Replay In Baseball: Replay In Baseball?

“Why corrupt the only remaining vehicle wherein imperfection is perfection?”


IDEALISTIC, VT – Normally, I would describe myself as a crass, short-minded and generally factless blowhard contributor to Meet The Matts. In fact, I pride myself in such. Today, however, I am going to take a crack at producing something that might actually pass for intelligible.

Over the weekend, while watching my beloved Redbirds and The Masters simultaneously, my father and I engaged in an argument that eats at the heart of my soul – during which he compared me to Ken Burns. Most of the time, I would scoff at being compared to a Neolithic figure but when it came down to the crux of the argument I think I embraced his jab at my psyche.

My father thinks that replay in baseball should be expanded to the Nth degree. Many people agree with him and  there have been many inquiries on this topic. ESPN’s Outside the Lines concluded that umpires miss twenty percent of close calls. Many public figures – including Don Denkinger – have come out in favor of instant replay. It would be easy to implement and probably eradicate any future mishaps. To all of which I say: Why corrupt the only remaining vehicle wherein imperfection is perfection?

Baseball is the only sport in which abject failure is normal and in fact… celebrated. If a basketball player made 30 percent of his shots he would be fired. If a quarterback completed 30 percent of his passes he would be fired. If a goalie stopped 30 percent of the shots fired at him he wouldn’t make it out of the stadium alive. If a baseball player hits .300 he is enshrined in Cooperstown. Why should we hold the officials to a higher standard than the players on the field? During the course of a baseball game approximately 160 judgment calls are made. NFL referees wont make that many calls in a season. Failure is what makes us human and baseball is the most human competition on the planet.

This humanistic quality the game gives us is why we talk about it so much. If there was replay in baseball some of the greatest stories about the game and the outcomes that ensued would not exist.

If it weren’t for blown calls, the Kansas City Royals would not have a World Series title. Most people forget that they had to come back and win game seven to claim that title. If it weren’t for a blown call Armando Galarraga would have a perfect game. If it weren’t for that blown call would any of us remember whom Armando Galarraga is? If it wasn’t for a blown call George Brett would have one more home run on his lifetime total. What difference does one home run make? The stories created are infinitely more valuable.

All else aside, The Boys Of Summer play 162 games. A few blown calls aren’t going to change the fact that the cream will rise to the top and the weak teams will fade in August and September.

So Dad, if thinking that accuracy cheapens the purity, competitive spirit and history of the game makes me Ken Burns, then yes… I am Ken Burns. And I am proud of it. Baseball is the most beautiful creation man has ever conceived and I will go down protecting it in its natural state.

Tomorrow, you can tag-a-long for a [Girl Scout] Cookie’s CornerTrefoils are my favorite. But I bet that makes me outdated, too.

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About Cam James 128 Articles
Cam James hails from Missouri and is a down-the-line St. Louis fan: Rams, Cards, Blues... Thus his occasional "Ram Rules" column. He hates Kansas basketball, lives in Denver, been a wrestler, dabbled in Ultimate Fighting and plays hardball. Oh, and he's Opie Taylor white.