In recent days, my aloof and oft persnickety colleague, Mr. Krause, waxed on instant replay in baseball, making assumptions about my demeanor reminiscent of Rush Limbaugh calling out the obese.
Am I “old school” in my baseball philosophy? Yes. You could say that. But just like in any endeavor worth dedicating one’s life to, things change, and adaptations are necessary for survival.
Baseball needs instant replay. There are just too many important calls that get blown that could be remedied with a simple review of the tape. There are countless examples, but the two most devastating of recent memory include the Pirates/Braves 19th inning Jerry Meals fiasco of 2011 and Armando Gallaraga’s perfect game being robbed by Jim Joyce*. These are just two extreme examples, but blown calls happen quite frequently and they could be fixed just as easily as they fixed the home run by review situation.
Sure, baseball is a long, slow paced game. Sure doesn’t seem to stop people from caring about it though! Attendance is up, viewership via TV, computer, smartphone is at an all-time high. Does Mr. Krause seriously think that all the baseball nuts in the world are going to stop watching the game if it’s 5 minutes longer?!?!
Just get the call right. That’s what the fans care about. We want… the umps… TO GET IT RIGHT. That’s it. And now, deeply immersed in all avenues of technocracy, is the time to start implementing some of the modern tools that are there to make things better.
And no, constitutional scholars, this ain’t no slippery slope situation. Balls and strikes are not reviewable. Period.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m grounded in common sense, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*Also, I am still not over Don Denkinger’s blown call from the 1985 Series. Some things take longer to heal.
Last year the Pirates tried to put an end to my relentless attack of literary low blows. Shortly after the All-Star break they were atop the NL Central and my head was appropriately buried in the sand (not kidding; by the way, it sucks.)
But then came Jerry Meals’ blown call and down, down, DOWN came the Pirates, settling into yet another comfortably uncomfortable 90 loss season.
Look, I’ve been burned before too, so I sorta feel for Pittsburgh. At the same time, insanity is still doing the same things over and over again expecting different results, right? So why should anyone in Pirate land be surprised?
THE FRONT OFFICE AIN’T DOIN’ IT RIGHT.
With the exception of Andrew McCutchen in 2005, the last 20 first round draft picks taken by Pittsburgh is a who’s who list of overblown talent busts. Among the KINGS OF NOBODYLAND are the likes of Bobby Bradley (1999), John VanBenschoten (2001) and Bryan Bullington (2002) — great sounding names, but swings and misses nonetheless.
Neal Huntington and the rest of the front office can say they’re doing things differently, but as long as they keep hoping Pedro Alvarez spends as much time perfecting his baseball tools as he does looking at the ground feeling sorry for himself, I’m afraid they have a long way to go.
Isn’t it about time they bring up those two Indian dudes?
Hate me. It’s all good. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.