The controversy surrounding Johan Santana's no-hitter seems like it may finally push baseball to adopt an NFL-style instant replay system.
As upsetting as it may be to baseball purists, a blown call in 2010 that cost then Tigers pitcher Armondo Galarraga a no-hitter he earned plus a blown call two days ago that credited Santana with a no-no despite the fact that ESPN, Fox Sports and every other major sports media outlet have shown repeatedly to be incorrect are probably going to be too much to overcome.
I would hate to see baseball go to a system where every single foul ball that is close caused the umpires to run off the field and into a video booth for five or 10 minutes. The only realistic solution might be to allow each manager one time per game to contest a close call and force the officials to review it.
Of course, an unfortunate fact is that umpires probably make more than one bad call on the subjects of whether a ball is fair or foul, whether it is a home run or not or if a fielder actually beat the runner to a base with a ball. But you have to draw the line somewhere. And maybe if there are multiple problems with umpires in a game after game -- and I know this is a radical idea, but I am going to say it anyway -- Major League Baseball ought to consider getting rid of that official.
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I think the answer to the officiating problem come playoff time is going to be that all plays are reviewed. I don't think there is anyway around it. And, if that is the case, I think all the still living players from game six of the 1985 World Series need to be re-assembled to play the last couple of innings of the game to right an overdue wrong.
Baseball currently limits instant replay to use to determine whether balls actually cleared the wall on close call home runs. It's not allowed to be used to overturn calls on whether balls were fair or foul, whether runners -- or fielders -- touched a base or on safe or out calls on the bases.