Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Once again, if you are against instant replay... you are wrong

It is to the point where people who are against instant replay sound a lot like people who would insist the world is flat.

They have nothing to back up their claims except tradition and an inability to accept new ideas.

There isn't a logical reason to be against instant replay.
Even one of the people who comment on my blog against instant replay admitted that.

But we saw in the final game between the Padres and Giants how it can be used and again tonight between the Yankees and Twins.

In the Giants game last Sunday... a game that could have been a playoff berth... a game that could decide if there is going to be a three game playoff... Andres Torres hit a double down the line.

Not an opinion. Not a judgement call. He did it. It was fair. Chalk flew in the air when it hit the line.

The umpire called it foul.
The umpire was incorrect. Again, not an opinion. Not "The Human Element." He was wrong. And we saw he was wrong INSTANTLY.

Everyone on the planet Earth who was watching the game saw it was wrong. Bruce Bochy and third base coach Tim Flannery argued the call and the umpire stood his ground... which he was wrong about.

Today with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th of a playoff game, Delmon Young hit a line drive to right field that Greg Golson caught.

Again... not "In my opinion he caught it." He did. It was a catch. It was ruled a trap. The Yankees argued.

Then came the great compromise that all people who are (wrongly) against instant replay offer up. "The umpires can get together and confer what they all saw."

Great! Guess what? They STILL got it wrong. They all huddled up and decided it was a trap... all the while the actual video of the game showed over and over again that he caught the ball.

Which brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Jim Thome.

Now people who are (wrongly) against instant replay will probably throw up the biggest straw man argument right here:

But Sully! In the end it didn't matter! The Giants won the Game! Mariano got the last out! No harm done!

That's great... if you know how the future unfolds.

But why should Andres Torres have to try to get another hit when he just got a double?
Why should Mariano Rivera have to get a 4th out against Jim Thome no less when he already got the third out?

You didn't know the Giants were going to win that game when the umpire blew that call (not an opinion... a fact that was seen by everyone in under a minute.)

You didn't know Jim Thome was going to make an out when Chris Guccione blew that call. (Any relation to Bob? Not sure.)

The people who keep blathering about "The Human Element" need to answer me this:
Why shouldn't players be credited for things that they actually do?

I am not talking about robots. I am talking about players who do something positive... and if you are against instant replay, you are actually saying "Players should be credited for their plays at the pleasure of the umpire."

A rookie named Greg Golson makes a nice catch to end a playoff game. Not an opinion. A fact.

But if you are against instant replay you are saying to him "I don't think you should be credited with that. Sorry."

Andres Torres gets a double off of an All Star pitcher, Mat Latos. But instant replay opponents are saying "Tough luck. We simply choose to have you NOT credited with it. No reason."

Oh and spare me any nonsense of "Jeter doesn't like it... therefore it is bad."

Arguments from authority are logical fallacies.
Tim Flannery is for it. He played the game.

Don Denkinger is for it. He could have used it.

So please... opponents of instant replay... here's my challenge to you:

Make an argument AGAINST instant replay in baseball without stumbling into logical fallacies:

1) An appeal to emotion
2) An appeal to tradition
3) An appeal to authority
4) A personal attack

Tell me why getting calls right is wrong.
And tell me why you are against players being credited for what they do.

The next logical reason to NOT have instant replay will be the first one I have ever heard.

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  1. redsox123410:58 PM

    I'm ambivalent about using replay because while I would love for all calls to be gotten right, I just don't think it's possible. Unless they allow everything to be reviewed, then what's the point of having replay? Is this going to involve reviewing checked swings? Tag plays? Balks (I was at a game where the winning run scored on a balk)? Interference plays? Sac fly plays? Did the runner score before the 3rd out was made? Running out of the baseline? Did the 2nd baseman really touch the bag on a DP? The bang-bang play at 1B? Any bang-bang play at a base? Did the ball land fair or foul? Did the pitch really hit the batter? Was that a foul tip? Did the catcher hang on to the ball in a collision at the plate? Any one of those calls gotten wrong could have a disastrous effect on a game like a missed home run call does, or the umpire missing a fielding play can.

    If the goal is to make sure the calls are gotten right, then isn't it only fair to make EVERYTHING reviewable? None of this "each manager only gets to challenge a certain # of calls" because then you can't be sure you are going to get ALL the calls right. Yes, it will drag out the game, which is why I'm partly ambivalent. Not because I care. I'm a Red Sox fan. I'm used to 4 hour games. They don't bug me at all. But baseball is constantly whining about length of games so I can't imagine they want to extend them anymore.

    And the truth is, umpires make far, FAR many more mistakes calling balls and strikes (and clearly affect the outcome of games) than they ever do in the field. This year's umpiring behind the plate was especially atrocious. The technology now exists to automate the strike zone.

    I'm much more interested in having them do that. If we have to get rid of human error in the game, fine. Do it. But do it completely. Otherwise it's ridiculous to have replay.

    I'm also a little delirious from watching 12 hours of baseball today...hopefully this makes sense.

  2. !? Really ?! Unbelievable....I hope you can post the Replay video of the CATCH.....I can't find it.

  3. Most calls are pretty clear and shouldn't be reviewable... but why not have the option to double check? There's no limit to the number of times a catcher can appeal to the umpire down the line on a swing... why not have another umpire in the booth who can call into an ear piece and say "Hey... you got it wrong. Turns out he caught it."

    i am guess it would happen maybe 4 times a game.
    Maybe less.

    Small price to pay to get the call right

  4. Jack in NJ5:18 AM

    They should never go to a manager challenge system...stupidest idea ever. There should be a 5th umpire in the booth with a radio to the home plate ump. Instant review. Stoppage, IF NECESSARY. No manager input. Why should they limit the number of fixes? Why if they challenge and it's close but not obvious, should they be precluded from challenging again? Replay shouldn't add strategy into a should correct the blatant wrongs.

  5. I agree with Jack in NJ,

    One of these years the World series will be decided on the final play of game 7 by a blatantly
    bad call that a 3 year old will be able to tell you about it.

  6. One other thing, If this cost the Yankees, I bet you that instant replay would be in play today

  7. Jack in NJ wins the prize... best response yet!

  8. I say no to replay because otherwise we wouldn't get to read your blogs about the fact there is no replay!

  9. OK, you win. You have all the bases covered, from your perspective.

    Bottom line for me, though... I still won't watch boring sports of any kind. Yes, Halliday pitches a no-hitter... it was exciting, but these events are few and far between... IMHO.

    I still opt for less electronics in sports. It offers too much worthless analysis. Come on... baseball is already steeped in useless stats and facts... Let's just get GREAT ball players who will give us EXCITING games to watch.

    We should not strive for a perfect world. That will only set yourself up for disappointment...

    hey... that's my opinion...

  10. Thanks dragonfly888... an honest answer.

    I am glad you are not my accountant or lawyer

  11. redsox12341:19 PM

    The Rays/Rangers game just demonstrated why if you are going to do replay, *everything* has to be open to review if the idea is to "get the call right". Clearly, Michael Young didn't check his swing and that blown call (in all likelyhood) just cost the Rays the series.

    I'd be fine with Jack in NJ's idea to have a guy in a booth watching for mistakes & correcting them. Again, as long as everything is one the table. What are the odds baseball allows that? Slim to none I'd bet.