Instant replay!!!

10/16/12 in MLB   |   jaysinw   |   4882 respect

MLB has gone to instant replay and fans, players, managers, and just people who claim to be experts talk about how the game would better with more instant replay. I always ask why?? Where would the game improve with the use of instant replay?  I am told about the outs at first which clearly the runner was out or safe... flies balls in the OF which may have been a trap or a good catch.... home run balls..... tag plays... fair and foul balls. I even get people, who tell me to look at the LLWS how it has helped. So I then ask them, who of you has ever been an umpire and also went to school for it, and if you did go to school was it  The Jim Evans' Academy of Professional Umpiring and the Harry Wendelstedt School for Umpires schools in Florida? All of them said no they never went to either school and most did not know that MLB umpires had to go to one of the schools. Some had gone to LL umpire camps. So those who did not go to the schools, I had ask where should the U2 (umpire at second base) should have been placed on the play in the Tigers-Yankees game? When the ball was hit to right field U2 should have rotated towards the out field grass on the 3B side. Any time a ball is hit to the out field the umpires should be rotated out except for certain times for which this was not one. If U2 Jeff Nelson had rotated to the SS side and moved onto the the grass he would have had a clear view of the play and throw going into 2B. Instead he assumed it was going to be a normal no play at 2B and was out of position, and so he could not see the tag and in umpire school you are told to call only what you see, DO NOT assume the tag was made, only call it if you saw it. Now if you watch the video of the blown call at second you Will see U2 standing three feet form the bag in the dirt at the end of the play making the call. Problem is he should have been there when the throw was coming in not after the ball has been caught. Also he is too close should be three more steps back and I know it sounds silly but as an umpire you can be to close and it gives you tunnel vision and you miss more then you see. Closer to the play is not a good thing but you do not want to be so far away neither.   

So now the question comes why didn't the U2 ask for help in getting the call correct?   Well, those of you who have been to umpiring school or even to a LL training camp what is it the instructors tell you... 'OWN YOUR CALL' right or wrong own and say it with conviction to sell it for anyone who is watching. Yes with simple logic it is BS but still that is whats taught in school, so the U2 did just that.


Now could instant replay correct that? maybe, but before we get to IR, lets go with what we have now, the umpires. A simple fix which could happen today would be to have MLB and the umpires union agree that umpires will use the help of the other 5 umpires on the field with plays in question. Yes, I know a simple idea and one which is in the rule book all ready for umpires to use. So that umpires do not feel as if managers are going to question them on every little play which the excuse is now for why they do not use this idea, they could go with a silent signal which lets the umpire who made a call which is being question if another umpire(s) had seen the play different then what was call. So if the other five gave a signal that no we saw what you did, the umpire who made the call could saw, nope manager I saw and the call stands. If one or more seen something different then he call say yes sir I will grant your request and ask for help. This right here will could correct 98% of the calls that are plain as day blown one way or the other. The real close ones that could have gone one way or the other or 'bang bang' as umpires refer to call them. Stop the yammering that is what makes the game of baseball, "A game of inches". There is no way we can perfection with or with out IR, but we can make the game better by eliminating the the dreadful mistakes that are made, like the Jim Joyce call.


Now Home run balls..... simple one when making a new stadium stop with having a wall and an over hang with a gap or ledge, and when coming up with the ground rules make it clear the ball must go over any fence instead of the smaller one and if a ball hits the taller one it is a home run. To make the calls MLB needs to go to the 6 man rotation for the entire season not just the play-offs. I know, I know even with the 6 man, the umpires miss the ball that seem to clip the flag pole in the Orioles/Yankees game, for those that what to yammer about that look at the NFL you have an official under each post and still Monday people argued the call on the field which seemed like maybe part of it went over or if it missed completely. So no way is it going to be 100% but I will take the umpires doing there job and getting 98% of the calls right.


Now this will never fly but to make it all work treat the umpires like the players. Yes, the players are graded and if they seem to be below standard he face going back to minors and working his way back. So the umpires should have the same thing, a grading system in place and if he is making to many bad calls, missing rotations and then is found to be umpiring below the standards for a MLB umpire he should be sent down to the minors and replace by a triple AAA umpire.

Umpires are also taught to look for outs, so as the game goes on they are  looking for anything close so they can get an out. Argue it if you want that is what the umpire is doing and has been taught to do from day one and enforce from his time in the minors, college, HS and or LL. Now in LL and HS I get upset more because they tell their umpires to widen the strike zone to get more strikes to move the game along. It is wrong because we are telling not only the umpires but the players we know there is rules but we are not going to follow them, which MLB umpires do the same. I wish we had AL and NL umpires instead of MLB umpires where we can see a strike call above the waist more often. The rules state it is a strike there so call it no wonder good hitter can sit on more pitches these days. Sorry just off subject, just annoying to see those not called and then when an umpire does call it from the first pitch the prima donnas want to yammer it was a high pitch. So looking for outs is what happen in game 2 between the tigers and Yankees, I know the umpire wont admit and the umpire union would deny that this practice is done but it is.


Now I am sick of hearing Kruk and Nomar, Jose Cruz Jr., Joe Girardi and the list goes on and on about how instant replay would better the game, when they have never been an umpire nor have they gone to a school for it. So they do not know nor care about the mechanics or rotations of the umpires, so stick with things you do know about. If MLB really cared about getting the call right why have they not pressure the umpires union to make the umpires use the rules all ready in place to get the calls right. Yes I mean when a manager comes out and complains and asks the umpire making the call get help... WHY DON'T he get the help?  The same reason why MLB went to the wild card and interleague play and why the NFL started this season with replacement refs you were not qualified to do the job. Arrogant men who cannot admit he was wrong that the choices made was not to improve the game but instead base solely on trying to make more money.  
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