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Replay is lauded for ensuring that all calls are correct. That couldn’t be further from the truth for the Colorado Rockies.
On Friday night in the pouring rain, Charlie Blackmon raced home on a Corey Dickerson infield single in the bottom of the 5th inning. The run would have tied the game 2-2 with two outs in the bottom of the 5th inning. With the rain pouring down, the umpire ruled Blackmon out, ending the inning and making the game complete after five full innings.
The problem was, Blackmon was clearly safe on the replay. There wasn’t a single angle that showed the tag being applied before Blackmon’s foot crossed the plate. As the rain poured down, the umpires continued listening to their headset as if they were using them as ear muffs to stay warm. The replay took entirely too long, especially for what seemed to be an easy reversal.
However, after the long delay, crew chief Mike Everitt signaled that the call was confirmed and Blackmon was out.
The problem with replay is simple, conclusive evidence is required to overturn a call. The problem is, with home plate not being above ground there is no solid way to tell when the foot touches the plate. The bases are much easier to see in replay. Also, despite having several angles, if there isn’t a great angle to see exactly if the runner was tagged, the umpires in New York must not overturn the call. Even if it is clear that the runner was probably safe, the definitive answer can’t be determined, so they uphold the call.
The problem is, some calls correctly get overturned, but others don’t. It doesn’t truly level the playing field and ensure that all calls are correct. It simply makes some right. If they all can’t get corrected, then there is no point to the song and dance.
Eddie Butler went back to the mound for the 6th inning and got a quick out before watching the Dodgers load the bases. On a 1-1 count on Alex Guerrero, the umpires decided it was time for the game to be delayed. The game never saw the players return to the field and the play at the plate was the deciding factor.
The results were the Rockies losing their eighth straight game and continuing to watch their season circle the toilet bowl. With rain and even snow in the forecast for the remainder of the weekend, the Rockies might have a difficult time taking the field again. That might be the best results of the rain, however, as Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grienke are the next scheduled starters for the Dodgers.