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Should Mlb Expnad Its Use Of Instant Replay In The Postseason?

October 28, 2008|By KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG

God save the baseball umpire. He's not a robot, but Joe Six-Pack sure expects him to be. Despite the fact that he gets 99 percent of the close calls correct, the instant replay advocates still will be up in arms every time he misses one.

The umpiring hasn't been great this Series, but I like the human element of baseball. I like it that a team often has to overcome a few bad calls to win a championship because it's a metaphor for life. You have to be mentally toughest when the breaks don't go your way.

The Phillies had been jobbed a few times but still had a 3-1 lead. In Game 2, Jimmy Rollins' uniform was clearly hit by a pitch late in the game. No call. In Game 3, Philadelphia was once again screwed on a bang-bang call at first by umpire Tom Hallion. But guess what? They won anyway. When umpire Tim Welke missed a blatant tag by Evan Longoria on Rollins in Game 4, the Rays decided to whine instead of overcome. Teams that do that don't deserve to win the World Series.

Game 3 ended at 1:47 a.m., by the way. The last thing I want to see is more instant replay and postseason games that end at 2 a.m. on a weeknight. Instant replay for home runs is fine because it's probably the toughest call for an umpire, especially in an amusement park posing as a baseball stadium like Tropicana Field. But if we add more replay, we might as well just eliminate umpires and replace them with cyborgs.

Contrary to what you might have heard, Don Denkinger didn't steal the World Series from the St. Louis Cardinals on a blown call. The Cardinals lost the World Series when Jack Clark dropped a pop-up and catcher Darrell Porter allowed a passed ball. They blamed Denkinger for their inability to close it out and had a complete mental meltdown in Game 7. Instant replay wouldn't have saved the Cardinals then, and wouldn't have saved the Rays this year.

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