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Forget the “human element”, just get it right

Regarding the debate over instant replay in baseball, two facts are incontrovertible. One, the umps have really been blowing some calls lately. I mean, Joe Mauer’s ground rule double to left in Yankee Stadium that Phil Cuzzi ruled foul even though it was fair by a foot was one of the more egregious things I’ve ever seen. And two, baseball has made numerous changes over the years to how the game is officiated, all of which were done in an effort to improve outcomes. Over a hundred years ago they professionalized the umpiring corps to prevent intimidation by home team fans. Over time they added a second umpire, then a third, and then a fourth, because it was too hard for fewer men to call the game. They added umpires on the foul lines in playoff games specifically because those calls can be very hard for an umpire stationed in the infield. Given all that, I don’t see why having an umpire in the booth, with the authority to step in and reverse an obviously wrong call, is such a big deal. To me, getting the call right outweighs any other concern. I fail to understand why that point is even controversial.

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  1. […] not, see here, here, and here for the details. All I have to say about this is something I’ve said before, which is that I do not understand the resistance to making a best effort to get as many calls […]