Over Halloween, we watched the old (Donald Sutherland) version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.
You know the story: evil seeds float from space, grow evil plants on earth with evil spores, evil spores change humans to…an evil something else.
Well, the evil seeds are on their way to my favorite sport in the form of instant replay.
It'll start as instant replay, and then…an evil something else.
I’m gonna go poetic here , so forgive me.
Baseball is a human game.
Everybody plays a part, and an umpire’s call impacts the game exactly like a hit, or a double play, or a fan interfering.
It’s all part of the game.
As soon as you mess with the human part, you mess with the essence.
So an ump blows a call – it’s the same as a pitcher losing command of his breaking ball.
But the manager doesn’t say to the pitching coach, “Hey, Ohman’s lost command of his breaking ball, lets bring in the pitching machine.”
That is exactly what instant replay is the beginning of.
Do not do this.
Imagine Lou Piniella during a game, there’s a close play at the plate, and Lou charges out of the dugout and…and what?
Stands next to the ump, arms folded, waiting for the replay?
This is an awful idea.
If you want the umpiring to be better, talk to their union or Bud Selig.
Pay them better, get more of them, don't let sleepy guys work, but please keep them human.
The NFL has carefully cultivated their product to look and feel anti-human – more like a video game - and instant replay is perfectly at home there.
But baseball is different.
Because it’s human.
So I’ll say it again: do not do this.