Baseball Needs Instant Replay For End Of Games

Giles BruceContributor IJune 10, 2009

DENVER - MAY 14:  Carlos Lee #45 of the Houston Astros is called out by homeplate umpire Charlie Redford as he slides into home and is tagged out by catcher Yorvit Torrealba #8 of the Colorado Rockies as Lee tried to score on a double by Hunter Pence in the third inning during MLB action at Coors Field on May 14, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

I’ve had enough of this. The charade’s over. Who are we kidding?


I just watched the Chicago White Sox possibly lose a game because of an umpire. Dewayne Wise was likely safe as he slid into home on what would have been the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, but the ump called him out. The score remained 6-6. In the top of the tenth, Miguel Cabrera hit a solo home run and the Tigers went on to win 7-6.


The play at the plate was a close one, I’ll give you that. At first, the ump called Wise safe, then called him out. Okay. The ump had to make a call in a matter of seconds and he did, based on what he could see.


But tell me, with all the technology we have available to us, why are we letting humans decide the results of sporting events? The most popular league in the country, the NFL, has instant replay. Why can’t Major League Baseball in situations other than home run.


I’ve heard the arguments about how it would slow down the game. I’ve also heard about how it would take away from the sanctity of the game. I’m not buying it.


How about getting the calls right, especially ones that directly affect the outcome of games? The White Sox, in particular, should know that every game counts, having played 163 games last season. What if they have to play an extra game again this season? What if the division is decided by one game?


The Tigers increased their lead over the Sox with tonight’s victory. A five and-a-half game lead is a heck of a lot harder to overcome (even if it is early) than a three and-a-half game lead.


That’s why baseball needs to get off its high horse and implement instant replay in late-game situations.


It’s not like the technology for it isn’t available. When I watch a game at home and there’s a close play, the TV announcers usually know whether the call was right before the next pitch is thrown.


Managers routinely argue over blown calls, adding at least five minutes to the game. And you want to tell me instant replay will slow down the game? (If you’re going to miss seeing managers argue with umpires, I can’t help you, though I’m pretty sure baseball managers will always find something to argue about.)


See, I wouldn’t mind seeing replay instituted in every situation. But since there are so many people opposed to it, why not just implement it in the ninth inning or later? It could be just like the NFL where a referee—or in MLB’s case, an umpire—sits in a booth and decides what plays to review.


I don’t see the harm in it. Questionable home runs are already being reviewed, so it’s not like there isn’t any replay in baseball as it is. Some might say the only reason home run replays were instituted is because of all the blown home run calls involving New York teams last year. So I guess full-instant replay is out of the question because what happened Tuesday involved the lowly White Sox.


And I, for one, would much rather the officials review late-game calls than home runs.

I’ve felt that baseball needs replay for some time now. It’s frustrating as hell to see your team lose because of a blown call. I’m not even 100 percent sure the ump was wrong Tuesday. In the future, whether my team wins or loses, I just want the right call to be made.


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