Instant replay not cure-all for bad calls

rmooney@bradenton.comNovember 17, 2009 

You want more use of replay in baseball? You want some of those awful calls during the recent postseason overturned? I’m with you on that.

Instant replay is the cure-all for bad calls.

Except it is not.

We know this because we’ve seen NFL and college football officials botch calls even with the help of replay.

We have rules that rule certain plays are not reviewable, never mind the replays shown during the telecast show the ref missed the call.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers feel they were robbed Sunday when a play ruled an incomplete pass was overturned to an interception.

Later in the day the Dallas Cowboys asked the officials to take a look at a fumble that appeared on replays to be recovered by a Cowboy but ruled on the field to be recovered by a Green Bay Packer. The Cowboys were told the play was not reviewable.

I’m sure the NFL has a reason why it couldn’t review that play, and I’m pretty sure I don’t agree with it.

If you can get some plays right, why not get all of them right?

If you coach in the SEC, there’s a good chance you’ve been fined this season for voicing your displeasure over a call.

If you are an SEC official, you might have been suspended for blowing a call.

It’s not easy these days for the men in blue or the men in stripes. The athletes are bigger and faster, the game moves at a quicker pace, and the advancements in technology can slow down a bang-bang play to show us we didn’t really see what we just saw.

Replay can help.

To a point.

Camera angles sometimes get in the way. So do the rules.

An expanded use of instant replay in baseball would have changed two calls made by Tim McClelland in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. An expanded use of instant replay in Game 2 of the American League Division Series would have turned a foul ball down the left-field line by Joe Mauer into a ground-rule double.

The general managers voted after the season to keep baseball’s limited use of replays in place. So, we’ll probably have to endure another postseason of sloppy calls before something is done.

Traditionalists don’t want any use of replay in baseball since human error is a major part of the game. And human error is involved on every pitch.

The calls that do the most damage in any baseball game on any level are balls and strikes.

No way will baseball ever subject those to instant replay.

As for the others, it wouldn’t hurt to take a second look.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service