FINDING MUDVILLE: I don’t like this

  • Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I don’t like instant replay in sports except for amazing or ridiculous plays. I do like instant replay to show blown calls but I don’t want instant replay to result in overturning them.
I like the human element when it comes to sports, not only from the competitors but from the officials as well.
There is nothing more a part of the human fabric of sports than arguing over a missed call. The umpire’s judgment is as much woven into the tapestry of baseball as stretching doubles into triples and chin music.
With the arrival of instant replay go immortal cries such as, “That ump is blind!” or “Kill the bum!”
There are no more bad calls and therefore crowd heckles such as “I’ve had better calls from my ex-wife,” or “That ump wouldn’t know a strike if it walked up and shook his hand,” become a thing of the past.
Last week MLB implemented total instant replay on every play except balls and strikes; a move Commissioner Bud Selig calls “an historic day.”
According to MLB.com managers will be allowed three challenges each throughout the course of the game, one in the first six innings and two beginning in the seventh inning through the game’s duration.
If a manager exhausts his three challenges – successful challenges are not counted against him – umpires will only utilize instant replay in the event of home runs.
Here’s the kicker. To make the whole situation a complete barnyard brouhaha, baseball, using its central offices in New York, will be provided with replay cameras that will be monitored by men with umpiring experience. They will make the final call on disputed plays, not the umpiring crew chief on the field.
It will be a mess of epic proportion. It will grind an already snail’s pace game to an excruciating halt.
In fact, look for baseball’s advertising execs to take this one and run with it. I can see it now, “This instant replay brought to you by Budweiser. When it comes to beer, you make the correct call.”
Or, “Oops, there’s the manager’s challenge flag, time for the AT&T Instant Replay. Let the only blown call you make be the one to your ex-girlfriend.”
This will ruin baseball.
I like blown calls. It gives us something more to talk about after the game.
Sports telecasts are already scrutinized to death. Back when watch baseball was reduced to the Saturday Game of the Week, we watched our baseball on grainy black and white TV screens with maybe three cameras working tops. We were too happy to see the game on TV to worry about whether or not the umpire made the correct call.
There was the camera looking over the pitcher’s shoulder, the shot from behind home plate, which was the only camera angle until the late sixties, and a field level shot from somewhere. We couldn’t even see the ball much less ascertain whether it was a ball or a strike.
Can you imagine what this would have done to guys like Bobby Cox, Lou Pinella, Earl Weaver or Billy Martin? Gone are the tantrums, the kicking dust, and throwing of bases. Now, they’ll run out and toss the haberdashery.
Thankfully baseball execs nixed the red hankie idea employed in football.
Bobby Cox would have forgotten what the hankie was there for and blown his nose in it.

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