Another Case for Instant Replay
Late last night—rather, early this morning—the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves wrapped up a 19 inning game on what appears to be a blown call by home plate umpire Jerry Meals. The videos over at MLB.com are real-time, of course, but nowhere near the up close and personal view Meals had. It’s tough to see a 100% conclusive tag of Julio Lugo by Pirates catcher Michael McKenry. The internet is a powerful tool, however, as are DVRs and camera phones.
This picture was tweeted by @Silber_Bullet:
This one comes from Pirates blog Raise The Jolly Roger:
Obviously, the play is still really close. But it pretty much looks like Lugo is out. Calls like this are the exact reason expanded—but still limited—instant replay is needed in Major League Baseball. For the record, I do NOT believe balls and strikes should be called by a machine. I still believe a balk should be a judgment call. And I do not want unlimited challenges throughout a game. But something needs to be done. Umpires are human and make mistakes, so why not take steps to eliminate some of that? Fair or foul, out or safe, home run or not…these are true-false calls that don’t have to have anything to do with judgment. Umpires, players, coaches, and executives in the game have to want the calls to be correct, no matter which way they go. Expanding instant replay is a really easy way to accomplish that.
It’s time for MLB to step into the 21st century. It ain’t 1985 anymore.