There’s much debate about expanded instant replay and I’m sure that just like football, tennis, hockey and seemingly every other pro sport, baseball will eventually turn to more video for in-game calls. But right now it’s all talk and speculation. For the most part, humans look at the action at full speed and give their call.
Fair or foul. Ball or strike. Safe of out.
“Sometimes you wonder if the umpires are just trying to get out of there,” Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said after umpire Jerry Meals blew the final call at first base. “They don’t want you to make a comeback. They want to go home, because those were terrible calls.”
I’m not sure if Tex actually believes those comments or if he was caught in the moment, but I can assure you that umpires aren’t making incorrect calls on purpose. And blaming an umpire on the result of a game is just foolish.
Even the Yankees radio play-by-play announcer John Sterling refused the blame Meals. “The Yankees got robbed,” Sterling said during the broadcast. “That’s showbiz. That’s baseball. It happens.”
Ken Rosenthal made the best point about the blown call and umpires in general in a postgame tweet. The Yankees were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position in their 5-4 loss on Saturday, the Orioles were 1-for-12 with RISP when Jeffrey Maier robbed them back in the ALCS in 1996.
If you leave your fate in an umpire’s hands, it’s your own fault.