There’s no way around it. Replay in some fashion is needed. In no way do I envy major league umpires. They are required to make incredibly tough judgment calls, on plays moving at high speeds, in front of tens of thousands of fans who have access to every replay possible and are irrationally attached to their favorite team. As if that is not hard enough, even though the technology exists to relieve a bit of the pressure on umpires, Major League Baseball, namely Bud Selig, refuses to address it.
At least there are some good reasons against it, such as it would create too many delays. Hmm. . . . not unlike when 70 year old manager waddle out of the dugout to argue a call that everyone watching the game knows will not be reversed? Besides, with all the different camera angles immediately available, it shouldn’t take too long to make a decision and at least the delay in the game will have an actual result other than grown men making fools of themselves.
Another reason is the slippery slope argument. Where will it stop, many people will ask. To me that’s just a cop out for those that don’t really have a good reason to be against it, other than to be against it. As if instant replay is a gateway to more absurd things, like robot umpires. Hmmm. . . . .
Then there’s my favorite argument: the human element makes the game better. It’s just one of those nuances that Ken Burns loves to make black and white documentaries about. Utter nonsense. It would be like if I walked into a CPA’s office and he said ‘You know, even though I have a calculator, I’m going to do your tax return by hand, without double checking my results. I may make some mistakes, but I think that’ll make your experience with me a bit more charming and personal.”
Sounds kind of crazy doesn’t it? Well that’s exactly what Major League Baseball is doing. It’s quite funny how their negligence of this issue is actually having a major impact on very important playoff games and nothing is being done about it, but when a very inconsequential game (the All-Star Game) ended in a tie, a decision had to be made immediately to address it.