Sunday, May 25, 2008

Let's look at that again, but this time slower

I'm gonna start out by saying that in general, I am against instant replay in sports. Even when faced with Americans losing medals in the Olympic Games, I am 100% against instant replay in gymnastics and swimming. Yang Tae-Young, Paul Hamm, Kosuke Kitajima, and Brendan Hansen cannot change my mind. I'm still hesistant about figure skating instant replay, but that sport's judging is so corrupt that it seems like the only way to go. I've watched swimming and gymnastics for eight years now and I've seen rules change, scoring change, and instant replay be considered.

With swimming, I'm positive that if you slow anyone's stroke down you can find some reason to disqualify them. The things they SHOULD be disqualified for are easy to see with the naked eye. (French official, Kitajima's dolphin kick was visible from the stands).

The Hamm-Young debacle was a product of corrupt judging, not the scorers being unable to see what was going on. If this weren't the case, Jordan Jovtchev would be the reigning gold medallist on rings and Aleksei Nemov would have SOME kinda medal on high bar from Athens. As it stands, the Greek crowd could cheer their gymnast to gold and force a scoring change for Nemov, but nothing more than that.

That said, I am 100% for instant replay in baseball for foul/fair home run calls. What's it going to hurt? Sure, there's been a rash of fouled-up home run calls in the last week, but how many more will happen this season? Odds are, not many. Everyone's complained about balls and strikes for as long as baseball's been around -- and still no one's suggesting we should implement technology to make it "fairer." Joe Morgan suggests a slippery slope argument, though he doesn't call it that. He also makes the case that "strikes and balls decide the game more often than home runs," so why not use technology there? He says that because everyone is worried about that very thing -- enough so that it'll never be discussed.

But the difference between a strike and a ball is a walk or a strikeout (in the most extreme cases, a run walked in). The difference between a fair home run and a foul ball is always a run or a strike. With the rash of bad calls and apologetic umpires, you can't possibly think those guys don't want a little help out there -- if only to take the heat off.

Furthermore, strike zones change depending on the player and the umpire, and as long as it's consistent (-ly bad, or good) for both teams, there's nothing to argue about.

And as an A's fan, I was angry at the out call on Crosby yesterday, but I did not once wish for instant replay. I just wanted that umpire to look at the call after the game and feel bad.

Random labels are due to the sad misfortune that I have to watch the Angels and White Sox play on national television yet again. Oh, nice. Way to go, Carlos Quentin. Way to walk off on the Angels. Now can we be done with this series?