Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bring on the Robots

Now is a good time to be starting an angry Twins based blog. Two backbreaking losses in a row, one which was caused by Ron Gardenhire's usual terrible managing and another at least partially caused by one of the worst game deciding calls I've ever seen in my life.

After blowing a 10 run lead, I didn't think I'd come in here making excuses -- I created this blog with full intentions of going into a long, possibly profanity laden rant about how terrible Gardenhire and various members of the Twins are. However, given the ridiculous ending of the game, it seems fitting to take it in a slightly different direction.

In case you haven't seen the play yet, the Twins were down a run in the 9th inning when A's pitcher Michael Wuertz threw a wild pitch. Catcher Kurt Suzuki couldn't find the ball, and Michael Cuddyer hustled around third attempting to score the winning run. While the ball got to the plate before Cuddyer did, he quite obviously slid underneath the tag. The game should have been tied. Instead, Cuddyer was called out by the home plate umpire, capping a truly monumental Twins loss.

Basically, the Twins had this game taken away from them by an umpire. Now I know an umpire's job is difficult, but it's amazing to me that baseball won't even review or try to fix a call that is so important. One game like this can make or break a team's season -- just refer to the Twins last year, who fell in a one game playoff with the White Sox to lose the division title. Baseball has gone on too long with this tradition of "human error" interfering with what the players do on the field.

Baseball has a decision to make. To me, it's an absolute no brainer to add instant replay in situations like this that have massive implications on the outcome of the game.

Many people see this as opening a can of worms and eventually doing away with umpires entirely - personally, I don't see a problem with that. Umpires are an archaic, outmoded tradition, and if it were up to me we'd do away with them entirely. They get paid to get calls right and especially this season they haven't even been able to do that correctly. We have the technology to look up and see any call, to map balls and strikes instead of having a human guess if it is one or not. It's time to stop wasting money on umpires because of some outdated notion that baseball needs a "human element".

The game should be decided by the players, not by umpires. Last night's game was an example of far too many this season that have been tainted by inefficient umpiring. It's time for baseball to finally make a change.

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