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Jim Leyland Does Not Want Instant Replay in MLB Despite Blown Call

Umpire Jim Joyce blew a call at first base that cost Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. As a result, we said once again that baseball should expand its use of instant replay. Unfortunately, we have guys like Jim Leyland who like things the way they are. After the Tigers beat the Indians 3-0 and the perfect game was blown, the Tigers manager vouched for umpires citing the almighty “human element.” Here’s what he said:

This is the human element of the game, it’s going to remain that way forever — I think it should. I’m sure somebody’s going to say ‘If they had a replay on that play the kid would have had a perfect game.’ Somebody will say something like that but not me. That’s the human element and it’s a good element because the umpires to a great job, there’s no question about that. They’re a whole lot right more than they are wrong and they make some unbelievable calls on bang-bang plays. You’d be surprised how many replays you look at and you thought they were wrong and they’re right.

I agree with Leyland that umpires are right a lot more than they are wrong and that they do make unbelievable calls on bang-bang plays. Unfortunately, all the times they get calls right are meaningless when they blow it on significant plays like this one, or the Joe Mauer ball in the playoffs. Umpires already do a good job but why not allow them the opportunity to correct their mistakes? What’s so bad about striving for perfection?


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  • SpinMax

    Has any story in the history of LarryBrownSports brought about so many postings in so short a time? I think not.

  • SpinMax

    Why does replay in pro sports have to be so serious and complex? WHy can’t they just do it like college football? The only problem at that level is team/conference homerism. Otherwise it works great. What’s wrong with having someone, like the official scorers, who watches the game and only buzzes in when a bad call like this is made and correct it. Or when the officials gather to discuss a play they have the guy upstairs to quickly give them a replay opinion.

  • Erin Redmond

    I agree. It’s 2010, not 1910. We have the technology that allows us to use instant replay, so why don’t we? I heard someone mention that the MLB should adapt challenges like in the NFL and I thought that was pretty interesting. Last night wasn’t just a man reaching first, it was a kid losing his spot in the history books. Umps are important but nobody’s perfect.

  • Kevin/Indianapolis

    I say that a man being paid $200 K or more a year should be able to call safe or out or at least ask for help on a simple call at 1st base. Incompetence sets a bad precedent and needs to be corrected when it is obvious and damaging to others. Bottom line is that when you make a terrible mistake at work, you usually lose your job. Despite what you may have heard, MLB umpires are not uniquely qualified. They are fortunate to have their positions, but anyone with a love for travel, plenty of vacation time and an aptitude for memorizing a rulebook could easily be considered for these assignments. Many of them are out of shape, have poor eyesight and extremely bad attitudes. Changing a call from safe to out and giving a man his perfect game would not ruin the integrity of the game. It was already ruined when they inducted Joe Tinker into the HOF.