The Ever Popular Instant Replay Debate

Should Major League Baseball institute instant replay? Yes. It’s hardly a debate at all once you think about it. It’s one of those non-debates like wether or not college football should get a playoff system or if the MLB all-star game should decide home field advantage. The answers to those questions are yes and no, respectively. We all agree on those, and we agree on this too. Is it too much to ask that we get the correct calls? The fact that we can’t review controversial plays that literally decide a winner and a loser in a game is insane.

In my opinion something is very wrong in a sporting event when I know who a referee, umpire, or any kind of official is. The fact that I know who Jerry Meals is and what he looks like tells me everything I need to know about this situation. He missed a call that directly caused a team to lose a game. What’s more, that game would have kept the Pirates in 1st place in the division. With the loss they dropped to third. So the game certainly had it’s ramifications.

This is not a post to waste time bashing Jerry Meals because he missed  a call. It was a blown call, we get it. Besides he already has enough people harassing him as the Morning Journal reported several people have threatened the life of Jerry Meals family and his own life.

I want to know why Jerry Meals was put in a position where he couldn’t check his work. Journalists have editors, builders and architects have inspectors, and even lawyers have people who check their work, because the livelihood of others depends on getting their call right. There are very few jobs in the world where a worker’s production cannot be checked. How do we expect officials to make the right calls if they can’t go back and check and see what they’ve done? It’s unreasonable to expect that of anyone and yet Bud Selig expects that of his officials.

Jerry Meals apologized and feels awful for the call, but once he made it there was nothing that even he could do about it at the time. If he had an opportunity, I’m sure he’d check. Instead the Pirates got screwed out of 19 innings of work because Bud Selig had to have his “human element.”

I’m sorry Mr. Meals and all the members of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the charm of the human element is more important than getting the correct calls. Humans make mistakes and sometimes need help to do something correctly or efficiently. Nobody’s advocating replacing umpires with robots. Just give these men the opportunities to use technology to make the right calls.

This can help get the calls right. That's charming enough for me.

Maybe Bud Selig would like the human element of getting to work. He should get up in the morning and walk instead of using his car. Maybe commissioner Selig would like to hunt for all of his food and cook it over an open fire that he built himself using flint rocks and sticks. It’s a got a much more charming feel that way. Right?

The concept of the “human element” is stupid. The only “human element” that should decide games is not the officials, but the players in the game. They are the ones that get affected the most and they are the ones playing the game. Another umpire will blow another huge call again one day and this non-debate/debate will rise to the surface once again. When it does I hope it doesn’t cost anybody a championship. Replay is the best solution for the players, the fans, and most importantly the umpires who love this game and hate making incorrect calls.

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