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    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Re-Run: Okay, Bud Selig, It's Not Funny Anymore: More Instant Replay, Please

    I've been busy lately with several things (some of which actually relate to this site!). So, here's a rerun of a piece I wrote during the playoffs last year about baseball's need for instant replay. I still stand by the claim, although it's much more sarcastic than I remembered.

    I don't claim to have watched every game this postseason, due to the unfortunate condition of having things to do during the day. And yet, somehow, I've managed to see many, many blown calls. This is rather alarming, seeing as MLB lacks any process to review these mistakes.

    You may have heard of some of them. There was the ball that Yankee's right fielder Greg Golson trapped before it could even bounce (a feat that I bet few Hall of Famers could lay claim to). There was the three-run home run Ranger's third basemen Michael Young hit after swinging and missing with two strikes (the only play here that I haven't seen). There was Giants catcher Buster Posey scoring the only run in Tim Lincecum's gem, despite being tagged while stealing second earlier. I would even add  Phillies' second baseman Chase Utley's trip around the bases in Friday night's game.

    I'm a little skeptical that Utley got hit by Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning. I would have to say that my suspicions were aroused when Utley managed to show absolutely no reaction to apparently getting nicked in the fingers by a 102 mph fastball (I’m guessing fingers; if you forced me to guess what part of the body he was hit on based on his reaction, I’d have to guess “personal space bubble”). Chase, here's some advice: in a couple of weeks, you're going to get some time off. Get some acting lessons in that time in case this situation arise again. That performance looked like Keanu Reeves next to Derek Jeter's Shatner-esque show a few weeks ago.

    I would also love to see the following play at second again, but apparently, TBS has taken the Division Series-wide stance of "Maybe if we ignore the close plays, they'll go away". We got two camera views following the original play, one of them apparently taken from the cell phone of a drunk fan standing on an building adjacent to the stadium (just my two cents). TBS, some more advice: don't be afraid to show close plays repeatedly. People love to have something to be angry about. Especially anything involving the Yankees or Red Sox in any way.
    In any case, Bud Selig has apparently decided that the adage "Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it" is actually an Ancient Phoenician curse never meant to be heard by the ears of man. After ignoring calls for more instant replay after last year's playoffs (and last year's regular season, and the Armando Galarraga game, and the Phillies-Marlins game, and...), Selig has continued to ignore calls for more replay (shocker, I know), claiming he hasn't heard anyone close to the game request more replay. For his sake, we're not going to go too in depth with that claim; he doesn't need anymore help to look dumb (although, in Bud's defense, maybe those close to him have assumed that the need for replay was obvious and that Bud didn't need THAT much help to make such a leap).

    Look, whatever your reasoning is, Bud, it’s not funny anymore. We can put a fifth umpire in the booth to review any close plays, and it won’t slow down the game (especially compared to the time a manager takes to come out and argue). It doesn’t even have to be strikes and balls, it can just be close plays on the field. I don’t really know what’s holding this up. Do you think umpires don’t deserve the right to correct their mistakes? Is it some crippling case of technophobia? I mean, you’re looking worse than my grandfather, and he didn’t know you had to delete e-mails to save space UNTIL THIS YEAR. This is pitiful. Or maybe this is the cause of some wild bet with Murray Chass to see just how fast you can turn people against you?

    Whatever, the case, you can’t just continue to ignore the problem. Maybe you can say “the bad calls even out over the whole season”. That’s because the regular season consists of somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 bajillion plays. The playoffs aren’t that forgiving. Any one play can alter who wins the game, or even the series, and guess what? There aren’t enough games to say it’ll even out later. What is it going to take, a blown call that affects which team wins the World Series?

    Oh, wait...
    As a side note, I think that last link originally went to a video of this, but MLB's video enforcement team apparently kicked in and removed it from the internet.

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