55% of Major League Baseball Players Said WHAT?

Dave CokinContributor IJune 23, 2010

HOUSTON - JUNE 18:  Second base umpire Jim Joyce looks towards home during the game between the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on June 18, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Okay, I’m amazed. There has been some pretty intense discussion lately regarding the potential expanded use of replay in Major League Baseball to correct or uphold close calls. The topic always gets brought up following a game-altering gaffe by one of the men in blue. But it reached fever pitch a few weeks ago when umpire Jim Joyce made the worst call of his career and cost Tigers starter Armando Galarraga perfect game in the process.

Fans have been on board the replay bandwagon for some time, and the overwhelming majority want replay to play a larger role in reviewing close calls. A recent USA Today survey revealed that 78% of the responding fans were in favor of of increased video review. That’s not just a majority, it’s a landslide. We’ve heard from respected umpires, including Tim McClelland, who have gone from resisting replay to embracing it, with the thought that getting the call right is the most desired result. If the umpires themselves are on board, then this ought to be a done deal, right? Just iron out whatever variables as to the how, when and where and get expanded replay rolling by the start of the 2011 season. Simple.

Or maybe not so simple, thanks to the results of a survey of actual big league players undertaken by USA Today/The Sports Xchange. According to their findings, an incredible 55% of the 584 players replying to the poll are AGAINST the expanded use of replay beyond boundary calls. I have to tell you, this news absolutely staggers me. And I’m not alone. Even MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was floored by this news. In a follow-up interview with USA Today, Selig exclaimed, “Wow, I find (the results) very interesting.”

I have tried in vain to try and comprehend why anyone is resistant to expanding replay. Yeah, I know, there’s the “human element” and all that utter nonsense. That’s what it is, for one very simple reason. WE ALREADY HAVE REPLAY. EVERYONE WATCHING THE GAME GETS TO SEE WHETHER THE CALL IS CORRECT OR INCORRECT. THERE IS NO LOGICAL ARGUMENT TO IMPLEMENTING SOMETHING THAT ALREADY EXISTS. Sorry about the all-caps screaming, but if there’s one thing that will consistently drive me absolutely bonkers, it’s the stubborn head-in-the-sand mentality that stymies progress and goes against all rational thought. I realize I’m totally inflexible on this topic. That’s because I have yet to hear any argument that makes even a scintilla of sense. And as we continue to make technological advances on what seems like a daily basis, I think it’s safe to say I never will.

In any event, the fact that 55% of the players surveyed were anti-expanded replay use is a great indicator that inmates should never have a say in running asylums. And maybe the next collective bargaining agreement needs to add a test for mind-altering drugs. For once, Commissioner Flintstone got it right. “Wow”, indeed.
One top play on Tuesday, and down it went. The Twins grabbed a quick 3-0 lead and still had the bases plugged with not even one out recorded in their opening frame against the Brewers. But Minnesota squandered the opportunity to add to their lead, and it eventually cost them dearly in a 7-5 loss to the Brewers. Considering how well things have been going, I’m not about to beef about one loser and I have one game on Wednesday that I like quite a bit.

For info on receiving my personal plays directly from me, all you need do is drop me a line at cokin@cox.net and be sure to ask about the guarantee that is included with these selections.