Blog Entry

Instant replay in MLB? Torre and La Russa

Posted on: October 23, 2011 6:50 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2011 7:18 pm

By Matt Snyder

ARLINGTON, Texas -- In light of the botched Ron Kulpa call at first base in Game 3, discussion of expanded instant replay has once-again ramped up.

As a refresher, here's a GIF of the play, courtesy of SB Nation:

Rangers manager Ron Washington, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and Major League Baseball's vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre spoke with the media before Sunday night's Game 4 on the matter.

"All I want is to get the play right, that's all," said Washington. "And sometimes umpires don't get it right, and there's nothing you can do about it.

"You know, we brought in instant replay for the home run. I think in the World Series, for plays like last night, maybe we can find a way to get the play right."

And he's right. We can't be sure of what the perfect system would entail in baseball just yet, but there's far too much technology at our disposal to allow an easily correctable call to just stand and move on -- especially when the umpire himself knows he messed up.

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"Ron Kulpa came in, and I was in the umpires' dressing room afterwards, and he walked in. The first thing out of his mouth was that he had to see the play. He said, 'I missed it, did I miss it?'" Torre said, also adding that anyone questioning Kulpa's integrity -- he's a born-and-raised St. Louis native -- is crossing the line.

And I agree with Torre. Kulpa absolutely nailed the biggest call of Game 2 when he called Ian Kinsler safe on a ninth-inning stolen base. If he was in the bag for the Cardinals, he calls Kinsler out. It's very simple. So the focus should be entirely on replay, not Kulpa's honest mistake.

La Russa seems to feel Kulpa's pain, as well as any other umpire who has made an honest error and been vilified for it.

"My two cents is more in favor of looking at it. I think, as long as it doesn't affect the game as far as slowing it down, I think the umpires are -- it's unfair," La Russa said, when discussing that he'd like the umpires to get more help and take less blame. "And if there's a way to ease that burden, some limited additions are going to be discussed, and we'll see where it goes."

When asked if there was a chance that MLB would implement further replay measures, Torre seemed to give a bit of a contradictory message.

"Well, I'd say drop it, but I don't want people to think that we're stubborn about this," Torre said. He later noted that he's worried about delays.

"To me, wholesale replay, I think is going to disrupt the flow of the game. That's just my opinion. Am I old school? Yeah, I am old school, but I'm not ignoring the new technology that's available to us, and we're going to do everything we can to make the game better."

Only by refusing to implement simple additional measures -- even if only in the postseason -- MLB is certainly ignoring new technology. And what about the delay when a manager argues with the umpire? In a replay system, it's possible they just challenge a play or whatever the system might be instead of a five-minute argument delay.

"That's certainly legitimate," Torre said when asked about the time spent arguing calls. "That question is certainly legitimate, but they're not all going to be that clear-cut. Again, it's still not going to keep the manager from arguing, it's not going to keep the player from arguing before you go to replay."

And, again, I'd ask why they can't just review and overturn the clear-cut plays and ignore the close ones? Torre might say they don't want to be stubborn, but it's pretty evident Major League Baseball is being very stubborn on the use of video replay, at least for now.

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Since: Sep 29, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 2:12 pm

Instant replay in MLB? Torre and La Russa

Geeesh...just looking at the 5 second (or less) slow-mo gif above, it's obvious he was out.  I didn't get to see the game, but based on that replay, where the heck was the ump standing that he got the call wrong?  Was he at 2nd base thus being screened by Mike Napoli's body?  You can always say what what if this call isn't botched, does the inning end quicker without the run explosion?  We'll never know....

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: October 26, 2011 11:29 am

Instant replay in MLB? Torre and La Russa

Baseball has the technology to get it right, even on balls and strikes.  but i would not go that far.  All umpire decisions other than balls/strikes should be reviewed.  Teams should be allowed to have TV in the dugouts where a coach can watch the replays and determine if a call should be challenged.  Each team should get 2 challenges per game.  Decisions in baseball carry more weight than decisions in football.  Baseball you have a finite number of outs and to have one incorrectly called is a big part of the game.
There should be one replay ump in the booth that watches every play.  When a team challenges he should already be able to give an instance answer. Some plays are so obvious, like the one on Saturday, that it is a no brainer.  If that call had of been called correctly, the Rangers may well already be the World Champions.  That one call changed the entire complexion of the game.

Since: Oct 24, 2011
Posted on: October 25, 2011 1:15 am

Instant replay in MLB? Torre and La Russa

I'am tired of hearing all the baseball writers and old school baseball guru's talk about "oh the human element has always been part of the game".  It was not just a bad call, but after that call the 4th inning became a disaster!  We have a certain thing called "MODERN TECHNOLOGY".  It would've taken maybe two minutes to look at it on a little tv and decide the right call.  I just don't understand why they are so stubborn on not getting the call right.  It's just mind boggling to me!

Since: Apr 8, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 5:26 pm

Instant replay in MLB? Torre and La Russa

Most everyone in the stands and field knew the runner was safe except the umpire.  Not sure what he was looking at on the play.  Come on we have needed instant replay since that known gambler Rich Garcia blew the Yankee call against the once mighty Orioles.  Only instant replay can maintain integrity of the game.  I think you only need 3 umps on the field and a instant replay ump.

Since: Jun 18, 2010
Posted on: October 23, 2011 10:09 pm

Instant replay in MLB? Torre and La Russa

wht not give both teams two challenges?

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