Tonight’s Marlins game against the division rival Philadelphia Phillies was important for a slew of reasons, and fortunately the results were in Florida’s favor.
Going into the match up, Phillies starter Jamie Moyer held a 10-0 lifetime record against the Fish and was probably the obvious choice for Philly manager Charlie Manuel to start the series. Due in part to another brilliant performance from recently returned pitcher Josh Johnson, and a collective late inning offensive effort, the raucous sold out Philadelphia crowd of 44,896 was silenced as Moyer and the Phil’s dropped the first game by a score of 8-2.
A sweep of the series in the Marlins favor could put them back into first place in the National League East, but in my opinion that was not the big story of tonights game.
With two outs in the seventh inning and one man on, Shane Victorino shot a line drive homer down the left field line off of a Renyel Pinto pitch. TV replays immediately showed that the ball was inches, but definitely, foul before going over the fence. Despite objections from Fredi Gonzalez and Jorge Cantu, third base umpire Dale Scott called the ball fair and the other umpires conferred.
Now first let me say this though, Scott is considered to be one of the better umpires in the league and judging that ball fairly would have been a gamble no matter who was making the call, but Major League Baseball needs to take notice.
Can you imagine if an official’s error of this nature had happened during the playoffs? There would be pandemonium. Could you imagine if the Phillies had gone on to win this game by a single run? The injustice of such an event would have left a long lasting stench on the league.
I say embrace the replay, but keep it simple. Baseball games are already long enough as it is, and maybe that is why league officials seem to be skittish on the matter, but there is no reason to not try and find a balance. Ignoring this technology seems ludicrous. It would be comparable to a criminal court refusing to admit DNA evidence on the grounds that this is just not the way things have been done in the past.
Regulate the usage of the replay, but don’t continue to ignore what millions of baseball fans watching from home already know: sometimes the Umpire’s are just dead wrong.