Thursday, June 25, 2009

Instant Replay Argument

The other day on MLB Network (how I love thee) Bob Costas was interviewing a collection of the oldest, fattest humans on Earth who just so happened to be baseball umpires. During this talk Costas brought up the instant replay argument, citing a World Series game in which Bruce Froemming missed a call at a close play at first base.

Flash Forward (A cinematic effect i will use in this post. Imagine the camera being slightly hazy, possibly in black and white, whichever you prefer.)

Bruce Froemming: "Every play matters. It is crucial to get the call correct."

Present time now. The gorgeous Bruce is back in color.

Bruce: "I think instant replay is great how it is used now. But it shouldn't be used for every play. If we do that we might as well have robots umping."
Bob: "But don't you think it is more important to make the right call? What if they had some system in which a play could be challenged? Wouldn't that give the best chance to get every call correct?"
Some fat ump: "It's important that we don't take away from the sanctity of the game."
Bruce: "Every play matters. It is crucial to get the call correct."

Wait a second. So it is important to get every call correct, as long as it doesn't involve questioning your opinions, or disagreeing with Bud's current philosophy.

I will never understand this. How much more effort and time would it take to challenge questionable calls? Not that much. Why rob players, teams, and fans of a well umpired game? I know having a computer umping a game sounds a little ridiculous, but wouldn't that take away all skeptical calls? And how would this slow down the game? If anything it would speed the game up, with no manager arguments, and immediate and concise calls from some computer/video monitoring system.

The technology for these advancements is in place, and baseball is the perfect sport to implement these drastic changes. It is the only sport in which there are no subjective calls. A strike is either in the strike zone or not. It's not like football where holding can happen under certain circumstances and some calls are judgment based.

I don't understand why I have to be angry when an 80 year old man misses a call. Then I have to hear Ken "The Hawk" Harrelson bitch about it for 6 innings.

Nice talkin' with ya my man!


  1. But then future baseball fans wouldn't see the phenomena that is the Manager doing the old "I know you're not gonna change your mind but I'm gonna get really pissed at you so I don't look like a Sally in front of my team" trick! Lou and Earl Weaver are the best all time at it.

    But with that said, I agree that umps need to be held accountable, especially in important games. I wouldn't really do it as a "challenge" but have some nerdy dude with all the HD cameras up in a box double-checking every questionable call, and doing it that way.

  2. Dave, I'm pretty sure that is exactly what Costas was getting at later in the interview. I would be completely fine with that too. As long as the call is correct.

  3. Costas ragging on Froemming... what a bitch. At least he didn't blow an entire World Series like Denkinger.

    Also, I have always been against instant replay in baseball in all instances. I think not having it is a part of the beauty of the game. Having the computers and robots and shit takes the human, poetic element out of the game that has always made baseball so great. This is why I think I will be super pissed off when I start reading Moneyball.

  4. I think the strike zone should be projected as a hologram above the plate and if the ball passes through it is a strike. This gets rid of the generous strike zones that some pitchers get due to their name. Make themearn it.

  5. Come on Marks... this isn't Star Trek, man. Your hologram strike zone is a pipe dream, man. Pipe dream.