Continuing the delay for replay

Not even the most myopic New York Yankees fan could lay the blame for their ALCS Game Two loss at the hands of umpire Jeff Nelson.

Even if Nelson had correctly ended the eighth inning when Robinson Cano tagged out Omar Infante at second base, the Yankees still would have needed to score at least once before nine innings were complete to take the game into extras.

The way some of the Yankees were swinging the bat – and sometimes the way they were not swinging the bat – it looked unlikely they would have scored one run over ninety innings.

It’s also difficult as a neutral to get too upset at a bad call going against the $200m Yankee team.’s Jim Caple makes the point, in an amusing Yankee tail-tweaking article, that the Bronx Bombers have benefited from incorrect calls at important moments in playoff games plenty of times in the past. ‘Oh dear, what a shame’ would be the polite version of the standard response, accompanied by plenty of laughter.

However, even though Nelson’s blown call might not elicit much in the way of sympathy, it should add to the concerns that grow louder every year regarding MLB’s reluctance to introduce instant replay more widely than present.

Next time it could be your team that’s on the wrong end of it.

All sports have to contend with the fact that TV broadcasters now have so many cameras that they can replay most incidents in detail within seconds of it happening. Officials have always made wrong calls and always will, in exactly the same way players make mistakes and bad decisions, but now there is no hiding place and the line the governing bodies trot out about officiating errors being the ‘human side of the game’ don’t wash if your team has just been undone by a clearly incorrect decision on an important incident.

Judging which are the important events to review is extremely difficult (a close play at second base in the third inning might turn out to have been the decisive run if the next batter hit a one-run homer instead of a two-run homer etc) and surely no fan wants to see every decision reviewed, so finding the right balance is an inexact science.

However the fact that there’s no perfect solution, and arriving at a solution that pleases all will be difficult, is no reason for governing bodies to bury their heads in the sand.  The oft-repeated argument about not wanting to slow the pace of the game is a red herring. Checking the replay footage takes a lot less time than is currently taken up by managerial rants.

The credibility of the game is at stake. You can’t tell millions of TV viewers that although they can see within seconds that it should have been an out on the bases, we’re all going to pretend that it didn’t happen and the referee/umpire’s decision was correct.

2 Responses to Continuing the delay for replay

  1. Joe Cooter October 16, 2012 at 2:35 am #

    Bad call yes. Caost us the game? No. not really because you can blame Robbie Cano, who tried to get “cute” and ended up turnig a double play into a fielders choice. Then he compounds that mistake by not running out groundballs. As a fan, I want him gone. I’d like to see him traded if at all possible. I want him out of here. Robbie Cano needs to go. Personally, I’d trade him to Boston for Dustin Pedrioa and Jon Lester but I know that ain’t gonna happen.

    But Cano isn’t the only offender for the Yankees at the moment, he’s simply the greatest offender. The problem, if you look at what they are trying to do offensively, is the fact that they are trying to hit everyball into the seats. They are litterally trying to hit every ball into the right field seats and that’s root of most of the problems this team has faced. It is the primary reason for why this team has struggled for much of the last decade. THey don’t try to do anything other than hit homeruns, and as a fan, I am sick of it. I think this team needs is a hitting instructor who will insist that players start hitting the ball to all fields, insists that players cut down on their swings and all. We need a manager and hitting coach who will insist that players who do not get with the program get sent packing.

  2. Joe Cooter October 17, 2012 at 5:02 am #

    The bad umpiring continued tonight as the Yanks went down to the Tigers two to one. I thought there were several calls that were suspicious. Firstly to Taul Ibanez in the fifth inning when the first four pitches were shown to be outside by the Technowlogy that Turner Broadcasting was using, which showed that none of the pitches Justin Verlander was throwing were strikes. Unfortunately, the Umps calls strikes and Raul found himself in a two and two count when he should have been on first base. Two innings later, Eric Chavez got ahead in the count three balls and no strikes when Verlander thew a pitch out of the zone but got a strike call. Chavez should have been on base. These two at bats changes the complexity of the entire game but the worst was yest to come when Ibanez was called out on strikes when it looked like he fouled a ball in the dirt and a catcher did NOT come up with the ball. It was an important call at the time because the Yanks had rallied to pull to with in one run. Sadly, the Yankees are now down three games to none when they should be at least two to one up. Tonight’s umpiring job was a disgrace and WORSE than Sunday’s but Bud won’t change a thing and the owners won’t do anything because Bud is THEIR guy. Bud should have been fired years ago. Why he is still in power remains a mystery to me.

    If I were Dave Bing, the Mayor of Detroit, I would put pressure on the Tigers to forfiet two of the games in the interest of Sportsmanship. I know it will not happen but I think it should be brough up. Bing is a former athlete himself, he played pro basketball for the Detriot Pistons in the NBA, and knows the value of Sportsmanship. I know he doesn’t want his teams to win like this.

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