Dr. Spudman44

Dr. Spudman44
Tumbleweed, Washington,
June 06
Dr. Spudman's 44 Ripples of Hope Creations
BANNER BY RICTRESA I live on the border of Eastern Washington and Idaho. I have been a teacher, coach, and mental health worker. I make books for people and write some myself. I tutor a few people. Come visit me at my website. It has some cool stuff. Scroll down to links and click on www.drspud44.net


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Editor’s Pick
JUNE 8, 2010 2:50PM

I Make the Call-Instant Replay is Out in Baseball

Rate: 33 Flag


 Where do I go? The dummies of the world have ruined many of the sports I used to love to watch. The United States lost a few times in basketball in the Olympics. That was such a tragedy that the dummies had to get together and find a solution. The solution was proposed to allow professionals to enter the Olympics which had once been the ultimate in honoring amateur athletics. Enter the Dream Team. I went from an adoring kid listening to Gerry Lindgren in a 10,000 meter run against the Russians in 1964 on a transistor radio in my basement and screaming with delight as a young adult at the  call of “ Do you believe in miracles?” as our collection of amateur hockey players pulled off an incredible upset, to not watching one event in the last Olympics. The thrill of watching amateurs completely ended. Check off one sporting event. Dummies one-me zero.

Instant Reply was first used in downhill skiing to check to see if a racer had missed a gate or not in 1960.  Then it was tried as an experiment in the National Football League as the Dummies of the world yelled the refrain: “It is important to get the calls right.” I hate the entire premise of this refrain. Why? Is the question. Why is it so paramount to “ get the call right?” I think I have the answer. It is an example of how society has changed for the worse. Basketball coach George Raveling once called sports the last citadel of discipline in society. Kids must always have their questions of why answered or one is a deficient parent. A teacher disciplines a misbehaving student at school and is on trial the next day by parents. In past days, if you screwed up at school and your parents found out you got the double whammy. Your folks would lower the hammer at home, too. But not now. The parents run down to the school and put the teacher through the ringer for daring to discipline their precious darling. An emphatic answer of ,“No!”, by parents on any subject is now open for debate. A parent must be able to provide reasons for saying, “No.” We have become a nation of opposition to the word "no." Nothing is final in these modern days. Everything is open for debate.
A youngster is on the farm in past days and asks Dad if he can go to the big dance in town. “No,” dad answers. At one time that was it. No debate; the question was asked and answered.  But no longer, no's must be qualified. Saying, “No!” in sports is no longer good enough either. Humans play sports and other humans act as officials to interpret rules and make calls. But that somehow was not good enough. Officials now make calls and then we go to the television cameras to make certain of a call because we cannot accept any “injustice” of a decision made by a human interpreting the moves of another human in real time. Forget real time.



Let's all enter the fantasy world of slow motion and still frames. Let's watch from every angle. The game stops. Sports fans sit in front of their televisions gazing at the rear end of some ex-athlete in poor shape with a striped shirt on with his head under a screen watching television. We have accepted that this is the right way to do things. We fans are watching television of an official watching television as the players stand around  awaiting the final decision. The majority has decided watching television of an official watching television is somehow normal. I think I can make a good argument that this is simply mentally ill. A few minutes of totally wasted time ticks by that we never will get back and then the grand decision.

The official heads to the microphone and announces with great seriousness the final result. The TV announcers always say the say thing. “It is important to get the call right.” The majority of fans have accepted these ridiculous stops of reality. My opinion of allowing humans to make calls about other humans in real time and accepting the result, good or bad, is not good enough. The reality is that even after all the looks at the various angles and slowing down the film the calls are still not made totally correctly. There has been no real improvement. Look at this injustice of instant replay that all fair minded people, even those who hate the Raiders, know  it is and was a “bullshit” call. blown callTuckRule

The officials had it right in real time and the instant replay dummies got it wrong. I remember as instant reply came into vogue in the NFL, how pleasant college football became to me. The game went on in real time. Then, the colleges developed a way worse system. At least, in the NFL the coaches have to throw out a challenge flag but not in college. A replay official in a booth way away from the field of play can stop the game and review at any time. I was watching a Pac-10 game this last season and there were ten replays in the first half. I finally could not stand it and turned off the tube.

Then other sports started using instant replay. I remember a woman's college basketball game. The Baylor squad was on a run against powerhouse Tennessee and had made a fast-paced comeback to tie the game. Suddenly, the run was called to a halt because the officials had to stop the action to make a call on a three-point shot. Was the shooter's toe on the line or behind the line? The action stopped, to “get the call right,” while the entire momentum, an important, crucial part of the game of basketball, was ignored. When play resumed, the Baylor run was over, due to the stoppage in play. The game was influenced. Now that was injustice. Stopping momentum, ignoring momentum to get the call of one shot correct. All in the name of justice. It was injustice in action, stopping a run in basketball without having to use a timeout in the name of justice.

NFL-instant replay. Dummies two-me zero. The ludicrous college football replay system. Dummies three-me zero. It gets worse each year. Now the NBA has a rule that in the last two minutes calls can be replayed. The Celtics were in the middle of a run in the fourth quarter when two players fought for the ball in the last game played. A call was made in the Celtics' favor and before they could pass the ball into play against the Lakers, who were on the ropes on their home court, play was stopped. The officials huddled up to watch TV as the Lakers went to the sidelines for an opportunity to try to regroup. Luckily, it had no influence on the outcome but it certainly could have.


 There is even instant replay in NASCAR, the NHL, rugby, cricket and rodeo events for Christ Sakes. Okay, I will continue my attack on instant replay fully recognizing that  I am right but in the minority. Let me take the premise of ,”getting the call right,” to its logical extreme. If the premise is true, then it would be an injustice if some right guard was holding a rusher trying to get to the quarterback and the rule of holding violated but not called by the team of officials. So, I propose that a separate camera be put over each player on the line, and backfield. A group of officials monitors each player for every play. If you are a proponent of “getting the call right,” then you must accept my system. Dozens of cameras to make certain of each play. Replay everything if you must get things right. Otherwise, you are speaking in circles. You cannot allow a holding call or a motion infraction that was not called during a play to stand because it influenced the play. No missed rule infractions of any kind can be allowed to stand. It isn't "fair."

Okay, you all win. You have your precious replay nonsense in all sports but one. Please, I beg you, can't I have my one sport free of this, “getting the call right.” insanity? Do you have to ruin the game of baseball because of umpires making mistakes? I was extremely critical of Jim Joyce's recent blown call that stole a rare perfect game from pitcher Armando Galarraga. In baseball, it is part of the game to yell at the umpire and as American as apple pie. An instant decision was made that was obviously wrong. I could tell it was wrong, as I have umpired many a game myself, and booed Joyce. The situation came and went without any real harm done. The world did not end because of an obvious poor judgment call.
But to some it is the opening to getting instant replay into baseball. You know," to get the call right." Okay, why not lasers that beep if a strike and don't on a ball? How about laser beams at first base to make out or safe calls? Did the shortstop really get the corner of the bag at second on that double play? Better stop play and review it. Did the batter check his swing? Don't appeal to the first or third base ump as is done now. Stop the action and go to the cameras to make certain. In fact, why have umpires at all? Lasers down the foul lines, lasers calling balls and strikes, lasers at first. Review ALL  homers to see if they were valid. A zoom lens on the pitcher to make certain he isn't doctoring the ball on each pitch. A laser beam to call balks. We don't need umpires. Hell, we really don't need human players either. Robots could be programmed to pitch,  hit and run. Let's make it a pure game. A perfect game where every call is right and there is no debate. Nothing for the manager to get thrown out of a game for arguing. In fact, arguing could become no longer necessary. Who likes discord anyway?



While we are at it, let's get the call right on past homers by A-Rod, Big Poppie, and Manny all who have been shown in the last year to have used illegal substances . If it is true that these illegal substances add about 10% in distance to a home run, as experts on steroids and such claim, then we need a committee to get out the videos of each of their home runs over the years and measure. If it can be shown by video cameras that the home run did not make it over by more than 10% then it should be ruled as an invalid homer and wiped off the record books. Hey, don't mock me! I want to simply “get the call right.” If you bastards ruin my last sport, I will have no place to turn.
Wait, maybe I can get the instant replay to work for me. That alcoholic woman I married? I did not know her drinking was that serious. Hence, I demand an instant replay. I should get my house back. That golf shot I hit last year that went out of bounds to lose the county championship by one stroke? Instant replay will clearly show that I did not intend to hit that ball! I demand the trophy. The DUI years ago? Get out the tape, I think I was innocent. That Microsoft stock I cashed in to put into a pyramid scheme? Replay will show that I was lied to. I should get my stock back which would make me a millionaire! Hell, I am finally getting the justice of instant replay. I have to go now and talk with my lawyer. We have some videos to review. We are going to demand that society, “got all the calls right.” I will close with how some classic plays in baseball would be influenced by instant replay.



 Upon further review, the ball was ruled foul. 


 Upon further review, Gibson was called out for being out of the batter's box on the HR swing.


 Upon further review, Carter was shown to have missed third base and was called out.


Upon further review, Larsen's pitch was ruled outside for ball four.


Upon further review, Jackie was called out.


Upon further review, keep instant replay out of baseball, period you Dummies.  You were all born with  0-2 counts apparently.

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There have been times I would have loved an instant replay! Oh NO...you're talking sports.....sorry.... * wandering off to walk in the rain..I need a cleansing. ~r
Baseball just breaks my heart.... instant replay would break everyone's heart.
I agree with all that you say... but the incredible unfairness - obvious, erroneous unfairness - of what happened last week is unsettling. The bright side, I guess, is that it created the first "28 out perfect game" in baseball history. For this the Detroit pitcher will be even more famous. r.
"the last citadel of discipline in society."

Wiser words were never spoken, Spud. The thing is, part of the game to me was always how a team came back from a bullshit calls. As you pointed out, even with time-wasting instant-replay, there are still bullshit calls.

Democracy does not belong in sports rulings, its just that simple.
Where's Gordon O. when I need him...

I have railed and ranted against Instant Replay so much all my buddies just tell me to shut up now when l start my arguments. Take away the vagrances of the umpire's calls and you take away a part of the sport that makes it a sporting event. Both sides have to deal with bad calls. That's the way it ought to be, that's the way it is in life.....sometimes you get a Yes and sometimes you get a NO.
I read this like it was written about hockey. Same problems..Allowing zillion dollar doofuses in the Olympics.
Ridiculous.. Oh by the way since my beloved Senators are out..Go Chicago..:)
rated with hugs and batter up
I'm still not over the fact that American League teams play National League teams in the regular season. I'll never be able to handle instant replay (moan. sob)
Unfortunately, you could've stashed this post for 10 years, posted it then, and it would still be exactly as pertinent then. I'm sure you know what that means.

But love the passion you have. Always an inspiration, Spud!
I couldn't agree with you more on instant replay, Spud. And I, too, am still reeling from the atrocity that is interleague play.
Thank God. Baseball is such a fast paced sport, I'd hate to see it slowed down. ~rimshot~
instant replay was good in theory... not reality... now about that brady call...
Amen, Spud. And can we get rid of the designated hitter while we're at it.
Hmmmm for those who say baseball is too slow, I ask is it possible you are just too fast? Best game on earth that takes great skill.
You make some excellent points here, Dr. Spud . . . and the thematic ties to the culture . . . spot on.
You are a purist. Good for you. Life has become too techie. Baseball is a holdout against it all, in so many ways.
And to once again quote Chico Escuela "Basaball hab been berry good to me."
It's the human element that makes the game so damned interesting. I umpired homeplate in hundreds of baseball and fastpitch softball games. Some games my strike zone might be an inch or so high or maybe my outside corner might be an inch too liberal. What was important was that it was consistent--that it was called the same in both halves of the inning for every batter. Nobody every has a problem with that. What they have a problem with is inconsistency.
Umpire Joyce made a big mistake. And, from having umpired for years, that particular play is the toughest call to make at 1st base for oh so many reasons.
But, more importantly, I loved your message. It was poetic in its own right and love song to sport for the sake of sport.
If they put instant replay in the game, who are the fans going to yell at? The camerman?

I am in total agreement, Dr. Kudos! Well done. I don't need instant replay to make sure of it!
I know your right until my team is called unfairly.... nicely done Dr. Spud..
I dunno. I have mixed feelings. I think the ump shoulda done a better job of it...a lot was on the line. for a pitcher, a perfect game is a big deal. its a career maker. like walter pointed out, the ump coulda conferenced before he made the decision being aware he didn't have a clear view. it was an important call.

so do I think instant replay is bad? no. if I were an athlete, it would matter big time. a bad call is a heartbreaker.

I've competed. and like all players, there have been times I've been robbed. It didn't kill me but it didn't make me a better person either. you work hard, you want the call to be correct. not to depend on whether the ump or the judge or the ref blinked. I'm not saying it should all depend on recordings but when there's a dispute, why not?
Having discipline does not mean abiding injustice. That's just silly.

There is no comparison between demanding replays for errors you have made with your life and demanding replays to make sure the arbitration of an outcome is accurate. The comparison is silly.

The beauty of sport is that it comes as close as humanly possible to a pure meritocracy, fair field and no favor, may the best, canniest and most disciplined athletes win. Replay is merely a better technology than the human eye to ensure that that happens. In this regard, it serves to protect what I love most about sports.
And, by the way, there was nothing wrong with the replay call in the Raiders game: the call correctly enforced the tuck rule. The tuck rule itself is crap. But that is irrelevant to the desirability of replay.
Foolish Monkey--Your thoughts are the more dominant ones on the subject. I am in the minority. I dislike all instant replay in all sports. Have another human make the decision and then live with it. That has been and will always be my thinking. LEA said I was purist and that is true. Instant replay will ruin baseball and I have loved baseball more than life since age three. Umpires making bad calls is all part of the game. I am amused that we take these sports with such seriousness. A perceived blown call and people get riled up more than for real life things like poverty, homelessness, war etc. I will lose and they will ruin my game. I know it.
Libertarius--I assume that you recognize that my hyperbole about using instant replay in regular life was tongue in cheek and a form of my humor. I am a purist when it comes to baseball and played it with skill, coached for decades, and umpired. I have been the victim of poor calls, made poor calls and argued with other umps when coaching over poor calls. Your views and FM's will overrule my concerns. You will get your replay and I will throw things at the television when it comes to be. Last, Brady fumbled; it was obvious.
Love this, love this, love this. Interleague play and instant replay are going to ruin the last great American Game. But am I losing it... don't they already use instant replay to see if a homer is fair or foul? And how whacked is that?!

One consolation, Spud, if they do it to pro baseball, we'll still have Little League.
Same thing at the dog track, something to do with bets and money, I long for the days of the photofinish, before there were cameras.

Old Buffy
Yes they do, Sally. The first step toward the demise. I watch a lot of college and American Legion ball but still....
Interesting blog, Spud.

As an umpire, I'm sure you had situations where you were out of position and couldn't see a play -- I know I have this past spring as a certified ump for amateur ball. When this occurs, we (should) confer with our fellow umpire(s) in order to "get the call right".

If this is the S.O.P. for umpires, I don't think one is justified in summarily dismissing the spirit of trying to make the correct call, which seems to be your central theme. Are you suggesting that umpires not use their peers on-the-field (umpire conference) when needed if they are unsure of a call? An individual umpire is able to receive help on a call -- why not extend that to available technology?

As a former Division I pitcher and now amateur baseball umpire, I would vote for a middle ground on replays. That is, use replays for a homer or not, foul or fair, and (like the NFL) a limited challenge by managers on safe/out calls.

Purists who want to rely on human reactions only for all umpire calls can observe that type of baseball at the amateur levels, but not for "The Show", which is as much entertainment as it is sport. As such, why not insert the bells-and-whistles of technology & replay?

Again, interesting topic and good blog.
I agree with CrazeCzar. In my years of umpiring (for amateur baseball & softball) we were always more concerned with getting the call right. That means we would confer. I can recall many times on a call which was uncertain giving the delayed dead ball sign which was a pre-arranged signal that when the play was dead we were going to confer and sort out what had transpired and make the right call. An example might be doing the delayed dead ball sign on a situation where an infield fly might or might not have been intentionally misplayed. Get together & get it right. You don't need replay for that.
CC-- Conferring and asking for help is always reasonable within a group of umps working a game. No problem with that. I again, I realize that my point of view will not prevail. Instant replay is worshiped by so many and I am a weak voice in the wilderness. It will ruin the game as it has ruined the flow in college football. The system in place in college football is silly. Using it in basketball is wrong. I have reluctantly adjusted to inter-league play and the DH but I will not ever support replay in baseball, a sport where there are so many bang/bang plays. Part of the charm of baseball is the close play and judgment calls. We just don't need technology in this sport. That is my opinion and I will never, ever be swayed. This is how it will happen. It will start off in a limited way. Then it will expand and expand. Eventually, it will be the camera that is the real umpire. That is going to be sad.
Cute post. But I still think instant replay will not replace umpires or ruin the psort, it will just be another tool, like eyeglasses, that help make the game better.
Jackie Robinson was out on that play. Just ask Yogi.
There's too much money at stake to let an ump make the final call. One missed call means millions of dollars lost...or won.
There should be no instant replay in the majors for one simple and pure reason--Billy Martin. Yes, the long passed marshmallow salesman punching, two packs a day smoking, three six packs a day drinking former manger. And add Earl Weaver, Lou Pinellia and Bobby Cox to the simply Billy reason.
With instant replay there will no disputed calls, no questioning of the "blue" humans on the field. When all the calls are perfect, perfectly monitored, there will be disruptions and eruptions from the dugout. No entertaining brim-to-brim discussions, no tossing of bases, no nothing to highlight the highlights on Sportscenter.
The instant replay would end Billy ball, Billy bull and I'd be so distraught I might just open that sixxer of Billy Beer I've been saving for opening day when an atheist is elected President.
I was going to rate your post, but on instant replay...just kidding!

Congratulations on a well done approach to the whole issue with having the impact of a virtual record on a natural sports experience.
What if we had instant replay on jury verdicts?
You got it just right. The other day while running around Ft. Tryon, I saw a soccer game going on between what looked like a hundred six year olds--thousands of feet and a cloud of dust--"Man', I thought " aren't they having fun?"

Instant reply sucks that fun out of everything. Cheers to you.
I used to be a diehard football fan, but instant replay ruined the game for me. The game seemed to drag on forever, only to have the instant replay, more often than not, simply confirm the call that was made in the first place. Leave instant replay for the dvd player.
That's a cool painting of Jackie Robinson.

I SO agree! When the personality is taken out of baseball, they might as well shitcan the whole game. IR is the first move, as you so clearly pointed out.
Having said that: my nephew pitches for the Red Sox. If HE ever gets robbed of a perfect game...
Did anyone mention the some home viewer calling golf officials from thousands of miles away and calling for the disqualification of pro golfers who unknowingly break one of their precious rules? We've all gone nuts. I say discipline the kids and leave baseball alone.
hmm...from a purist's vantage point, or even from an extreme fan (which my husband is), I can understand your feelings about technology. And I do realize your out on a limb on this and btw, your post is just beautiful.

but I'll reiterate for the sake of argument. As someone who has competed, a bad call is so depressing. you give it your all and you KNOW it's yours and then someone from above, like a god says, nope. not today. but today may have been it. today may have been YOUR day.

this brings to mind that soliloquey marlon brando gives in "on the waterfront" about throwing the fight....not the I'm a bum moment, but preceding that. when he talks about his moment and how his brother robbed him of it.

we have our moments. and this may have been THAT precise perfect moment for this pitcher. this may be the greatest game he ever pitches in his life. and he should have had a day of glory for it, instead of one of controversy and crying umpires and angry fans. it should have been a day a young man glories in his accomplishment.

because that's what we're talking about, accomplishment and reward. this is about an athlete that trains and works and strives for his moment. and a bad call shouldn't rob him of it. it's about more than the fans. it's about the players and that includes the officials, who are actors in this theater.

anyway, as I see it you big fans have all this love baggage for baseball so I'm just a piker with an opinion. have your game the way you want it. those guys get paid plenty, even for the grief, so this is just fodder for a good debate.

...have a good one.
Bill Klem, known as the father of baseball umpires, said “The best umpired game is the game in which the fans cannot recall the umpires who worked it.”

Joyce inserted himself into a game unadvisedly. It’s poor officiating like his sorrycall that brings about cries for replay justice. The Commish could have ended this nonsense; but, chose not to.

Klem is also often misquoted with this gem: “It ain't nothin' till I call it.”
Being a casual sports fan, I didn't give the instant replay much thought when it came into being for the NFL. I actually found it kind of amusing to see the ref's watching tv on tv. And when watching a game with friends, it was another opportunity to make a side bet on how the call would come out.
But you make some good arguments, Dr. Spud, and I can't argue with them. The purist view, while it can sometimes be extreme, is passionate and I like that about this post. I also love baseball and the fact that it is largely the same, rule-wise, as it was 100 years ago. The old-fashioned me loves that and I'd hate to see the umps ruining the historical pace of the game with instant replay.
Great post.
You make some thoughtful points. I'm kind of on the fence. I will say that of your points, I don't really agree that it's rampant use in other sports is a good reason why not to allow it in baseball. You've got good reasons why it's affected OTHER sports, football & basketball especially, but I don't think those really apply the same way to baseball. Basketball is fast paced enough that an instant replay delay can affect things - and I also watched that same Baylor game ARGH - and to some extent Football can have a similar momentum.

Baseball is an inherently more subtley paced sport. And unless it gets overused (which is a good but different line of argument), then it would fit right into the pace of the game. - If it's overused, as it is in other places, then all bets are off as far as fitting in.

I probably wouldn't have a problem with it being used in situations like the game last week. I would allow Instant Replay ONLY for baseruns and only when there is some disagreement among the umpires as to a call.

Even that might be too much, but I'd be willing to see how that works on a trial run. I'm only slightly in favor of it.

Baseball too is a sport that for all its subtlety and straightforward structure is amazingly complicated when it comes to the little things in the game, the motions players make - subtle and not, the complexities surrounding home plate for pitchers and batters, the quirky unwritten rules, the wild variance from ballpark to ballpark, etc. etc. Because of all that, it's impossible to police the sport, and while that indicate a definite flaw for the sport, I think that what I would so-call a flaw is actually one of the more endearing qualities of the game.

You don't have to have perfect calls, and you in fact shouldn't. There are too many variables to make perfect calls. But maybe it would be of use to have IR when it's a more simple matter of who touches the base first.
Are you sensing a trend here...because I am: Technology plus an inflated sense of entitlement equals an insistence on being RIGHT at all costs.

Maybe it's a stretch but this need to prove something and this mistrust of anyone else's opinion or call or vision or statement seems to have invaded everything from journalism to parenting to sports. The new mantra is: you're wrong and I can prove it.

I guess judgment calls are a thing of the past.
Hey, Linda Specc!!
Listen up about MY BLACKHAWKS and


click it ^^^^
This is so right it hurts. Christ this should be required reading.
Will the Saudis need instant replay to get the 5 full meal calls right?
Sorry I'm so late to this very important discussion. I was with you until the playoffs last year and the unusually high number of wretched calls. And being a Tiger fan for the first 20 years of my life has me pretty P.O.ed right now. Tell you what. We get rid of Bud Selig and I'll agree to no instant replay. Deal?
Miss so much the pick-up neighborhood games in the field out yonder. More commercialization and degradation of what use to be a fun past time. Get back to little league and parents in the stands making the call. That's multiple I/R. Another great one DrS.....o/e **R**
I think we should stop all scientific testing on animals, seeeeriously, like fuhreeel, go peta :)