Major League BaseballHere we go again… one out in the eighth inning at Dodger StadiumMike Trout zaps a long fly ball to deep right field.  Aybar, who was already on first, took off with the pitch.  He got a good jump and was already around second when he had to turn back and scramble back to first base. He was called out en route… apparently because first baseman Adrian Gonzalez made a tag-on-the-run.

Camera angles can be tricky things and what looks like an out from one side is obviously just the opposite from the reverse angle.  Only the Umpires don’t have various angles from which to make their calls. They can only see what’s in front of them and sometimes they do not get the complete… or the correct… picture.

The Angles were livid and protested the call. The Angels broadcast showed over and over again… in slow motion… that Gonzalez had clearly missed Aybar. Angel’s manager Mike Scioscia later told reporters, “He got back to first base. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the call.”

It was home plate umpire Gary Darling had to sprint to first base to make the call. Perhaps he didn’t get the right angle on the play.  Unfortunately, even after reviewing the play on the replay monitor, Darling stuck with his call. He later told the press, “Still had no daylight.”

We all hope that Darling was not just covering up for a bad call.  He does not have that rep in the league. But still in all, MLB really needs to take a closer look at the use of re-plays to decide critical plays.  No one wants to see machines calling pitches… but there must be an agreeable middle ground.

I mean, if for nothing else, consider the poor guys who are wagering on the game.  It might not be much money. That’s not the point. But these bad calls often influence the outcome of the game and the grading of the wager.

The vast majority of MLB Umpires are in favor of using video replays to help decide questionable plays and decisions on the field. Don Denkinger is still trying to live down the bad call he made at first base that cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game in the 1985 World Series.

How many games have been won or lost because of bad calls we will never know, but, now that we have the technology to correct the obvious mistakes, the power of the replay should be employed whenever a call comes into question on the field.


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