On the TunneySide of Sports October 23, 2017 #663 Up next… Careful What You Ask For!
After further review…Fans have been clamoring for the use of video replay as far back as the 1970s. In that era, Tony Verna and Hal Uplinger were creators of the split-screen, where two pictures of different shots are shown simultaneously on your television screen. What Verna and “Uppie” created is said to be the forerunner of today’s video replay. Some 40 years later we see the extensive use of video replay in all professional sports as well as in the NCAA. Some say it’s an attempt to achieve perfection.
Do you like its expanded use? That’s a frivolous question. You’ll get it anyway. With technology improving every day (minute?) fans not only love it but can’t seem to live without it. In its inception in the NFL, players, coaches and other purists thought it would not be good for a game played by humans. Count on-field officials in that group of skeptics. But not this writer, who took the position that if video replay would help correct an official’s inadvertent mistake, it would help the game.
In today’s professional sports we see video replay in constant use. Some say delays caused by replays disrupt the flow of the game, yet we continue to watch replay after reply. In the recent Major League Baseball playoffs, extremely close live-action plays called by the on-field umpires have been overturned by the replay technician in New York (MLB’s command center). One certainly cannot fault those umpires who must make the call in real time.
However, in NCLS Game One of the Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers, a close play at the plate caused the TunneySide some concern. As the Dodgers player rounded third and was attempting to score, the Cubs catcher was awaiting the throw to tag him out. The catcher had his left leg extended into the base path with the runner bearing down on home plate. The runner slid around the catcher’s leg and missed touching the plate. The catcher caught the throw and tagged the runner out. The call was challenged as we went to replay in New York.
Replay responded by reporting that the catcher’s extended leg was ruled a violation and awarded the runner safe at home due to the interference. While the ruling is correct, according to the MLB rule book, the concern here is that replay has overtaken the role of the on-field umpires. If this becomes standard, it usurps the role of the on-field officials. It is vastly different than a call of safe or out being overturned.
Will you log-in your thoughts about replay being involved in plays of this nature?
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