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Even Don Denkinger Says It's a Good Idea

by: Brian F. Logush

The annual meeting between baseball's GMs ended this afternoon in Chicago, where a major part of the game was not changed, despite the glaring need. I am by no means a baseball purist, and had no real issue with the enactment of instant replay. I am actually a fan of it. I firmly believe that had it been around in my childhood, Derek Jeter would have been ruled out in the 1996 ALCS. And then, using some theorem from Geometry class I barely remember, the media love-fest with Jeter and the Yankees would have never taken place. Maybe the Baltimore Orioles would have been the great power of the late '90s and early '00s. Think about that frightening scenario.. yikes.

In the postseason, we watched in amazement as Brandon Inge's jersey was touched on an inside fastball by Twins pitcher Bobby Keppel. But home plate umpire Randy Marsh ruled it just a ball, instead of the 6-5 Tiger lead it should have been. In this instance it was more Randy Marsh from "SouthPark" than Randy Marsh from the MLB. Minnesota, of course, ended up winning in the twelfth to face the Yankees.

Then, in that ALDS match-up, Twins fans, already distraught that their team was down 2-0, watched in horror as Phil Cuzzi called a legitimate Joe Mauer double foul, ultimately resulting in a Yankee victory, in the game and the series.

I don't have to rehash every bad call from the 2009 playoffs because there is no need. I'm also not doing it because I can't write for two straight days. But the playoffs are supposed to be the biggest stage of America's pastime. Shouldn't baseball want everything to go smoothly? If Bud Selig thinks the playoffs were a success because a team was declared a winner, he is clearly delusional.

Baseball GMs missed the best chance for change this week. They had three days. A buddy and me came up with a solution that is so obvious, it is no surprise national pundits and other media outlets thought of it as well. Monetarily speaking, the most successful financial sports league in the country is the NFL. Selig should polish those massive windows sitting over his nose and look at how the NFL deals with instant replay. Teams get two challenges a game. They are only allowed to challenge certain aspects. There is a red flag coaches throw. KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Baseball purists can argue that it takes away from the integrity and history of the game. Wah. Times change. It's a Darwinian world now. But the game will be so much slower with instant replay... Really? Modern games can last for well over three hours, with pitchers taking fifteen seconds between pitches, constant step-offs, numerous pitching changes, etc. The amount of time to look at a maximum of four plays will take two extra minutes, tops. How many times do you need to watch a baseball land a foot and a half in foul territory to send him back to the plate? It's a non-issue.

So, nothing will be done. Again. At least, not until this time next year. Instant replay is used, but only for home runs. Hopefully, its use will be widened. Before Albert Pujols hits a fair ball into the corner to score Skip Schumaker for the winning run in the World Series, only to have it ruled permanently foul. Probably by Phil Cuzzi.

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Cardinals Mix blog featured writers LS Murphy,Brian F. Logush
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