What do you think?

Hal Bodley’s baseball column in Friday’s USA Today stated the topic of instant replay for home runs is on the agenda during this week’s general mangers meetings in sunny Naples, FL.

Phillies fans vividly recall Chase Utley’s potential three-run homer on September 26 in RFK Stadium.  His drive was ruled foul by the first base umpire Rob Drake although TV replays showed it glanced off the foul pole.  Utley popped out. The Phils lost, 4-3, during the Wild Card chase, a pivotal defeat.

Umpires are human and they will make mistakes. Many times, TV replays show the umpires are correct more often than not. And, yet there is something that says get it right.

Instant replay as been part of the pro football fabric for a few years.  Today, a play was reviewed during the third quarter of the Eagles’ game.  Brian Westbrook caught a pass, went down and the wet ball came loose.  Washington recovered the ball but the zebra-striped officials said no, the ball belonged to the green team.  Before play could resume, Joe Gibbs threw the red flag seeking a replay.

Between the time of that play and the next play, seven minutes elapsed because of the review process. That’s a long delay. Granted, seven minutes is probably not the norm.  But, at a critical time in a game, there is a delay while the referee peeks into a video machine and talks to Mr. Replay seated upstairs.

I’m a purist.  I say keep technology in the baseball closet. Missed home runs don’t happen often (although Ryan Howard may have had another HR in Houston had there been replay). 

What do you think?


I could see introducing a technology assist with the HR calls because presumably you could slap a wireless magnet on a foul pole and instantly know whether a moving object passes to the side of a vertical plane — without requiring an ump to stick his head in a TV camera for a long look. But having said that, life is good in the national pastime, arguably better than ever judging by 76 million fans, record Internet activity, etc. It ain’t broke, it’s thriving. I think one of the beauties of the game is that what is done at the Major League level translates to the Little League level — umpires making judgment calls with their eyes. I could stand the introduction of a non-intrusive, wireless-enabled (not TV camera-based!) HR get-it-right availability but overall I’m with ya.



There is a plus to adding technology. It would make games longer, but I still say no to any instant replay technology. Managers throwing bases and kicking dirt on umpire pants has to stay!

I was at that game in RFK and it was a home run from any angle it was an atrocious call…but it was the total collapse of the Phillies in the 1st month of the 2006 season that caused them the Wild Card.

It’s time to recognize if a manager isn’t prepared to win at the beginning of a season then he should be replaced, this was the 2nd season in a row the Phillies weren’t managed well at the start of the season.

How many seasons does it take to fix an obvious recurring problem?

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