Upon Further Review; Time For More Replay In Baseball
Like you I saw the play involving Jose Reyes at third base last night. Umpire Marvin Hudson blew it on all levels, from not seeing the play, to falling for the acting of Washington’s third baseman Jerry Hairston, to making a bad call, to not asking for help.
I don’t think he was in proper position to make the call in the first place.
Reyes was clearly safe, and his animated protest illustrates to me he knew he was in there and he never left the bag. The Mets were fortunate the blown play didn’t cost them the game.
Umpires are going to miss calls, that’s part of the game. Nobody is perfect, and that includes umpires. But, to blow it so bad, and not even hear a comment from him later, borders on being reprehensible. I want the umpires to be as accountable as the players. The goal is to get the play right, and last night they didn’t.
Since getting it correct is the goal, it is time to expand the use of instant replay. It is implemented on home runs and it is time for use on the bases. The extra three or four minutes it would add to the game is worth it for the goal of getting it right.
It shouldn’t be too hard because the bases are fixed locations, just like fair and foul, and the walls on homers. Cameras on fixed locations could ascertain in the runner came off the bag, whether the fielder applied the tag and if the tag was on time.
They’ll never have instant replay on balls and strikes, but having it on the bases is the logical next step. The umpiring has been on decline for several years and doesn’t appear to be getting any better. The game is getting faster and faster, and it is expected calls will be missed. But, that shouldn’t be used as an excuse to accept poor performance from the umpires.
It is bad enough there’s no consistency behind the plate, but Major League Baseball shouldn’t have to endure the same on the bases, especially when that would be an easy one to fix.
The sport is making a pile of money and there should be a fifth umpire located in the press box with a monitor to evaluate the replay. Enough is enough, get it right.
About the Author: John Delcos
I am an active member of the BBWAA and have covered Major League Baseball in several capacities for over 20 years, including ten in New York working the Mets' and Yankees' beat. I covered the Baltimore Orioles for eight years and the Cleveland Indians before that.
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