We’ve all seen it. We can’t un-see it. And because we’ve seen it — and because we’ll watch it over and over again for the next 48 hours or longer — we know it’s wrong. But baseball won’t see it. Not officially. Baseball has decided against the expansion of instant replay beyond home run calls.
Why? They had some reasons. Some of them even sounded reasonable. I can’t remember them though, because they all disappeared during the step and a half it took Jason Donald to touch first base after he should have been out number 27 in tonight’s non-perfect game.
Because there is no replay, Jim Joyce’s obviously blown call stands, Armando Galarraga lost a perfect game, and I can’t for the life of me think of any justification for that. It would take too much time? Hell, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks played a four hour and sixteen minute game this afternoon. We all handled it. Some of us actually enjoyed it. Because of umpire egos? Sorry, between Joyce’s blown call and everything else that has happened in the last couple of weeks, they’ve lost the right to complain.
It is absolutely imperative that baseball implement some form of replay now. This season, before the playoffs. The best way, in my view, is to simply station a fifth umpire in the official scorer’s box. Give him the same feed the broadcast guys have. Give him a buzzer and, when an obviously bad call like this one happens, have him call down to the crew chief and overturn the call. In practice it won’t take long. In function it will be no different than an on-the-field conference in which calls are changed every day. There is no reason this can’t work and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be implemented.
Take your “human element” and stuff it, mister. The human element got it wrong. The human element cost Galarraga his place in history. The human element just thrust Jim Joyce into infamy. I don’t think either of those fellows are where they want to be right now, and there’s no human reason on Earth why it has to be this way.
Bud Selig: you have no choice. You have the power. Implement instant replay now.