Is anyone else sick of seeing the wrong team win games?
When you see more sports articles in October focused on the officiating than the baseball, that's when you know it's time.
They're not playing baseball in the World Series, or any of the other championship series for that matter, this year. I'm not sure what to call it exactly, but I've started to catch on to the new rules. Let me see if I have this right.
Situation 1: Pitcher strikes out batter, catcher rolls ball to mound, defensive team leaves the field, batter runs to first – two points.
Situation 2: Batter hits ball foul on 3-2 pitch – four points.
Sounds ridiculous, but check out the Chicago White Sox's postseason and you'll see what I'm talking about. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski struck out, but got to first on a botched call in Game 2 of the ALCS. Outfielder Jermaine Dye clearly hit a foul ball in Game 2 of the World Series, as he admitted later, but was awarded first after the umpire thought it hit his arm. Doesn't sound like much, but both plays changed the course of the game.
I'm not calling out the umpires on this one either. It's hard to watch everything on a baseball field, but we have the technology to help them. Why wouldn't we take advantage of that?
The outcome of a game should be decided by how the players perform, not by whether or not the officials were able to make the correct calls.
The arguments against installing the instant replay are ridiculous.
Who wants to sit around and wait for the umpire to review the play? Um, every Anaheim Angel fan in the country to start. My greatest hope is that every true sports fan would be willing to wait a few minutes for the right call.
In 1999, the year in which the NFL added the referee replay review to their system, 57 calls on the field were reversed. The year after that, 83 calls were changed. Eighty-three calls changed wild card races, playoff seeds and championships.
Another argument is that one call can't change a game; even the athletes will say this in a post-game interview. That's crazy. In professional sports, especially the playoffs, these games are usually going to go down to the wire. Five years ago the Super Bowl was won by one yard. It took the Astros 18 innings to beat the Braves in the NLDS. One call can decide a game.
When Dye was "hit" by that pitch he earned a lot more than first base. Two base runners would have been erased had the call been right and Wheeler gotten Dye out on a later pitch. Paul Konerko, the hottest hitter on the club right now, would've come up with no one on base, not the bases loaded. Wheeler would have pitched to Konerko after resting an inning, under a lot less pressure. One wrong call counted for at least three runs.
So explain to me how you ruin a sport by making sure it's played right. Explain to me why we shouldn't wait five minutes for the right call, instead of embracing the wrong one. Or I guess we could just play by this year's new rules.
Brett Okamoto is the Collegian's sports editor.