Replay Ball

I’m gonna commit the baseball sin here and catch myself looking ahead. Replay comes into the fold starting Thursday, and McAfee Coliseum will be one of three parks where it will debut.

One simple question for the readers: What do you think?

I think I’ve made my thoughts pretty well known, especially in my Sunday column last week (which, by the way, will be changing form as we head down the stretch. More on that as we head to the weekend). But to review, quickly:

1) I’m a traditionalist, so I’m not crazy about it. But you can’t stop progress, and if this helps with getting calls right, so be it.

2) My biggest concern (as with several players) is the can of worms it opens.  How long , for instance, until we see replay for fair or foul balls that don’t go into the seats, or calls on the bases?

3) In my opinion, replay sends a bad message to our youth. Call me way old-fashioned, but I still believe in the sports-as-life metaphors, especially in baseball, and one of the things a blown call teaches us is that life is full of bad breaks. How those bad breaks are handled is one of life’s most valuable lessons.

Meantime, couldn’t have been more wrong about the A’s getting swept here. They’re lighting up Angels starter Joe Saunders as I write this, and it’s 6-0 in the second. A series win in the offing?

Now, that deserves a replay.


  • Oakland Si

    although I’m a traditionalist I’m not necessarily against changing rules when it helps the game. However, I’m not convinced that having to send replays to a central office in NY during games held all over the country would improve the game over the judgment of umpires who are at the game, and are part of the game….and I suspect that once it’s implemented it won’t stay at only home runs.

  • Bee

    I am also a traditionalist but when technology can improve the integrity of the game, I am willing to give it a try. The obvious place to start is where they are introducing it: home run determinations. The umps are a long way from the foul poles and the fences, and it is unfair when the entire stadium and the people at home (where we have had instant replay forever) can see that it is or isn’t a home run. There is so much at stake in getting that call right. I think it should also include fan interference calls as well.

    I really wonder about sending the call to a central office in NY for a determination. Why can’t there be a monitor near one of the dugouts where the home plate umpire (he’s the closest) can see the same replay that the TV feed has. It would take very little time to accomplish that and no one has to stay up until 1 or 2 am in NY to make the determination. I have to believe that will take a lot longer and we fans and the players have to sit around until the guy in NY wakes and looks at the tape several times and makes a decision and calls the west coast back. Makes no sense to me. In computer jargon, it should be distributed not central processing.

    As for expanding it to other determinations, I don’t think it is needed for the foul lines where the ball lands on the field. The umps get that right the majority of the time. And definitely not for balls and strikes. That would change one of the wonders of the game, where the pitcher has to adjust to different strike zones, but hopefully not with the same pitcher in the same game,though. Maybe Qwestech can keep the umps honest on balls and strikes.

    Last night’s game was awesome in terms of the team’s confidence. If I am not mistaken, we are winning just about ever other game. That’s 500 ball–a major step forward. I hope they can keep it up. They certainly have something to build on after the Angels series.

    Go A’s!!!

  • Bee

    According to Joe Stiglitz’ article today, they ARE going to make the replay determinations at the Coliseum (not in NY) at a TV monitor in the tunnel outside the visitor’s dugout. As I said in my post yesterday, the NY review proposal was an assinine idea.