A critical call was blown in last night's game between the Yankees and Orioles.
That is not an opinion. That is a fact.
There is evidence that shows that Mark Teixeira was safe when he dove for first base at the back end of a game-ending double play. The tying run was not allowed to score even though the Yankees earned it.
The Yankees tied the game, but they were not rewarded for their efforts.
Jerry Meals got the call wrong. He is human. We all make mistakes. But this is a mistake that is so easily correctable. In a pennant race that could be decided by a game here or there, a close, exciting game should not end with a bad call.
According to MLB.com, commissioner Bud Selig is considering expanding use of instant replay. This is long overdue but a step in the right direction.
Consider this expansion: If there is a play in question that would end the game, it is reviewable. How could anyone object to that?
The idea that it would slow the game down is irrelevant. The game has completely stopped in this case. There is no "bad calls even out" rationale either. How can a call even out if the game is over?
Of course some people will blather about "the human element of the game." This is the human element: A team fights hard to tie a game on the road in the ninth inning in the middle of a pennant race. If it succeeds, it should be rewarded as such.
How is that worse for the game than people talking about Jerry Meals' bad call?
How would reviewing the final out of Armando Galarraga's perfect game in 2010 be worse than hanging the goat horns on Jim Joyce for the rest of his life?
Most of the time the last play of a close game is not in dispute. Usually it is a clear out, hit or miscue. But if a game ends on a wrong call, it casts a pall over an entire game.
Oriole fans were no doubt thrilled that their team climbed back into first place, but wouldn't it have been better without the "We got lucky that ump blew the call" admission?
Of course some Oriole fans are calling this payback for the Jeffrey Maier call in the 1996 ALCS that tipped Game 1 in the Yankees' favor.
That home run would be reviewable with today's rules. The Teixeira slide should be as well
We have the technology, ability and reason to do this, MLB. Fix this now before a playoff game ends with a blown call.