Baez riled by MLB’s crackdown on in-game video

    Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers MLB for ESPN.com.

CHICAGO – Chicago Cubs star Javy Baez sounded off on Sunday regarding the inability for hitters to watch video of their previous at-bats during games.

In-game video was taken away this season in the wake of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

“To be honest, it’s sucks because I make my adjustments during the game,” Baez said after collecting three hits in Chicago’s 5-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. “I watch my swing. I watch where the ball went, where the contact was. I’m mad. I’m really mad about that we don’t have it.”

Baez is hitting just .205 and has struggled for much of the shortened season. Like many players, the 27-year-old would normally head to the replay room to watch his at-bats to make proper adjustments for his next trip to the plate. But Major League Baseball cracked down on video, while protocols put in place during the pandemic all but assured there would be no way to monitor usage properly. Now players can’t watch their at-bats until after the game.

“We didn’t cheat,” Baez said. “We’re not cheating, and we got to pay for all this. It’s tough … but a lot of players are struggling, too. A lot of stars are struggling, and I’m just one more.

“The way that it is is not the way we play baseball. And I need video to make adjustments and during the game. It doesn’t matter who is there to watch us. It doesn’t matter if we have all the police the MLB wants to send over here.”

Baez has struck out 55 times in 167 at-bats but thinks he’s starting to come around. He said he’ll continue to lobby for the return of in-game video.

“We need video [back], and I’m going to keep trying to bring it back because we need [it],” he said.

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