How Video Replay Is Killing Baseball
I love baseball. Let's get that out of the way right here at the top.
I love baseball, always have, always will. While most of the people I know love them some football (pro, college, high school, anything as long as someone is tackling someone), for me football season is just something to meander through until spring training.
And admittedly I'm something of a traditionalist (or as folks that know me call it, 'a curmudgeon'). When the designated hitter came in, I was against it (now it's ok). When the Major's went to the expanded playoffs with wild card teams, I was against it (yeah, yeah, I'm good with it now). I'm pretty sure that when baseball played it's first night game I would have called foul (no, I wasn't around back then, i just look like I was).
And now I've come to find myself hating video replay. Seriously, I'm thinking video killed the baseball star. Or at least, the feisty baseball manager.
Oh, i know, I know, we need to get it right and speed up the game.
Now, I agree, we need to speed up the game (does that batter really have to adjust his cup three times between pitches and tighten up those batters gloves four times?). But video replay doesn't speed things up, and it sure took a chunk 'o fun out of the game.
Now, when there's a 'bang-bang' play, or even a good 'ol blown call (Does the name Don Denkinger ring a bell?), we get the excitement of a manager...putting his foot on the top step of the dugout while his 'people' check the video. He yawns, challenges the call or just steps back in the dugout and pops in a new piece of gum (no tobacco here kids!).
Now, for those of you folks walking around in a young person's skin, that's not how we did it in the old days. Nope.
In the old days, when a close call went against your team, oh my...the manager did a whole lot more than put a foot on that top step.
Ahhh, yes. There would be a delay in the game but it would be a fun delay! Arguing with the ump became an art form. Whether it was picking up a base and giving it a good fling, perhaps scooping up dirt and throwing it on the Ump, kicking dirt all over home plate or turning that cap around (Yes kids, there was a day when wearing your cap backwards was weird and embarrassing...oh wait, that days still here) and getting into the ump's face, we all waited...it won't be long...and then the ump would toss Earl, or Lou, or Buck.
Now that was a delay that was fun! Was the call always right? Of course not. And that was part of the fun, too. We can still argue about this call or that call. The call still lives instead of dying in a cloud of video replay.
Oh, and let me introduce you to the best, the genius, the master of the 'call argument'. Feisty? No, Billy Martin wasn't feisty. He was, well, determined...to get thrown out.
So let's get rid of video replay. Oh, I know we won't. And like everything else, there'll come a day when I not only accept it, but grow to like it (especially if it helps my Minnesota Twins). But I still miss the days Weaver and Pinella and Martin.