05.29.09

Can You Tell If Daniel Murphy Hit The Subway Sign?

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 10:35 am by

No? Neither could anyone else Wednesday night at Citi Field. While Manny Acta wasn’t alone in feeling his Nationals were screwed, the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman figures it’s only a matter of time before the shoe is on the other foot.

Club Conspiracy will be out in full force when the Mets, five-for-five in video decisions, eventually get jobbed. And can you imagine if the flimsy “evidence,” at least what viewers saw on SNY, is ever used to take down a tilt-winning Mets home run in the last game of the season with a playoff berth on the line? Verbal blood will run deep through the streets of sports squawk’s Valley of the Stupid.

Jimmie Lee Solomon, MLB’s exec VP of baseball operations, claims there is already “plenty of transparency” in the deliberation process. “Everybody sees various (replay) angles,” Solomon told the Daily News. “On a rare occasion there will be an angle that maybe no one will see, or only one person or one (broadcast) entity will have.”

One thing all viewers can count on seeing is three umpires leaving the field, retiring to some area underneath a stadium. This leaves a lousy perception, the feeling someone is cutting a back room deal.

Solomon said umpires work in privacy so they can make a “calm, clear-headed decision” without being “impacted by screaming fans.” If this is just about making a decision under optimum conditions, MLB brass should think about sticking a camera – no sound included – inside the umps’ viewing room so fans can see what’s going on. MLB, like the NFL and NHL, should also provide the media with the name of replay officials on duty at MLB Advanced Media for each game.

Now, in MLB’s video court, no one can see the umpires arriving at a decision. No one knows exactly what replays they are looking at, how they are selected, or which one they based their decision on. You don’t even really know if there is an actual vote, or just one dominant opinion, coming out of the replay bunker. Was the final say born of consensus, conspiracy or sheer buffoonery?

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