MLB Umpires

I watch a ton of ESPN and of course they have the tendency to blow sports stories out of proportion. They bring in all sorts of experts to debate and profess their point of view to the point of insanity. I read God Save the Fan by the former editor of Deadspin, Will Leitch. The book was basically a 300 page blog but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

One chapter in particular places Leitch in a self made situation where he forces himself to watch 24 straight hours of ESPN broadcasts. This includes ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN2 etc. By the end of the 24 hours he was just about delirious. I enjoy the highlights and all but everything else I could certainly do without.

This rant was necessary because ESPN of course had major coverage of the MLB umpires mistakes this postseason. They even had a top 10 umpire mistakes of the 2009 playoffs!. Yesterday was pretty bad with 3 missed calls in the game. Thankfully these calls didn't really have an effect on the outcome of the game and Tim Mcclellan clearly screwed up.

All of the ESPN analysts are calling for instant replay. I however don't believe that instant replay is needed in baseball. MLB employs 6 umpires during the playoffs to make their lives easier and one blip on the radar in 2009 has everyone up in arms. Yes it seems that the Yankees have gotten more than their fair share of calls but that's the breaks.

In the one game playoff, Brandon Inge was hit on his uniform with the bases loaded, this would've given the Tigers the go ahead run and changed the landscape of the game. Instead he was not given the HBP and we subsequently made an out. The Twins won the game and made it into the playoffs. Fast forward to game two of the ALDS and Joe Mauer hit a ball that was called foul. By all accounts the ball was clearly fair and should have been a double. Mauer wound up reaching first on a single and the Twins loaded the bases only to squander the opportunity and lose the game in the bottom half. Ron Gardenhire spoke to the press afterwards and said that's the breaks. Sometimes the calls go your way (like the one game playoff) and sometimes they don't.

Baseball is America's pastime, it took long enough for MLB to use instant replay on HR calls. I don't think it belongs in the postseason. A sport proud of it's tradition and slow to change thinking should not jump ship because of one poor postseason by the umpires.