MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves Show That Instant Replay Is Needed

Dominic ErricoCorrespondent IJuly 27, 2011

ATLANTA - JULY 26: Julio Lugo #28 of the Atlanta Braves scores the game-winning run in the 19th inning against Michael McKenry #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates at Turner Field on July 26, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Last night's epic 19-inning showdown between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Atlanta Braves ended in disgraceful fashion, when home-plate umpire Jerry Meals missed an obvious tag and ruled Julio Lugo safe. 

The only person still trying to claim Lugo was safe is Lugo himself.

I don't understand why baseball purists continue to insist that instant replay is bad for the game. 

It's only bad for the egos of the refs, who would now be powerless to "control" things the way they see fit. 

Look at how close the NL Central race is right now. 

It literally could come down to a single game in the standings. Imagine how unjust it would be if the Pirates missed the playoffs by this one game that was stolen from them.

It would have taken about 20 seconds last night for a replay crew to rule that Lugo was out, and the game could continue. 

Unfortunately, under the archaic system we have in place now, there is no chance of that. The Pirates are left wondering what could have been.

Add an extra official to each game, and allow a few seconds on all close plays to ensure the call is correct.  Treat it like the NHL does on questionable goals. 

For those who complain that the game takes too long as it is, then tell batters to stay in the batters box and tell pitchers they can only throw to first on a pick-off attempt twice per batter. 

Limit the amount of mound visits from the catcher and pitching coach.  There are plenty of ways to speed up the game.

There may be 162 games in a baseball season, but that doesn't diminish the importance of a single game, nor does that mean it's okay for a team to get a win they didn't truly earn. 

Both teams combined for almost 13-straight innings of scoreless baseball. There were spectacular defensive plays, well-hit balls and crafty pitching. 

You had a few relievers go over five innings trying to win it for their teams.  In the end, none of it mattered, because the home-plate umpire decided it was time to end the game.

How can any league call themselves legit when they allow a team to play a game for over six hours and get screwed over like that?

Remove all doubt, get with the times and get instant replay!