Video replay on the way?

Thanks in large part to Colorado Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday, Major League Baseball is now taking a close look at whether the league should institute video replay as an aid to umpires on close calls. In a poll at the GM meetings in Orlando, FL yesterday, 25 out of 30 respondents voted in favour of the new technology. Perhaps no one put it better than White Sox GM and former Blue Jay Ken Williams, who said the following: “All anybody is interested in is getting it right. It will be a lot easier and less time to get that right than some of these arguments that ensue when a call is disputed.”

As an Associated Press article points out today, the use of video replay would be ‘limited to boundary calls — whether potential home runs are fair or foul, whether balls go over fences or hit the tops and bounce back, and whether fans interfere with possible homers.’ While I agree that certain calls — like balls and strikes — should never be handed over to technology, I feel there are others that could truly benefit from having ‘another look’. Of course, Holliday’s play at the plate is a prime example.

The Star’s Dave Perkins offers a good example of why — because of continuous action — certain plays simply cannot be subject to video replay. But what about other isolated plays? After all, as Perkins points out, “When technology is available to get something right, why not use it?” I’ll defer to Paul Godfrey, who offered his opinion to the Globe’s Robert Macleod: “I think you should have at least one opportunity to ask for a replay on a play like a close slide at the plate or on a play that changes the complexion of the game.”

It seems to me that the Blue Jays could have really used video replay when this happened …

Oct. 20, 1992 — With runners on first and second and no one out in Game 3 of the ’92 World Series against the Atlanta Braves, Toronto centre-fielder Devon White makes a spectacular catch at the wall to rob David Justice of extra bases. White then relays the ball into the infield, where third baseman Kelly Gruber chases Deion Sanders back to second. With Terry Pendleton having already passed Sanders on the basepaths, Gruber dives and tags ‘Neon Deion’ on the heel. However, second-base umpire Bob Davidson gets the call wrong, taking away what would have been the first World Series triple play since 1920.

As an aside, the great Vin Scully had this to say about White’s catch: “I saw Mays’ catch. And this one, to me, was better.”

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