"I [expletive] it up. I'm the one who thought it was a [expletive] foul ball. I saw it on the replay. I'm the one who [expletive] it up so you can put that in your paper."
Those are the words of Bob Davidson, the home plate umpire for last night's game between the New York Mets and New York Yankees.
With two men on in the fourth inning, Mets' first baseman, Carlos Delgado, hit a scorcher down the left field line. The ball struck the very bottom of the foul pole and landed in a fan's lap.
A microphone picked up the fan—who was sitting in foul territory right beside the pole—shout, "It hit the pole!" The umpire down the line must have seen the same thing, because he ruled it a home run.
However, after huddling with the other umpires, Davidson overruled the initial call.
The fact that Delgado's three-run homer-turned-foul ball was insignificant to the outcome of the game (the Mets won 11-2) is irrelevant.
The call was terrible, especially since it OVERRULED the original, correct call. Even more so, it was overruled by an umpire much farther from the play than the ump who first called it fair.
Television replays clearly showed the ball had indeed struck the foul pole and therefore should've been a home run.
Had the umpires been able to see what the viewers at home saw, they could've made the right call. It wouldn't have taken more than a couple minutes.
But of course—there is no replay used in baseball.
Should there be?
Ever since it was introduced in football, I thought it would be a good idea in baseball as well—for home runs only.
In other words, I didn't think it should be used for anything but to determine whether or not a ball has gone over the fence or, if it had, whether it was fair or foul.
But then I realized this was a horrible idea.
If instant replay was available for such calls, inevitably it would be used for close plays at the plate. Then, who knows—maybe balls and strikes.
And that's not what baseball is about.
Human error is part of the game. The lack of instant replay is why, in my opinion, baseball has the best officials of any major sport.
Ever since replay entered college football, referees have gotten worse. They know if they're initially wrong on a close play, they can just overturn it after watching the replay.
While it's important to get the call right, even replays don't always provide a definitive answer. Instead, they prolong games and cause multiiple interruptions.
So while I'd like to see replay used for home runs, I'd rather not have it creep into the game.
Bad calls like the one made in last night's Subway Series game are rare—thankfully it didn't affect the outcome of last night's game.
If replay were implemented, it would only lead to more bad calls like it.