Our View: A Further Review…

DKS editors

One of the most interesting parts about sports is the human element. We see players get emotional after wins and losses, certain players elevate their game in important situations and others tend to crumble.

Along with those traits we also have human error. Players make mental and physical errors in every game. But, when an umpire or official makes a mistake, that error is magnified by athletes and coaches going ballistic, fans booing and occasionally throwing things, and of course, extra attention from the media.

In the eighth inning of Monday’s MLB playoff game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants, first base umpire Bill Miller showed us that he is, in fact, human, and he makes mistakes.

Cardinals center fielder John Jay made a sliding catch, and he had the opportunity to throw out Giants baserunner Gregor Blanco at first base.

St. Louis first baseman Allen Craig snagged the throw and made a diving attempt to tag Blanco before he reached first base. Miller was in near-perfect position to make the call, and he called Blanco safe, saying he avoided the tag.

Cardinals players immediately ran to Miller to protest the call. As umpires always do, Miller stuck to his call. When Fox showed the replay on television, it was clear that Blanco was tagged before reaching first base, and he should have been called out.

This came days after umpire Jeff Nelson missed a call in the New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers game. Nelson also didn’t see an obvious tag, and called the runner safe.

While the human element in baseball is fun to watch, watching blown calls in pivotal moments is not. A mere 30 seconds of video review could have helped the umpires get both of these calls right.

Baseball already has an instant replay rule for home run calls. The policy allows replay to determine whether a ball was fair or foul, if it actually left the playing field or if a fan interfered with the play.

If baseball has already dipped its toe in the replay pool, why not jump all the way in? Replay for plays at any base could ensure fans are seeing a properly-officiated game.

Come on, baseball: take the steps to expand replay and enhance the quality of your product. Nothing is worse than officiating controversies — just ask Roger Goodell.