'Splain This: MLB All-Star Game A Case Study for Replay

Adam AmickSenior Writer IJuly 15, 2008

The American League team won the 2008 All-Star Game in the bottom of the 11th inning. 

At least that’s how I saw it. 

If you were watching the Fox broadcast, you should have seen it too. 

However a pair of missed tags that were called outs raise the obvious need for replay in baseball. 

First off was the call on Texas’ Ian Kinsler as he attempted to steal second base. They saw it coming, pitched out, and Dodger catcher Russell Martin made a great throw. 

Astros’ shortstop Miguel Tejada deserves an Emmy for his part in the play, as does the Fox camera operator who caught him in the act. 

He clearly missed Kinsler’s leg, but the second-base umpire was behind Tejada, and thus couldn’t see the miss—and called the runner out. 

Watch how movie fights are performed, and you have the recipe for this slight-of-hand. With the umpire’s view it appears that a tag was made, but the camera reveals that there may have been two inches between the glove and Kinsler’s leg. 

In a Hollywood production Kinsler would have jerked back with the blow. But this is New York, and someone should have called Gary Sinise and the CSI crew to investigate. 

So instead of a runner on second and nobody out, the bases were clear with one down. 

Later that same inning the A.L. had runners on first and second, and Texas’ Michael Young singled to center. Fielding off the hop, Pittsburgh’s Nate McLouth made a tremendous heave to get the ball home—on time and on target.

Dioneer Navarro was the winning run and heading in. Martin did a fair job of blocking the plate, caught the ball, and swung left… 

Do they call strikes on missed tags—because this was one. 

The umpire was behind Martin to the right of the plate. The replay clearly shows Navarro’s leg slides across home, and a tag is never made. 

Again, it was a case where slight of hand and the angle of the viewer conspire to fool the mind—the camera doesn’t lie. 

I’m no fan of baseball, but this being the All-Star game I thought I’d tune in to see how the Rangers’ players were doing. I honestly don’t have a dog in this hunt, and stand by the statement that, “Baseball would be better if it were hockey.” 

Curiosity got the best of me and I watched the extra innings. 

What I saw was a case study of the need for replay in the game of baseball. Because if umpires can’t get it right in the All-Star Game, when will they?

Somebody please 'splain that to me.