Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Big Brother, Where Art Thou?

Game Two between the Twins and Yankees had fantastic drama. A-Rod gets the monkey off his back and ties the game in the ninth. Mark Teixeira hits the game-winner in the bottom of the 11th. Baseball should be loving this, right? Unfortunately, at the top of the 11th, Joe Mauer's double that was called foul left a big black mark on the series. As have some questionable calls at first, and the strike zones which seem to have no consistency at all. The game is too big for this, too much money and passion is involved. Things needs to change.

Convincing the good ol' boys of baseball to install instant replay for home runs was like trying to convince Glenn Beck that Obama doesn't sneak out of the White House at night to eat children. Met with way too much resistance, Bud Selig and the gang made it seem nearly impossible that any other type of replay could be used. Yes, we all want it, but if getting the home run calls took that much effort, what will we have to do to get instant replay for foul balls and safe calls?

Two arguments go into the mindset of keeping the game where it is. One is that instant replay slows down the game. Well, here's a secret: people that think baseball is too slow do not watch baseball. When is the last time you heard someone say, "I love the Mets, but if these games start going an extra ten minutes longer, I'm out"? So let's put that to rest, it is a non-issue.

The second case is to protect the "human element" of the game. As if it's somewhat charming to have umpires who blow calls like Lindsey Lohan blows lines. Give me a break. Does anyone outside of the game actually care about this? I propose something different, something radical.

How about every call is booth reviewed? Every ball, every strike, every close call. If TBS can install a strike zone during its telecast, why can't the MLB? It's easy: someone upstairs watches the pitch using the boxed strike zone, hits a button that signals a remote to the home plate umpire (like where the little box used to keep track of balls and strikes would be), and then the ump signals ball or strike. There would be a one second delay for every call, which would be virtually undetectable. Hell, you could do it right now without telling anybody and not one fan could tell the difference.

With fair or foul calls, and calls at the bases, let the umps do their thing. There is ample time in between the call and the next pitch for someone in the booth the review it. If the call is wrong, they can just buzz the umpire. It would add what, one minute to each game? So be it. You know what makes games long? Managers coming out to bitch about bad calls. You think Lou Piniella would come out and argue with the ump if he wasn't the one who made the decision? There would be nobody to yell at. Nothing would be disputable.

Somebody tell me how this would not work. I'm curious. The game would change, yes, but times have changed. Baseball is no longer a past time, it is a billion dollar business. It's time to get things right.


J Fish Sports © 2008. Design by :Yanku Templates Sponsored by: Tutorial87 Commentcute