Monday, August 25, 2008

Play Play

I'm not a big fan of changing the rules mid-stream. So I don't like instituting replay for the playoffs. But as long as they're going to do it (it will be for home run calls only), don't you think they're skipping a step? Shouldn't their top priority be going around to all the parks, look at all the areas of outfield fence that could cause controversy, and do something about them?

A fresh coat of paint on areas just beyond the wall, or even some powdery substance would help. Netting also does wonders these days. Make it so it's close to impossible that you can't tell if a ball went over a wall or not.

And why only home runs? Why are they more important than a close play at first, which replay could easily provide a definitive call on?

I think I know the answer to that, actually. And I haven't heard anyone bring this up. Maybe the balls way out at the wall deserve an extra set of eyes because that's the one place an umpire can't get to quickly. For all other plays, MLB is saying, "an umpire should be right on it--and we're still trusting them." In the playoffs you've got extra umps down the lines, so you've got the fair-foul calls even more closely covered. But there's still no ump out by the outfield walls between the power alleys. Of course, they could always add one....

Hey, why not a centerfield cameraman combined with an ump! She or he could film the game from out there, and specifically zoom in wherever they want. Then run the film back, and make the right call! In fact, between innings, grab a broom!

Hi Jere. Actually, I read an article (yesterday, methinks) that stated the same thing you did: that the outfield fences are far enough away from the umpires that only they qualify for instant replay. Perhaps the article writer plagiarized your page. I'll investigate further on your behalf.

I'm not crazy about replay coming into force myself, but if they had had it in the 1996 playoffs, Jeter's fake home run to right field against the Orioles would have been reversed, and the Evil Team may have lost early instead of greasing out a World Championship. In that sense I hope Yankee Stadium sees the most use of the instant replay.

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