Video replay in baseball

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2009 at 5:24 pm

A couple of nights ago there was a 10 minute delay in the Giants Astros game while the umpires reviewed a video tape replay of a Travis Ishikawa home run. Was it or wasn’t it ? Well it turns out it was (a home run, that is) and after 10 minutes standing at second base, Ishikawa was allowed to finish his home run trot. I could have done the dishes in all that time.

The use of replay in baseball is going to ruin the game. It is only a matter of time before cameras replace umpires. I mean you can already see this coming with “pitch tracker”  or ” K-Zone”  devices  that plot the strike zone for the TV audience so that broadcasters and fans can determine if a called strike was really a strike. Pitch tracker is so much more accurate than the flesh and blood home plate ump that it is a wonder MLB has not already made home plate umpires redundant.  My prediction  is that this will happen soon.

Of course this would be unfortunate and very much against the tradition of the game, where umpires have been a very necessary and beloved object of scorn. Can you imagine going to the ballpark and not being able to boo an ump for a blown call  ?  That is part of the fun of going. When a manager argues with an umpire it makes for some very colorful on the field theatre.  That is why we remember guys like Billy Martin and Earl Weaver. Baseball without umpires would be like Leave it to Beaver without Eddie Haskell.

It will be a sad day when the game is called by machines.  But under the rubric of progress that day will certainly come.  They might even say  ” can you believe that they used to have a guy standing behind the plate calling balls and strikes…”

Geez..Mrs. Cleaver…


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