It has seemed that the umpiring throughout baseball has been more controversial than usual. I got a first hand look at the recent futility of the major league umpires right off the bat (pun intended).
It was opening day, The Cubs were down to the Braves in a close shoot-out early in the game. Marlon Byrd hit a line drive that fell as Braves’ outfielder, Nate McLouth, dove to no avail… At least, it appeared that way. The Umpires determined that it was caught by McLouth, and the Braves went on to beat the Cubs 16-5.
Picture courtesy of MLB Videos.
Of course I was mad as I watched my Cubs get the shaft on a blown call, but I cannot stand seeing the umpires blow a call against any team in the Majors.
We all know how The Astros’ Roy Oswalt and The White Sox’s Mark Buehrle were recently thrown out of their respective games by controversial calls made by umpires. Along with those three specific calls, there have been numerous blown calls this season already.
However, Jim Joyce takes the cake. 28-year-old pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from throwing the 21st perfect game in MLB history. As Indians’ Shortstop Jason Donald pulled a weak ground ball to Tigers’ First Baseman Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera tossed the ball to Galarraga and the runner was out to complete the perfect game. Well, not if Joyce had something to say about that. The umpire called Donald safe. The blown call did not only ruin the perfect game, but it also took away a no-hitter.
Here’s a good look at the play in this picture taken from Keith Olberman’s blog
On a day when a perfect game by Galarraga and center fielder’s Austin Jackson’s catch to preserve it should have been the story–once again it’s Major League Baseball umpires.
It is time to bring Instant Replay to the Big Leagues. Not just for boundary home-run calls, but for close plays that could potentially determine the fate of the game.
In an age where the three other major sports (NFL, NBA, NHL) have instant replay, there is no excuse for baseball to be behind. In fact, there were 2 pivotal calls made on instant replay during tonight’s NHL’s Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers.
It’s time for baseball to step into the 21st century.