got her driver’s license and has bought and paid off her own car, and started her own cleaning service that she does on her own. But she always shows us that no matter what happens hard work always pays off. She always puts her family in front of herself and has never complained about the obstacles she has faced in her life but instead appreciated all the positive aspects of her life.”

While he learned a lot about hard work and persistence from his mother, he has since learned that once you work hard, you must work “smarter not harder.” Eddie went to college at the University of California Riverside where he studied Business Administration for his undergrad and got his Masters of Education in Education Administration and Policy. The “smarter not harder” advice was given to him by the had coach at the University of California Riverside, Coach Smith. Eddie said that he was the type of player that would over work in a way that affected his performance in a negative way. “Doing too much can be a bad thing; instead I would work smarter by focusing on fixing or accomplishing one thing at a time.” He realized that it was easier to focus and fix one thing at a time rather than get worked up over everything at once.

I asked if there were any superstitions or routines he lives by and I only came up with two. “I MUST have a Red Bull on days I throw and I have to have my game day sliders on when I have to throw.” If Eddie wasn’t playing baseball he would either be coaching ball or be an athletic director. He enjoys fishing with his boys and misses all of the important people at home that have supported him. Eddie’s advice to everyone, “it’s something I tell myself everyday it is to live life to the fullest on a daily basis because we are never promised tomorrow. I have a post-it above my bed that says wake up hungry, go to sleep satisfied, meaning wake up with a goal (anything) and make are when I rest my head on that pillow at the end of the night I have given it one hundred percent to accomplish that goal or get better in whatever way I had set forth in the morning.”