Baseball is a sport with a human element. The sport relies on umpires to get every call right every time. Home runs are reviewed (especially when there could be a case of fan interference), but other areas such as calls at the plate or on the bases are not.
We all know about the infamous blown call at the plate last July where Jerry Meals just blatantly got the call wrong in a situation that determined the outcome of a game that went 19 innings into the wee hours of the night. Umpires have been just as brutal as NHL referees the past few seasons. The strike zone is ambiguous. It just seems to change from inning to inning and calls on the bases have been nothing short of atrocious in more games than they should.
This weekend, the Pirates lost out huge on quite a few calls that easily could have been resolved by instating the replay. People argue that instituting the replay messes with the purity and integrity of the sport. I believe the sport would be better served and have greater integrity if the players received fair and accurate calls.
For example, today, Sterling Marte was called out at third in one of the biggest blown calls I have seen in awhile. Here is a gif of the play:
There was no tag. Umpire Tom Gorman was out of position and called him out. What if Marte was the tying run in the top of the 9th inning and that was the third out? Completely kills the game for the Pirates if that is the situation. We have been in that situation and the result was devastating. Also in this series, there was a call at the plate where Rod Barajas tagged the runner high and he was called as safe.
These calls add up and cost teams games.
The MLB needs to evolve. Getting the RIGHT call is imperative to the game. Anything that could determine the outcome of a game’s score should be reviewed. Even if teams get x amount of challenges that would result in a replay, it would be a vast improvement.
This blog is dedicated to Adam Griffith for our earlier conversation inspiring the blog post. Thanks, buddy!