Once again, we are big advocates for instant replay in baseball here at LBS. Like the MLB’s oldest manager, we think it can only help the game. That being said, accountability and the use of instant replay are two completely different concepts. Instant replay should be instituted as part of the game so umpires can be human and make mistakes without being ridiculed. It would also make the game a lot more fair and accurate, if that is something that interests you when following sports.
One thing that drives me insane is when players cry that umpires need to be held accountable for making poor calls. Take Astros infielder Matt Downs for example, who was extremely unhappy after C.B. Bucknor called a questionable strike on a 3-1 count Tuesday night that eventually resulted in Downs striking out. After the game, Downs went off about accountability.
“I get tired of umpires going back to the hotel and thinking they did a good job on the night and I have to go back to the hotel on a failure night after I feel like I walked 3-1 instead of punching out 3-2,” Downs told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle. “Some kind of action has to be taken on just a bonehead call like that.
“My stats are put in the paper every day, everybody knows if I fail or succeed, and I feel like some kind of action has got to be taken where we realize if a guy’s blown a call or not and he’s accountable.”
What Downs fails to realize is that umpires are held accountable in the same way that players are. For example, this blog post is one of many across the web that calls attention to the fact that C.B. Bucknor blew a call that may have ultimately cost the Astros a win. That, to me, is the same as publishing stats in a newspaper.
If you want to talk about accountability, the truth is nobody in baseball is actually held accountable (except for Alex Rodriguez). Players get ridiculed in the media if they have a bad game — boo hoo. At the end of the day they still collect their paycheck. John Lackey is making around $15 million per season with the Red Sox and has an ERA that is among the worst in the majors. Can they release him? Certainly, but they would still have to pay him. Accountability? Not exactly.
Fist pound to CBSSports.com’s Eye on Baseball blog for the story.Google+