08.30.08

Mushnick : Let’s Not Go To The Videotape

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 4:12 pm by

When he’s not overcome with emotion recalling the late Dick Young (above) —- “it’s hard to imagine Young would be particularly pleased with the condition of sports, from HGH to PSLs” — yeah, to say nothing of blogging and the passage of the Civil Rights Act —- the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick raises a valid point or two regarding MLB’s introduction of video review on questionable home run calls. “What happens when a team’s network is found to have withheld a replay that would have benefited the opponent?”  asks Phil, and while I have no idea about the correct answer, if it results in the suspension of Chris Cotter, can’t we all agree that’s a good thing?

The subjugation of evidence on behalf of a network’s team will happen, thus it becomes a matter of whether we find out. The flipside will show teams’ network personnel extra eager to find and display third-angle evidence that supports the team/network for which they work.

And what about the team’s TV crew that honestly was just too late finding evidence that would have benefited the opposing team? Should it be shown for public enlightenment, as it would have before “instant replay”? Or hidden from view rather than risk such high suspicion?

Will SNY and YES tape operators be forced to take oaths of allegiance to MLB? MLB can’t discipline non-employees for refusing to accept MLB’s unilateral appointment as umpires. Why put anyone other than an MLB umpire in a position to cost a team/network owner millions in postseason revenues, not to mention one’s own job?

The cure that MLB seeks will be worse than the disease. If left in the hands of MLB umpires, right or wrong, no nefarious outside activity, real or imagined, can enter the process of determining games. Let the umpires, and only the umpires, be the umpires.

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