Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An Imperfect Game

Ok. I know that me writing about the absolute necessity for MLB to adopt replay isn’t new. I’ve mentioned it time and again. The problem is, it keeps bringing itself into the forefront again and again. Something really needs to be done about it.

I was talking to someone after the Rangers-Yankees ALCS game 4 the other day. I was asking about the Cano homerun. No, I still haven’t seen it. I listened to that particular game on the radio. (As a side note, you missed great entertainment if you didn’t hear Joe Morgan’s response to that play) But, my opinion on that particular home run is irrelevant. Video of the home run existed. They could have very easily known for sure whether it was a home run or not. They didn’t even look. The argument I heard from people? Baseball is an imperfect game. It needs to have the human element in it. We don’t want to slow the game down. And, those are all very good reasons…except for the last three.

Sure, baseball is an imperfect game. Everything is. But, why not strive for as much perfection as possible? Why is it so wrong to want a strike to be a strike according to the rules every single time? If a player hits a ball to the foul side of the pole, why is it wrong to want that to be a foul ball every single time? Why can’t a player be rewarded every time he makes the right play? What is this fascination with being wrong some of the time? I always hear you can’t complain about a bad call. You just need to overcome. How do you do that exactly? Don’t you do that my making a play, or throwing a good pitch? Didn’t you just do that…but get hosed by a bad call? Why can’t you want your great performance to count the first time? Why not at least try for perfection?

The human element? Last time I checked, there are at least eight human players in the field of play at any point during a baseball game. (There are two more just off the field of play) Isn’t that a pretty substantial human element? What’s wrong with keeping that good human element, and removing the bad element? Say you’re going to an accountant to have him do your taxes. One guy likes to keep the human element. He does all the math in his head. Sure, he makes mistakes an awful lot. But, that’s some of his charm. In the end, his mistakes will probably all even out. Then, there’s another guy who uses a calculator, and gets all the math right. Pretty boring. Which guy do you go to? Or, there’s been a bank robbery. The cops interview the teller and the witnesses. They think they have a decent description of the robber. Although, some of the description from the different people don’t match up. The bank manager comes over and hands the cop a videotape. The security camera caught the whole thing, and got a really good view of the robber. Is there any chance the cop refuses the tape in an attempt to preserve the human element? Of course not. When you have a way to get everything right, you use it. Why is baseball any different?

As for the time factor, that’s just crazy. If they have the fifth (or seventh) umpire in the booth watching the tape, the game will actually move faster. The video showed that Berkmans’ home run later in the inning was foul before Molina was even done arguing. The extra umpire could have radioed down the correct call, and even saved time. During Roy Halladay’s sacrifice bunt in game 5 of the NLCS, replays showed it was a foul ball before Halladay even made it back to the dugout. It would have taken no time at all to get him back to the plate. And, even if it was an extra ten seconds, isn’t it worth it? It’s not like that foul ball was an important call or anything, right? It only set up the game-winning RBI. I bet Giants fans would have preferred Halladay take another chance, and maybe popped the bunt up. Or, imagine if the out at third was made, resulting in a double play. Does San Francisco win that game and advance to the World Series? Would Phillies fans prefer they waste ten seconds to make that call correct? I don’t even think I have to ask. Let’s just get it right.

Every single time.

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