Good Morning, Mets fans!
What a frustrating loss last night. At least we fought hard. Anyway, the moment from the game that’s weighing most on my mind this morning is, of course, “The Shoe Play”. With 2 out and 2 on, Freddie Freeman hit a ball “straight into the ground” which seemingly ricocheted off of something and bounced towards Bartolo Colon, whose subsequent throwing error cost the Mets two runs and, arguably, the ballgame.
I’m convinced that it was a foul ball. The ball hit Freeman’s shoe before changing direction. It seems like simple physics to me… a ball hit into the dirt like a normal chopper wouldn’t have taken such a whacky bounce.
Terry Collins was suspicious, too, so he came out to argue the call. The umpires convened and asked each other if they had seen anything suggesting that the ball hit Freeman’s shoe. Meanwhile, replays indicated that the ball probably DID hit the shoe, although it was hard to tell for sure.
But the replays didn’t matter. Why? Because it wasn’t a reviewable play. Even though baseball has utilized instant replay to a much larger extent this season than in the past, there are still several plays which have been deemed “not reviewable”. To me, this is ridiculous. Sure, let the umps keep their balls-and-strikes, because each ump has a different strike zone (which might be a problem, but let’s not get sidetracked). But when you’re talking about things like fair-or-foul, safe-or-out… plays where it comes down to whether a certain object such as a ball touched a certain object such as a foot… the camera can give a yes-or-no answer to a yes-or-no question and it seems foolish to not use the technology available. The MLB lets umpires use replay to determine whether a pitch hit the batter, but not whether a foul ball hit the batter? I just don’t see the logic behind that.
Now, you might be jumping out of your seat, itching to make an argument about how replay slows down the game. But Terry and the umps ended up spending a few minutes talking about the play anyway, so the game was delayed regardless. Again, why not just turn to the cameras?
Baseball is a slow game. If they really want to speed it up, they can cut down the t-shirt cannon launches or something. But the most important thing should be getting the calls right, and crucial plays such as The Shoe Play from last night deserve to be reviewable, just as most other plays are.
Hopefully, this was just a result of the MLB’s rule-making executives not having considered the possibility of a play like this, and plays in which it is unclear whether or not a ball hit a batter will become reviewable in the near future.
Have a good Easter Sunday, Mets fans. Hopefully Wheeler can help us avoid the sweep. LGM!