You know, last night was just an awesome game complete with giant homers and out of this world pitching, but when it was over I felt like I'd just watched a turd.
The game was tarnished by some close but wrong umpiring calls made worse by the giant deal Joe Buck and Tim McCarver made of them. And if I think about it for a minute, it's really television trying to force me into an opinion I'll never take - that baseball needs instant replay.
Everyone's piling on the umpires this year. Of course they brought most of it on themselves, but... You saw the close calls at first with the trap by Ryan Howard and the missed "safe" call on Chase Utley right? How could you not - they replayed it enough. After the first replay of the Howard play, we immediately heard "oh, bad call". Then a couple more replays and finally the incredibly fuzzy blow-up of the ball in super slow mo going into Howard's glove. Yep, he trapped it. Now the game is tainted.
To their credit, they acknowledge that while there have been some truly awful calls during these playoffs, this one doesn't fall into that category. But that only illustrates what I'm trying to say - why did they make such a big deal out of something that should have just been another play?
Both of these plays were exactly the kind that make baseball so compelling and human and watchable. Both were so close that had they been called "right", the other manager had every right to go out and argue. If they didn't have a million hi def cameras everywhere, these would just have been close plays in a baseball game. The kind of thing fans get to argue about over a beer at a pub. Instead, it's news. Instead of walking away thinking about what a great game AJ Burnett tossed, I walk away thinking about bad calls.
Anyway, besides all that, it really was a great game. I found myself pulling for the Yanks early because I so wanted Zim-tossing Pedro to get shelled. Then when he got knocked out (couldn't believe Manuel had him stay in for the 7th), my anti-Yankee instinct took over and I started pulling for the Phils.
But the funniest part of the game was when Joe Buck called Burnett "Beckett". Not just once, either.
And just so you know the Cubs are still top of mind, here's a quote from the WALL STREET JOURNAL: "Besides the absurdly long games and the absence of the Cubs, there's one thing you can count on when the World Series rolls around: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will be chatting away during the TV broadcast."
Okay... today the Ricketts' are supposed to introduce themselves to the media. Here's hoping they can be the ones to make the WSJ joke go away.