Christian Petersen/Getty Images
In game five of the ALDS between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees, XXX hit a ball very close to the right field foul pole. The ball clearly was on the foul side of the pole, but the issue was whether or not the ball hit the pole.
In June 2010, Detroit's Armando Galarraga had a perfect game taken away from him when one of the league's best and most respected officials blew a call at first base, where Galarraga was covering.
In October 2007, Matt Holliday, of the Rockies, was called safe on a close play at the plate. It was later revealed Holliday had never touched the plate.
These are just a few examples of calls that should have been reviewed. What do all of these have in common? They either did, or potentially could have, changed the outcomes of games.
Bad calls are part of any game. What matters more is how they are handled. Football has a system of challenges (Which I do not agree with. Why do the coaches have to ask the officials to make a call right?). Hockey reviews every scoring play. Even the most subjective of sports to officiate, basketball, has a way to review things like whether or not a shot got off before the shot clock rang.
Selig likes to talk about the "human element" of baseball, but as players get bigger and faster, the potential for mistakes grows larger. Then, it becomes more critical to get the calls right. When teams are counting on every win to get into the playoffs, or the World Series, the calls must be correct, even at the expense of some of the traditions of the game that are no longer relevant in the year 2012.
Selig's stance is steadfastly opposed to instant replay and his resistance to come into the 21st century is part of the reason people do not like baseball. Why watch a sport where you know there is at least a chance your team will lose based on a blown call?
Part of the argument against replay is that it will slow the game down while the umpire on the field walks off the field to review the call.
To that, I reply, "Why does someone on the field have to look at it?" Put an official in the booth and let him signal to the scoreboard operator whether a not a call is one way or the other. The scoreboard operator puts it on the board, and the whole stadium knows the call.
If you want to take it a step further, let a computer call balls and strikes. Gone would be the arguments over whether a ball crossed the plate. A pitcher couldn't "expand the strike zone," which is just a way of saying that the ump is changing the strike zone. This is the kind of inconsistency that drives batters (and pitchers) crazy.
All I'm saying is that the technology is there, but Selig's argument against it, rambling on about the traditions of the game, is as tired and worn out as the glove I used in pee-wee league. The game would still be the game, only without the egg on the faces of the officials when they happen to blow a call.