Red Sox Lifer’s, this has gone on long enough. Major League Baseball needs to revise its policy on instant replay, and it needs to happen yesterday.
Baseball may be America’s pastime, but there is one thing about the game that remains firmly stuck in the 19th century. Baseball is the only professional sport that has not fully embraced the use of instant replay, and it is the only sport instantly paying for it.
Last night, the Red Sox paid for it with a loss to the Rays that knocked Boston out of first place in the American League East.
Monday’s blown call that saw umpire Jerry Meals calling Daniel Nava out at home plate (when he was clearly safe) is just the latest example of baseball’s need to make instant replay a reality.
After the game, Meals faced the music. "What I saw was Molina blocked the plate and Nava's foot lifted," Meals said. "But in the replays, you could clearly see Nava's foot got under for a split second and then lifted, so I was wrong on my decision."
There have been many instances in baseball in which a bad call has cost a team the game. More than a few of those involved Meals. Just ask the Pirates, Yankees or A's. But in a sports world where we emphasize the unacceptable act of cheating, i.e. steroids, baseball is cheating itself by not utilizing the modern technology available to them. While an umpire’s mistake is not the same as a player with a head the size of watermelon hitting 73 home runs, someone or some team is getting an unfair advantage when the umpire clearly blows a call again and again.
Add a fifth umpire in the replay booth, have manager’s throw a challenge flag or assemble a remote review team of umpiring cyborgs in Bud Selig’s secret bunker. Baseball fans do not care how it’s done, it just needs to get done.
MLB does have plans to expand replay. Hurray. Next season. BOOO! Come on, Bud. Now is the time to get the calls right.