Saturday, October 10, 2009

Instant Replay is Not the Answer

So as it was replayed 50 times on Friday night, I'm sure that everyone knows that Joe Mauer actually hit a ground rule double in the top of they 11th inning and not a foul ball down the left-field line. If Mauer was given the double then he more than likely would have scored in the top half of the inning and perhaps they would have kept playing into the early morning hours in the Bronx rather than sitting in their hotel rooms in Minnesota right now.

Much has been made about this umpiring flop in particular and the quality of officiating in the playoffs in general, but I'll say this: let it go. Human error is part of the game. Just like Matt Holliday is a pariah in St. Louis for his blunder in Game 2 against the Dodgers and Bill Buckner became the anti-Christ in Boston for years, umpires can have lapses and miss calls. It is the human element of the game and I for one am not going to throw them under the bus for a couple of screwed up plays.

The Twins might not even be in the playoffs if not for a blown call. So how can they complain if one goes against them in a big spot? The reality is Minnesota had the bases loaded and nobody out in that same inning and they could not score a run. Delmon Young and Carlos Gomez each saw one pitch and made an out. Neither swung at a quality pitch or made Dave Robertson make a pitch. So who is really to blame for the Twins inability to score in the 11th? Phil Cuzzi or poor hitting with runners on base?

I understand that from my perspective it is tough to feel the pain a Twins fan might be feeling, but every section of fandom in every sport has had a call go against their team. Sometimes your team out plays the mistake, sometimes it causes them to fall apart, but the reality is that sometimes you have to just look in the mirror for the real reason you did not win.

Leave the umpires alone. They call a remarkable amount of plays the right way and the game is better for having people out there making quick decisions rather than second guessing every close play. I don't know about you, but I don't think I could stand it if Yankee vs. Red Sox games got any longer.


Dennis said...

I have to disagree. On balls and strikes, the umpires generally get it pretty close, and if they miss a bang-bang play at first, OK, it happens.

But in Anaheim they missed a play at first where the guy was out by four feet!

And Joe Mauer's ball hit the players glove and still landed a foot in fair territory, with the sixth playoff umpire standing 20 feet away!

And not one of the other umpires saw that the ball was fair?

Peter said...

Dennis I am surprised that someone who complains that AL games are too long would lobby for something that would delay them more.

Of course on the replay you can say: How did he miss that! But the ball was ablout four inches off the and slicing toward it with melky running full bore at the ball. It just happened too fast for him.

There was no way another umpire could help him. The only two who could were screened from the play by the umpire and the player.

And like I said the Twins might not even be in the playoffs if not for a blown call so I don't think they can get to angry about a blown call. Human error is part of the game on every side of the ball.

Dennis said...

I do think the AL games are too long, but that replay will delay games is a fallacy. Think about it.

You were watching the game on TV, as was I. We both knew, before the next pitch, that the ball had been fair and should have been a ground rule double.

And I don't know where you are getting 4 inches, the ball landed at least a foot in fair territory.

As for Inge getting his jersey grazed by that pitch, you are right, it was a blown call, but he might as well have been wearing a circus tent. I think that is a rule problem that needs to be addressed, as when the rule was made players were wearing shirts that actually fit.

Peter said...

A foot? No way. I might be able to sway as far as six inches but the ball was no where near an entire foot in fair territory.

As for how quickly u can look at the replay are they somehow watching it on the big screen because home run challenges require the umpires to leave the field to view the replay. That's gonna take a lot longer than ur TiVo.

And baggy shirts were the original arm guard. Players have been doing that forever.

Joey said...

play nice ladies.

Dennis said...

It is irrelevant now, as the series is over. But, either way, we can agree that the ball was decisively fair. We can also agree that an umpire was standing 20 feet away staring right at it.

I guess my point is that the first priority should be to get the call right. Like I said, the umpires are generally very good, save a few, and they get an amazing number of calls correct. But in the playoffs, with everything on the line and 82 camera angles available, a fair ball should be a fair ball.

Peter said...

Fair enough.