Did you watch the epic weekend that was FOUR Red Sox/Yankees games? I did. It was glorious, and not just because the Yankees won 3 out of the four. Okay, that’s why it was glorious, you caught me! But, it was epic for many other reasons, most of them occurring on Saturday and Sunday, and all having to do with replay.
Let’s start on Saturday. Unless you live under a rock, you are well aware that MLB totally botched a replay opportunity at second base. Dean Anna hit a clean double, but when he was standing up, his foot came off the bag with the tag still applied to his side. Any person with access to replay could tell he was out. I knew he was out. He should’ve been out. John Ferrell knew he was out, which was why he made the smart move to challenge the play. Sadly, MLB messed up and Anna was ruled safe. Bum deal for real, but it didn’t amount to anything since a run didn’t score.
Fast forward to Sunday. The game was much closer and both sides were working as hard as they could to not mess up. The Sox needed to even the series and the Yanks needed to take the series. On a routine double play, Francisco Cervelli was called out at first, but Joe Girardi didn’t agree. While the team medical doctor took care of a clearly injured Cervelli, Joe asked for a replay. After looking at the replay, I could see that it was a tie, and as we all know, tie goes to the runner. Ferrell was none to pleased with that verdict and who can blame him? He got royally screwed on Saturday! However, you are not allowed to argue replays. He was thrown out of the game, but not after telling the umpire where he could shove the replay system. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want the replay system in the particular orifice of my body where Ferrell suggested it get shoved. The call getting reversed was huge because it allowed a run to score, the winning run as it turned out.
After the insanity that was this series of replays, it is obvious why Ferrell is so frustrated with the system. But we have to remember that replay is in its infancy. It’s been used for, what, six weeks? Maybe? If replay was a human, it would be barely out of the hospital. Babies crap themselves all the time and I think the replay system will crap itself a few times, too, before all things are said and done. We cannot judge if the replay system is working or not!
The overall goal was to make sure that more calls were being made correctly, which is a very VERY good thing. About 1/3 of the calls are getting reversed and isn’t that exactly what we wanted? Managers are getting upset because MLB has made a few gaffs, but they shouldn’t be discounting the system just yet. Kinks are still getting worked out and will continue to get worked out for the next few seasons. In fact, they are estimating that it will take about three seasons for this system to be exactly how we wanted it to be.
So, it might take some more four minute reviews, botched calls, and ejected managers before the system is where we need it to be. Most fans I know are willing to be patient because they want the calls to be right. Fans are supportive of the system and understand that there will be some growing pains. Managers know there will be growing pains, too. Umpires are WELL aware that there will be growing pains. So, it is safe to say that telling an umpire to shove the replay system up their ass is not a good way to help remedy the problem. I don’t blame Ferrell because I would be mad, too, but he handled the situation incorrectly.
Let the system get ironed out before we deem it unsuccessful. Give it time. Understand that not all calls will be perfect and understand that the umps are just as frustrated. Take a chill pill and be happy you are part of history. Well, baseball history anyway.