The 2009 postseason has seen its share of umpiring blunders. One member of the media who's name alludes me now said that this is the worst postseason umpiring he has ever seen.
Now, I haven't watched many of the postseason games outside of the Yankees, so I don't know what went on in the other series', but I know there has been shoddy umpiring all around.
In the ALDS between the Yankees and Twins and 11th inning ball down the left field line hit by Joe Mauer was emphatically called foul by leftfield umpire Phil Cuzzi, an 18-year veteran of the game. Replays clearly show the ball hitting Melky Cabrera's glove in left field and landing in fair territory before bouncing into the left-field seats.
After the game, crew cheif Tim Tschida said that the outfield lines are foreign territory for umpires and its hard to practice the postion. Well, in my opinion it's not hard to look and point, but that's just my opinion.
Oh and by the way later that inning a couple of Twins had singles that probably would have scored Mauer had he been on second.
The Angels/Red Sox series saw shoddy officiating by umpire CB Bucknor. Now, I didn't see the game, but I am under the impression that he blew multiple calls. CB Bucknor, a man who has been voted one of the worst umpire in MLB, has no business umpiring an ALDS game.
Also, the Phillies/Rockies series saw a foul ball by Chase Utley called fair.
In the ALCS series between the Yankees and Angels saw many many blown calls.
During the sixth inning, Nick Swisher is dancing a little to far off second which draws a throw to second replays show he is clearly out by about eight inches. The second base umpire was right there and called Swisher safe.
Another umpire in the same game also had a few missed calls.Tim McClelland is one of the best if not the best umpire in the MLB. The Yankees had Nick Swisher on third base and there is a sac fly hit to dead center, Swisher tags up clearly. Replays show this. The Angels appeal and McClelland calls Swisher out. Now, McClelland says he knows in his heart that he thought Swisher left early.
Later in the same game with one out and runners on second and third a weak grounder is hit in the infield. Posada, on third, tries to score. He gets in a run down and heads back to third.
Robinson Cano, who was on second, is standing about a foot or so off of third base. Posada overruns third base and goes towards left field. Napoli tags Posada and Cano both still off the bag. McClelland call Posada out and Cano safe. His explanation was that he thought Cano was still on third and Posada partially obstructed him from making the correct call.
There were a few other calls that were missed a few safes that were called out and etc.
Now, this brings us to the point of, Should MLB use instant replay for more than homeruns and fair/foul homeruns? If you ask me I would say no!
This is what makes the game of baseball so special. The human element. If you get a blown call you have to overcome it.
The only way I would support instant replay would be if the follow things happened.
1) Umpires do not leave the field to make the call. The umpire's should go into the home teams dugout where they use a phone to call to a room in the press box where one replay official and one MLB representative are located. They agree on a a call and send it down to the crew cheif still in the dugout. This will save time.
2) Managers have two challenges per game like the NFL. Once the 9th inning is reached all replay's including extra innings will be called by a booth review. This can be done by having a buzzer on the crew-chiefs belt.
3) Strikes and Balls are non-reviewable. This would slow down the game way too much.
4) The only plays that can be reviewed are fair and foul home run, fair and foul down the line and safe and out on the bases. Check swings, balks, foul tips, dropped third strikes, if the ball hit the batter in fair territory, and if a fielder caught the ball on the fly or it bounced are NON-reviewable.
That is the only way I would support a replay system. I would rather there be no replay at all, but that seems unlikely.
We'll just have to wait and see what Bud Selig decides on the issue.
This article is also seen on BlueShirts and Pinstripes Blog