The 2010 Major League Playoffs have started and it took all of one day for one fact to become apparent; they desperately need an expanded replay system in baseball. If you’re a Yankees fan, then you already know what I’m talking about. In the ninth inning of the Yankees game 1, 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins, the Twins were down to their final out when Delmond Young hit a sinking liner into right field that was caught by Greg Golson for the final out of the game.
Or so it seemed.
Umpire Chris Guccione said otherwise, claiming that it was a hit because Golson trapped the ball between the glove and the ground. One umpire huddle later and the call stood. The potential tying run was allowed to come to bat and luckily for both baseball and the Yankees, he was a quick out, giving the Yanks the win and early lead in the series.
The thing is, it never should have got that far because replays clearly showed that the ball was caught, not trapped, and the game was over. Only, under current MLB rules, umpires are only allowed access to replays when determining if a ball was actually a home run and not for anything else.
And that, is frankly, a load of crap.
In today’s world, where every angle of every play is recorded and easily accessible, there is no justification for not having a replay system implemented. It’s stupid, plain and simple. Now granted, I understand that MLB wants to make the games as fast as possible and replay would only slow things down but wouldn’t you rather have a few extra minutes in a game as opposed to a blown call that costs a team the win or in the case of Armando Galarraga, a perfect game.
The perfect game reference is from earlier this season when Umpire Jim Joyce clearly blew a call at first, calling a runner safe when he was clearly out, costing Galarraga a perfect game.
The answer to this dilemma is simple, adopt the NFL’s method of instant replay. Give managers of teams a challenge flag and allow them to throw it twice a game. It’s that easy. Baseball, more so than any game, is a game of split second decisions and those decisions hold an extreme amount of weight in a game. They can literally be a win or lose thing. So why are we placing this kind of stress upon the umpires, without a fallback, when technology allows us to easily make the right call?
That’s a question MLB needs to ask itself because things are bleak enough for baseball without the potential controversy of blown calls in major moments.