Blog Entry

A call for more replay -- and less whining

Posted on: October 8, 2010 1:25 am
Edited on: October 8, 2010 1:39 am
Please, give us more replay.

If only to stop the whining.

Yes, the umpires have made themselves into a huge story in the first two days of this postseason, and that's unfortunate. But the whining about the umpires should be just as big a story, and that's doubly unfortunate.

It would be great if umpires got every call right (not realistic, but great). It would be fine if increased use of replay could help improve the percentage of correct calls (very possible, although it still wouldn't be perfect).

It would be even better if players and managers would understand that most of the time, the responsibility for losing or winning lies with them, and not the umpires.

The guy who has the biggest beef so far is Bobby Cox, whose Braves lost 1-0 to the Giants in a game where the only run scored after a call that replays showed clearly to be incorrect. Buster Posey was out at second base on his fourth-inning steal. I know that, you know that, Buster Posey knows that and even Paul Emmel knows that, now that he's had a chance to see the replay.

And yet Cox, the all-time ejection leader, didn't argue the call. He said after the game that he had a bad angle from the dugout (even Emmel had a bad angle, and he was a lot closer), and that his infielders didn't protest the call.

The Braves, by all accounts, didn't whine about the call. According to Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution , even Brooks Conrad, the second baseman who tagged Posey before he reached the bag, quickly pointed out that the Braves "didn't get the job done offensively."

Good for them, because we've had far too much whining.

Earlier Thursday, Joe Maddon was thrown out of the Rays' 6-0 loss to the Rangers. Ron Gardenhire was thrown out of the Twins' 5-2 loss to the Yankees.

Maddon was upset with a swing/no-swing call on Michael Young, just before Young's home run that helped put the Rays away. Gardenhire was upset with a strike/no-strike call on Lance Berkman, just before Berkman's game-winning double.

Replays shown on television suggested that Maddon and Gardenhire had reason to be upset. But let's remember that no proposed replay system would cover balls and strikes, or check-swings.

No matter what, we'll be reliant on umpires making the right decision. As technology gets better and better, we'll have more and more reason to question those decisions.

It's inevitable that we'll have expanded use of replay, sometime, somehow.

But as even Bobby Cox admitted after a bad call seemingly cost him the game Thursday, replay isn't the total answer.

"Let's leave it the way it is," Cox said. "We would be arguing and throwing flags 10 times a night."

Fans actually love the arguments. Last weekend in Atlanta, during the Cox retirement ceremonies, fans cheered loudest when a Cox argument was shown on the video board. In the game that day, when there was a questionable call, the fans began chanting, "Bobby! Bobby!" even though Cox never appeared on the field.

They love arguments. I can't imagine they love whining.

And unfortunately, this postseason has already had too much whining.

There was even whining after the most memorable game of the postseason so far, Roy Halladay's Wednesday night no-hitter against the Reds. That night, Reds shortstop Orlando Cabrera complained about home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck's strike zone, even though Hirschbeck has always been a pitchers' umpire, and he wasn't any more generous than usual.

But Cabrera seemed to be on his own. The whining Thursday was worse.

The Rays, who embarrassed themselves by the way they played in two home losses to the Rangers, embarrassed themselves further by seeming to place the blame Thursday on the umpires. Maddon's tirade was bad enough, but the display later by catcher Kelly Shoppach was totally uncalled for.

As for Gardenhire, his problems with umpire Hunter Wendelstedt go back years, as colleague Scott Miller pointed out . It wasn't a great idea to assign Wendelstedt to a Twins playoff series.

The Rays aren't down two games to none because of bad umpiring, or a lack of replay. The Twins aren't down two games to none to the Yankees because of bad umpiring, or a lack of replay.

Roy Halladay didn't throw a no-hitter because of bad umpiring.

And even the Braves, who watched the Giants' lone run score after a seemingly bad call by an umpire, never scored a run themselves.

It was a bad call. I get that.

Some expanded replay would help. I get that.

But replay or no replay, there will be calls that don't go your way.

Can we stop whining about it?


Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 9:01 am

A call for more replay -- and less whining

Since: Dec 2, 2011
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A call for more replay -- and less whining

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A call for more replay -- and less whining

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A call for more replay -- and less whining

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 3:13 pm

A call for more replay -- and less whining

Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 8:47 pm

A call for more replay -- and less whining

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 4:07 pm

A call for more replay -- and less whining

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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 8:13 am
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Since: Jul 11, 2009
Posted on: October 9, 2010 6:54 pm

A call for more replay -- and less whining

Bigfly, how informed are you on what actually happens? Have you been to umpiring schools at all lately? Because you know what they teach there? They teach the umpires that they are in charge, they are at center stage and they need to ump with a chip on their shoulder and not take anything from anybody. How many people are ejected in the NFL? NFL games are more pressure than MLB, coaches and players get just as mad. How many are ejected?

Since: May 4, 2010
Posted on: October 9, 2010 5:32 pm

A call for more replay -- and less whining

Please act like you have some sense. The Umps take a tremendous amount of abuse from the players, game after game.
The players get plenty of rope, and most of them understand that there is a line YOU DO NOT CROSS. It's been that way since the game began. The umps don't whine or laugh when a player makes a bone-headed error in the field, and the fact remains, the players make WAY more mistakes and errors during the course of a game.
Players need to quit whining, swing the bat, catch the ball, run the bases and PLAY THE GAME.
The fact that you've umped 2000 AMATUER games just means that you're simply not good enough to be a MAJOR LEAGUE Umpire.

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