The argument against Major League Baseball incorporating replay is inherently flawed.

On the radio this morning, I heard Albert Pujols speak out against MLB expanding its use of replay to validate or overturn calls made by the umpires. Because I was driving, I couldn’t jot down the exact quote.

But the crux of his argument is that umpires can make mistakes, just like baseball players can make mistakes, and that they’re trying just as hard as anyone else.

The big problem with that line of thinking is that people don’t go to sporting events to see umpires.

Fans go to sporting events to watch the sport be played. Any involvement by the referees or umpires should only regulate the action, ensuring that rules are followed and infractions are punished as accurately as possible.

There’s no competition to see how accurate an umpire can be with his calls. There’s no award for the umpire who gets it right more than the other umpires. 

While we understand that they’re imperfect humans, just like the rest of us, we expect as close to perfection from them as possible. We tune in to the sporting event or arrive at the stadium because of the athletes.

Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game by an umpire, and we’re just supposed to shrug our shoulders and accept that imperfect officiating is part of sports?

I’m not alright with that.

I don’t pay money or spend time on sporting events to see how accurate the officiating can be.

Neither does the rest of the sporting world. 

The less involvement needed by human officiating, the better our sports world will be.  If instant replay can help ensure better accuracy of the games involved—providing the most fair outcome—then it should be done.

I don’t need to hear any arguments about how the games will take a lot longer. Instant replay doesn’t have to be used to call balls and strikes—not until an accurate technological system is developed to make that a reality. 

But in a world where a minimum of 30 still images per second are captured on film, and multiple definitive angles of footage exist for almost every play in the sporting world, it’s unacceptable to the fans and players alike that the officiating isn’t closer to 100 percent accuracy.

When erroneous calls are very easily correctable, every effort should be made to get it right. 

Don’t tell me that umpires and referees are fallible because, while I’ll agree with you, that’s not the point of sports.


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