Thursday, October 13, 2005

The White Sox will take 'em any way they can get 'em

While we avoided another double-header without a break (18 inning NLDS Game 5 ), I'm sure the Angels would have liked a different ending. After a swinging strike three in the bottom of the 9th, White Sox Catcher A.J. Pierzynski started walking towards the Chicago dugout, as the Angels ran towards theirs to get ready for extra innings. Pierzynski noticed that he had not yet been called out because home plate ump Doug Eddings said the pitch from Angels reliever Kelvim Escobar had bounced before entering his catcher's glove. So Pierzynski hustles down to first base, running past Angels players on their way to the dugout, and is ruled safe. The Umpires got into their little pow-wow to talk it over, and ruled Pierzynski safe at 1st. Pablo Ozuna pitch runs for Pierzynski, Ozuna steals second, then Joe Crede doubles him home, "a White Sox Winner", and the ALCS is tied up 1-1.

This got me thinking about the human errors that play a part in every sporting event and the idea of instant replay. The NHL, NFL, MLS, and NCAA Football use instant replay technology and the question is how much is too much? Would you not care if they stopped the game for 5 minutes to make sure they got a call right? Or would you say that it took away from the flow of the contest, and that human error is and always has been part of the game?

When done correctly, I don't think that instant replay is a bad thing. The flow of the game isn't jeopardized for more than about 5 minutes and getting the right call on the field is what matters the most. Look at how important the NFL's replay system has been, and how the right play has originally been missed, but upon further review the correct calls were made. No matter how much of a purist you may be, you have to admit that replay technology can be a help to the game if executed properly. And if you don't believe that...The L.A. Angels of Anaheim are on the phone for you...and they seem a bit angry.

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