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For the week of Oct. 20, 1999 through Oct. 26, 1999

No more blown calls

Unless baseball is to become a moldy artifact of the 20th century, it will have to avail itself of modern technology.

Baseball needs to use the instant video replay to help umpires make their calls. Slow-motion video shows what really happens to a baseball whizzing around the infield—something the human eye often cannot see .

The New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox fair and square to become the American League champs and earn a berth in the World Series. That said, no one could watch the playoff series between the two East Coast powerhouses and not be frustrated by the blown calls.

Boston was robbed of a couple of scoring opportunities because an umpire didn’t see what happened. "You’re blind, ump" is the traditional call of fans backing the team that’s trailing. In this case, it was true.

On Sunday night, Red Sox manager Jimy Williams got himself thrown out of the game for yelling at an ump and kicking dirt after a blown call in the bottom of the ninth inning. He kicked dirt for good reason.

Nomar Garciaparra was called out at first even though television video replays showed clearly that Garciaparra’s foot hit the bag before the ball hit the first baseman’s glove. The play was so swift that it was probably not humanly possible to judge it accurately.

It was the second time in the playoff series an umpire’s call was wrong. In game one, the second base umpire called a Boston runner out at second even though the second baseman never had control of the ball, bobbled it and dropped it.

Philosopher-fans tell us that baseball is really a metaphor for life. If so, baseball, like life, must change. Technology is part of the fabric of modern life and it’s not going away. It’s time baseball used it.


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Copyright 1999 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.