Instant Replay in Baseball? Please, God, NOOO!
Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio were pushing for instant replay in baseball after the bad call by umpire Jim Joyce cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game last night. I think instant replay is a terrible idea, so I had to respond to Mike and Mike and sent them the following e-mail:
Dear Mike and Mike,
I just have to offer my contrary opinion about instant replay in baseball. So Jim Joyce made a mistake. Big deal. It happens. What if the pitcher had lost a no hitter/perfect game on an error by his short stop? Or, imagine this scenario: Instead of on a ball in play, the perfect game was lost on a third strike that was called a ball? Next pitch, home run. Or the grounds crew didn’t adequately work the infield and the perfect game was lost on a bad hop?
Umpires are part of the game. The whole game. Maybe the pitcher didn’t even really deserve to be in position for a perfect game. Maybe in the third inning that third strike call was six inches off the plate and the batter should have taken first on a walk (I’m making that up, since I didn’t see the game, but I hope you get my point).
Instant replay is the worst thing to happen to the NFL (not counting Jerry Jones) in the last 30 years. The officials have gotten worse since IR was instituted. And how often have you seen this happen: The TV announcers see the instant replay, and say, “I don’t see any incontrovertible evidence here. They can’t overturn the call.” After five more excruciating minutes, the referee does, in fact, over turn the call. (Or it can happen the other way around, of course.)
All sports is about people performing… or not performing. Even the officials.
I’m sure Mike and Mike will never see this message, but it makes me feel better to write it.