The above quotation comes from this wonderful SI piece about the umpire who blew the call on that perfect game earlier this month. Most stories written about that incident have been preposterous defenses of baseball as some kind of “unique” sport that absolutely positively cannot adapt to allow for replay/second-guessing or else the entire operation would somehow cease to be special. Thankfully, this story is just that: a story about the man who messed up and how he (and the pitcher) both managed to come out of this nightmare smiling and feeling OK about everything.
I couldn’t help but isolate that quote though. What the hell is Bud Black implying here? Instant replay is, by my watch, over 40 years old. Every pro sport has used it, in some capacity or another, for years - in some cases, decades.
The only thing preventing instant replay from being used in professional baseball is professional baseball. Stubborn people - be they players, owners, fans or journalists, insist that using actual video evidence to verify an umpire’s call will magically suck the “human element” out of the game forever.
In other words, the opposition to replay in baseball is not (and has never been) a technological issue. It’s an ideological one, and it’s high time we got over ourselves.
Baseball is great. Check that, baseball is better than great. It’s fantastic. I love it. Millions of people in countries around the world love it - way more than love (American) football, for sure.
But baseball isn’t “special.” It is not above improvement. Having people screw up publicly and spectacularly on television without a handy “undo” button does not make the game better. A willingness to correct errors will do just that.
[link via @KenTremendous]