On Tuesday morning, Major League Baseball and ESPN agreed to a new eight year, 56 billion (that’s billion with a ‘B’) dollar contract to televise games into the next decade.
On Tuesday night, the Tigers-Royals game came down to a replay that looked as if it was shot by Abraham Zapruder using a Super 8 camera.
Anyone else see a problem here?
For the record, I thought Delmon Young’s ninth inning shot down the right field line was foul. The first angle was inconclusive. The second angle wasn’t. It was correctly called a foul ball. The Tigers correctly lost.
But apparently, that’s not a unanimous opinion. Plenty of callers to the station today are arguing that the ball was fair. Plenty say that the ball appeared to disappear in both of the angles. I’m pretty sure that’s physically impossible, but then again we’re talking about a sport where RA Dickey is a front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award. So stranger things have happened. I think the call is pretty black and white. But others don’t. (Speaking of black-and-white – why not paint the foul poles black? Wouldn’t that cause a greater contrast against a white ball? The current yellow and the white of the ball are somewhat similar. Just a thought).
But what’s not black-and-white is this – if baseball is going to get behind replay (which it should), it should GET BEHIND REPLAY. Don’t simply rely on the cameras that broadcast the game for the local teams. Instead, they need to get their own cameras and shoot them down the lines, across the outfield fences and at every single base. If they’re raking in 700 million a season from ESPN alone, something tells me that they have the necessary resources to plop a few Canons in each of the MLB stadiums.
I still say they got the call right. But should it even be an issue? Replay doesn’t solve everything. But in cases like last night, there shouldn’t still be an issue 24 hours later. Sports should come down to a pitch here or a hit there. It shouldn’t come down to a clear call that can’t be called clearly. This is 2012. We live in modern times. Baseball needs to start acting like a modern sport.