The blown call in the second inning of Monday’s Red Sox-Tigers game that infuriated Jim Leyland to an amusing degree was enough to inspire Cal Ripken Jr. to call in to a sports radio show in D.C. and discuss instant replay.
The storied Hall of Famer is exactly the type of person that was needed to speak out on the issue in order for Bud Selig to cease handing out Werther’s Originals and instead shift his attention to an issue that’s getting increasingly embarrassing with each passing week. Ripken pretty much said what everyone else is thinking:
“I think the answer going forward is to have some sort of umpire in the booth … If somebody has the ability to watch the technology, and when Leyland comes out to argue or when somebody comes out, they huddle together. If you had the ability to communicate within that group, like if you were an umpire in a booth, and then while they’re getting together, asking for help, saying ‘Okay, I’m not sure about that,’ and then you have a chance to see a quick replay and say definitively, ‘Yeah, he caught that.’ If you could communicate that message to the group and nobody would know about it. You could just say ‘Hey, it was clear that he caught the ball.’ So then they come back as a group and say ‘Okay, the consensus is, yes he caught the ball in the air.'”
Not only is he exactly right, but this is precisely what’s needed for the instant replay system that’s currently in place. Having four umps waddle into the dugout and down the tunnel to review a questionable home run is a painstaking process that’s proven to be about as desirable as a Joe West sex tape.
Putting a guy in the booth makes the most sense, and so does expanding instant replay. The only downside will be the absence of rants like the one Leyland gifted us with after Monday’s game. If other prominent figures in the game like Ripken continue to speak out on the issue, the sooner we’ll see action from Bird Selig’s otherwise unresponsive control nest.
Previously: Jim Leyland, the Human Error and Instant Replay in Baseball
Previously: Bud Selig Has Little Interest in Expanding Instant Replay
Previously: Blown Call Cost the Tigers a Game, But Jim Leyland Still Doesn’t Want Instant Replay
Previously: Tim Welke’s Blown Call in the Dodgers-Rockies Game Was Absurdly Awful