ANAHEIM — Judging by the general sentiment in the A's clubhouse Tuesday, there was only one thing wrong with Major League Baseball's announcement that instant replay will be implemented on a limited basis.
"Should've happened a long time ago," A's designated hitter Frank Thomas said. "Don't know why it took this long."
Indeed, Thomas seemed to speak for the majority when he wholeheartedly endorsed the decision, which will allow umpires to check video on controversial home run calls starting with series that begin Thursday. The A's will host the Minnesota Twins in one of three series that start Thursday.
"It's great, it really is," Thomas said. "Both teams will go home at night and sleep better now, and umpires will go home at night and sleep better. ... I've seen so many home runs taken away over the years that affect a game's outcome. It's not to call anybody out, but if you can get the call right, get the call right."
For games at McAfee Coliseum, rulings on whether a ball cleared the fence most likely will involve the yellow line that borders a small strip of concrete that juts out from the out-of-town scoreboards in left- and right-center field.
"It's good," A's home run leader Jack Cust said. "Anytime you can get a call right, why not take a look? It's probably not going to happen all that much anyway."
Baseball's general managers voted 25-5 last November to recommend the use of instant replay technology, and momentum for the idea gained steam earlier this season when a handful of players had home runs taken away in seemingly incorrect fashion. But it's the dismissal of that human element that seemed to be the biggest concern of those not completely on board with the idea.
"I'm a traditionalist, honestly," reliever Alan Embree said. "We've done so many things over the years to change the game, and most of them have been with the idea of speeding it up. This is just going to slow it down some more. I don't think it's really necessary."
A's player representative Huston Street said: "As a player, I'm good with it. As long as it doesn't detract from the game, it's going to be fine. Umpires get calls right 99 percent of the time anyway. ... So I don't see there being a whole lot that's going to change.
Starting pitcher Sean Gallagher (right arm fatigue) made 40 throws from about 120 feet and "felt really good," manager Bob Geren said. It was Gallagher's second throwing session since he complained of a dead arm after allowing 10 runs in five innings against the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 19. ... Mike Sweeney has made five rehab starts with Triple-A Sacramento and is 1-for-12. ... Vincent Mazzaro was named the Texas League pitcher of the year, going 12-3 with a 1.90 ERA for Double-A Midland.
— Rick Hurd