Is there anything worse than watching a Yankee game where the team looks terrible, they’re losing badly and Joe Morgan is one of the announcers? I had trouble refraining from chucking my remote control through the TV as Morgan spouted out wrong information and general inanities for nine innings.
The stupidity reached a high point though during the disastrous top of the fourth. When Carlos Delgado lined a foul ball/home run down the left field line and the umpires overruled a call that was probably correct in the first place, Joe Morgan said that the disputed nature of the call and the unclear conclusion offered by the instant replay was exactly why instant replay shouldn’t be instituted in baseball. And that, folks, is Emmy-award winning baseball coverage from the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
In fact, Delgado’s home run was exactly why baseball needs instant replay. I’ve written passingly about instant replay in the distant (blogging) past. Basically, MLB should institute a form of instant replay review like the NFL. It’s not too hard to figure out how, and with even the umpires admitting they erred, it would be really easy to fix this problem.
Here’s my proposal: Instant replay should be available for plays that could lend themselves to controversy. That includes tag plays, home run calls and runners tagging up on fly balls. Instant replay review can be initiated by each team, say, once or twice during a game, and the umpires can choose to consult the video as well if they can’t agree on a call. Much like in the NFL, the ruling on the field should be the default, and it should be overturned only if video evidence is conclusive enough to warrant it.
In tonight’s game, then, since, as Morgan noted, video evidence wasn’t obvious, then the call stands as a home run. That was probably the right call anyway.
Through this system, you won’t see managers challenging balls and strikes calls, and I’m happy to leave force plays up to the umpires. Tags and foul ball/home run calls are wrong way more often than force plays at a base.
The technology exists to perfect these calls, and there’s no reason for MLB to delay implementing instant replay. We’ve seen far too many bad calls in very prominent situations. Shouldn’t getting it right trump any sense of tradition? We have QuesTec; why not instant replay?
Anyway, I’m not going to harp on the game too much. The Yanks are a mess, and hopefully, A-Rod’s return and a three-game set against the Orioles can spark something of a resurgence. It’s still early, and the Yanks just have more talent than a last-place, 20-24 team. I know things will get better. They can’t get much worse.