Not even a close call: Baseball needs more replay

Cubs TV analyst Bob Brenly, take note: Now Dodgers first baseman James Loney is calling for as much video replay as possible.

“Whatever it takes, just get it right,’’ Loney said Monday after an umpire ruled his foot was off the base when video replay showed the umpire was wrong.

Brenly rightly and forcefully has preached from the pulpit of additional video replay, although not as much Tuesday when the Cubs benefited from a bad call at first base in the seventh inning. But still, if video replay had been an option on that play, it wouldn’t have slowed down the game more than San Diego manager Bud Black’s arguing.

And it certainly wouldn’t have slowed down the game any more than Jim Leyland’s screaming match, which also occurred Monday, which was a bad day for umpires. The Detroit manager eventually was ejected for arguing over a caught third strike that was ruled short-hopped by the home-plate umpire who was in no position to see it.

“There should not have been a second-inning rally,’’ Leyland said. “There were three outs. I’ve been in the game a long time, and then the catcher catches the ball and it’s strike three, you call the guy out. It’s that simple, isn’t it?’’

Yes, in can be that simple, and it would be simpler still if Leyland had called for the common-sense addition of video replay. But he didn’t have the guts to do it.

“I mean, you guys need to write something and hold people accountable!’’ Leyland ranted. “You know what? We’re all accountable in this business! All of us are accountable! And when I say all of us, I mean everybody that’s involved in the game need to be held accountable!

“OK? That’s exactly what need to be done. There should not have been a rally in that inning. Now anybody that saw that, have the nerve to write what you saw and say it. Because I’m not going to sit here and rip umpires.

“But you saw what you saw, clearly saw what you saw --- I just saw it for the 10th time --- clearly saw what you saw, write it and say something once in a while. Have the nerve to say something.’’

Feel free to have the nerve to say something your own self, Jim. Pretty lame to say you would not sit there and rip the umps when you pretty much sat there and ripped the umps. Love you, Jim. Love your managing and your career, but have the nerve to say the umpires need help. Same goe4s for the teams and the quality of the game.

It’s obvious that baseball needs replay more than it needs Bud Selig. Getting the call right ought to be more important than getting the game over quicker. Once more, video replay can’t possibly slow down the game more than Jonathan Papelbon already does, another area in which the umps are failing, by the way.

Umpires dislike video replay because it shows they made the wrong call. I get that. Nobody wants to be shown up. Umpires are human and humans make mistakes.

Thing is, baseball is run by humans with the capacity to correct mistakes.

Baseball’s greatest revenue streams come from its broadcast partners --- the same broadcast partners who are showing up baseball with all of their camera angles and video replays. What’s wrong with this picture?

Not using available pictures, is what’s wrong.

The NFL allows coaches to trade timeouts for replay reviews and has added automatic in-stadium booth decisions along the way. The NHL centralized video reviews in Toronto. The NBA allows officials to look at the courtside screen themselves. Like baseball, none of the leagues go far enough to get it right, but baseball seems the furthest behind. Baseball seems to have more plays that should be changed and could be changed if the umps saw what the rest of the viewing audience saw.

But no. Baseball apparently believes stupid is a selling point. If baseball is trying to protect its umpires, then baseball is multiplying its stupidity. If the umpires are telling the truth about wanting to get the call right, then they can step forward and make that clear by encouraging use of additional replay.

And you know what? Some umpires might decide it’s better to change their call during a game than get stuck saying “I’m sorry’’ after it.

Loney, by the way, added a page to the Brenly hymnal, predicting that “within 50 years’’ baseball would have electric umpires.

Actually, baseball already has electronic umpiring. It’s called video replay.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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