Major League Baseball’s new replay system has taken a fair share of criticism only a month into the season, and the Red Sox have been involved in a few of the controversial replays. There was the call at Yankee Stadium involving a step off second base, another call against the Yankees at first base, and then yesterday’s call against Dustin Pedroia at home (video above). And by the sound of it, the Sox are getting pretty fed up with the system. Jake Peavy, yesterday’s starter, was particularly upset. From Gordon Edes, ESPN Boston:
"“As many times as it happened in New York, then you come up … these are deciding ballgames. It’s extremely frustrating and we as a whole, MLB, we’ve got to get our act together because this is a joke. It’s embarrassing for fans and everybody to see. Of course he touched the plate, of course he slid dirt over the top of the plate and got tagged after the fact. That stinks.”"
Pedroia was also not too happy:
"“I just don’t like the whole inconclusive replay,” he said. “Go check it out, you’re either out or safe. I don’t know what inconclusive means. Maybe that means someone doesn’t want to make a decision. I don’t know, we all make decisions every day. Some of them are hard, some of them are not. You got to make them, though.”"
The umpires’ argument is that they believed it was inconclusive because Pedroia kicked up dirt, obstructing the view. Because of the dirt, they couldn’t tell if his foot made contact with the plate. Watching it live though, I thought he was safe. On the replay you can see the dirt block the plate, but that doesn’t mean that the plate just isn’t there anymore. To me, the path he was headed before the dirt obstructed the view was going to bring his foot right across the tip.
Whether you think he was safe or out, we can all agree that it shouldn’t be this complicated. MLB is going to have to change something with the system. It seems like the teams and the league are viewing different replays, leading to lots of confusion. As a new system, there had to be some expected adjustment time, but when replay is deciding the outcomes of this many games, and doing so incorrectly in many cases, something needs to be done.