Video Replay Favoring Mets, But Possibly Flawed

John HartContributor IMay 28, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 27:  The Umpire crew meets prior to the start of game five of the 2008 MLB World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays on October 27, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

For the past few series', the New York Mets have been thriving on the success of their starting pitching, Gary Sheffield, and MLB's new video replay.

In recent games, the Mets have had three home runs reviewed. The first took place against the Red Sox in Boston when Omir Santos hit a fly ball just over the green monster to give the Mets a 3-2 ninth inning lead.

In game one of their next series against the Nationals, Gary Sheffield's home run was originally called a double to deep left, but, after review, the umpire crew determined if the ball had not been interfered with by a fan, it would have landed above the left field wall.

Finally, and this is the home run in question, Daniel Murphy hit a fly ball to right field that appeared to have died in midair and landed right in front of the wall. With Sheffield on first, this home run would have given the Mets a 5-3 lead.

Originally, the hit was called a double and Sheffield was thrown out at the plate on the play. But Jerry Manuel, Mets manager, argued that the overall trajectory of the ball changed in midair, leading to believe the ball hit the sign in right field. Remember, it was originally called a double—this is key.

Upon review, the umpire crew called the play a home run and the Mets were given a 5-3 lead. But after looking at multiple replays, it is almost clear that the ball did not hit the sign above the right field wall and the original call should have stood.

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Many aspects of this play made it inconclusive though—the overall path of the ball, a fan simultaneously dropping a water bottle right next to where the ball landed, and Dunn's misplay of the ball.

As a Mets fan, I am more than happy that it was called a home run, but I am upset because I am almost certain it was not a home run.

The umpires blew the call.

Video replay was instituted into the MLB to get the call correct, that is it. There must be conclusive evidence to overturn the original call, which in this case, was a double. If anyone can see any evidence of a home run that I can't, please show me. It was bad enough to get the call wrong when there was no replay, but to get it wrong with replay would be inexcusable.

Kevin Burkhart, an in-game reporter for SNY, visited the sections just above and just below the sign that the ball supposedly hit. The people above—who had the best angle—said it never hit the sign. The people below the sign said it did hit. But the one thing all the fans can agree on is that no noise was made when the ball apparently hit the metal sign in question. Throw a ball against a metal sign and, trust me, you would hear it.

I could be totally wrong here, and if I am, I apologize. But the original call was a double, and I don't feel that there was enough evidence to overturn this call after a six minute review. All I know is that the video the umpires are looking at during the review better have some different angles than the fans at home have.