Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2 comments Terence Moore's Arguments Against Expanded Replay Are Getting Worse

I think there is very little doubt at this point that Terence Moore has temporarily become my new Joe Morgan. I need a new baseball nemesis. There's a huge chat-related hole in my heart with Joe Morgan no longer working for ESPN that can only be filled with a string of temporary replacements. Murray Chass has ably filled this void in the past and now Terence Moore has consistently displayed he could become my full-time if only he would do weekly chats. Terence Moore continues to fight the good fight against expanded instant replay in baseball. He has previously said umpires have an impossible job so why make their job any easier by expanding replay? He has previously stated one time an umpire got a close call correct, so there clearly isn't a problem with MLB umpiring. Now Terence is saying we should wait an instant before wanting more replay (see what he did there?) and then proceeds to use fuzzy logic to prove his point.

Here we go again.

I know. I can't believe you are writing another article fighting against any type of change in the sport of baseball. Any type of change outside of the inclusion of a second Wild Card spot followed by a one game playoff between the two Wild Card teams, because Terence Moore claims to like this idea, is no change Terence cares to see in baseball. 

Courtesy of another postseason featuring a handful of questionable calls by umpires,

Only a handful of questionable calls in a sample size of about 30 games (when Terence wrote this) during the playoffs? Clearly there isn't an issue. It's not like playoff games are important or anything

the Knee-Jerk Society of America is calling for more instant replay in baseball. 

I wouldn't call it "knee-jerk" to call attention to an issue in MLB that has been present for a few years now which could be resolved using modern technology. That's pretty much the opposite of a knee-jerk reaction and should instead be considered "yet again calling attention to an unresolved issue."

Quick: While spanning the 109 years in the game since the first World Series, name as many postseason series as you can that were positively decided by an umpire's gaffe? 

This is a terrible logic argument. Of course an entire five or seven game series hasn't ever been decided by one umpire's call. It's impossible for this to even occur since an umpire's bad call would take place in a single game. There are multiple games played in a playoff series, so there is always a way to point out how a team could have won the series by winning some of the other games played in this series. The fact one bad umpiring call only affects one game isn't an excuse for not expanding replay. It's a terrible argument on it's face, because one bad call can't decide an entire seven game series at all, but it can change how many games each team has won in a playoff series. A bad call that takes a series from 3-1 to 3-2 does affect a playoff series, even if one bad call can't decide an entire series. Well, unless we are talking about the new one game Wild Card playoff, but I covered that issue sufficiently recently. Since this is the first year MLB has used a one game playoff to decide the Wild Card winner, get back to me in a couple of years and we may have a "series" decided by one umpire's gaffe.

This argument also has terrible logic. Since an umpire's bad call hasn't changed an entire series this means there is no need for instant replay? This seems illogical to me, not only considering how I just discussed one game could be affected by an umpire's bad call. It would take a lot of umpiring idiocy for an entire series to be decided totally by an umpire's gaffe.

The Don Denkinger game, you say? He blew that call against the St. Louis Cardinals in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1985 World Series, when he said a Kansas City Royals runner was safe at first base when the runner actually was out. It's just that, before the play, the Cardinals botched a foul pop and had a passed ball. 

In a seven game series there will always be a reason other than 1-2 bad calls that cause a team to lose the series. That's just the fact of the matter when there are seven games played in a series. The fact a team loses a series due to factors outside of a bad call by the umpire doesn't mean the umpire's bad call had no effect on the series or this issue of reviewing bad umpiring calls shouldn't be remedied.

Not only that, the Cardinals had a chance to recover in Game 7, but they were whacked, 11-0. 

If the Cardinals had won Game 6, the series would have been over and there would have been no need for a Game 7 where the Cardinals were whacked. I don't see a reason why, if MLB has the technology to correct bad calls by the umpires, they would not do so. I don't want balls and strikes reviewed, but otherwise I see no reason to take one minute to ensure a call on the field is the correct call.

Jeffrey Maier? Please. If the Baltimore Orioles couldn't recover from something like that -- which happened in Game 1 of the 1996 American League Championship Series -- they didn't deserve to win anyway. Which they didn't.

That's not the point. The point isn't who "deserved" to win the series. This umpiring mistake isn't an example of the baseball gods deciding if the Orioles were good enough to win the 1996 ALCS. The point is if this play could have been reviewed then it would have changed this specific game. The call appears to have been wrong and if we can correct this call while the game is being played, why not do so?

Saying a team didn't deserve to win a series and that's why instant replay shouldn't be expanded is like saying there shouldn't be "Slow, Children at Play" signs in a neighborhood because if a child is stupid enough to wander into the street he/she isn't going to survive long in society anyway. 

As a personal note, I spent decades attributing the cause of my Big Red Machine's dropping the 1970 World Series to Ken Burkhart. In Game 1, he called Bernie Carbo out at the plate despite Orioles catcher Elrod Hendricks holding the ball high in the air with his right hand and tagging a sliding Carbo with an empty mitt. 

 I've finally admitted the truth: The Reds didn't lose in five games back then because of Burkhart, but because Brooks Robinson went nuts for the Orioles with his bat, glove and arm. 

This very well may be true, but Terence is missing the point. This play could have decided one game in the series. This play won't decide the series, but could decide a part of the series. Isn't preventing this from happening, especially in the World Series, important to MLB and it's fans?

There are a slew of other examples, of course, but few -- if any -- would contradict my overall point. 

And your overall point is based completely on the terrible argument that instant replay shouldn't be expanded because an umpire's bad call has never been solely responsible for a team losing a seven game series. I also find it hilarious Terence Moore says there are "a slew of other examples" where a bad call didn't cost a team a playoff series. If there are "a slew" of bad umpiring calls in the playoffs then there needs to be expanded replay immediately. As always, Terence in arguing his point seems to undermine his point. His overall point seems to be, "Instant replay shouldn't be expanded because umpires screw up all the time, but it doesn't prevent a team from winning a playoff series, so who really gives a shit?"

Terence in his blissful ignorance is missing the point. The point isn't to make sure the right team wins a playoff series by expanding replay, but to ensure individual games aren't affected by an umpire's call. He's taking a macro-view when he should be taking a micro-view. It's like saying it doesn't matter if I go kill one of my co-workers later tonight because it isn't going to affect my company running effectively in the long run. So who cares if I kill someone, because profits won't be hurt in the long run by this. Instant replay isn't expanded for the purpose of making sure one bad call doesn't change the outcome of an entire playoff series, but to make sure instant replay doesn't affect the outcome of a single playoff game.

While you're still thinking, consider this: More instant replay is coming to baseball as soon as next year. It will push the game's current instant-replay system from dealing with only home run conflicts to those involving fair or foul balls and trapped balls. 

I think that's a great idea. I see no reason why manager can't be given one challenge per game to challenge a call on the bases too. It would take a whole lot less time than a challenge in an NFL game, completely contrary to the bullshit that Terence Moore will peddle in a minute that says otherwise.

Contrary to popular belief, expanding instant replay in baseball to cover just about everything would lengthen games (see the grousing during instant-replay delays around the NFL, college football, the NBA, etc.).

This is infuriating. It wouldn't take that long. There is absolutely no comparison to instant replay in the NFL or in college football because there are fewer factors to determine in baseball as to whether the call was correct or not when looking at the replay. For a play on the bases, the umpire would need 5 seconds to see if a tag was applied before the runner touched the base or see if the ball beat the runner to the base. It's usually pretty clear to see if the call was correct or not. We've all watched a football game where the announcers needed 2-3 angles to determine if a runner's foot was down and he had possession of the football. Sometimes the announcers aren't entirely sure after a few viewings of instant replay. How many times have you heard baseball announcers need 2-3 different angles of a play to determine if the runner was safe or out? Usually the first angle gives the answer and everyone starts cringing if the call was wrong. So expanded instant replay would lengthen games, but not by much and it isn't comparable to instant replay in football because replay concerning safe-or-out calls have fewer factors needed to be taken into account by the umpire viewing the replay. It should take less time than replay during college football and NFL games.

And don't think such a thing would keep managers and players from baseball's ritual of arguing everything. 

Are you sure about that? If a manager can have a call reviewed then Terence thinks this manager would still go out and argue with the umpire about that call AFTER it was reviewed using replay? I'm thinking this would reduce the number of times a manager has to argue a call.

Here's another thing: If instant replay really is the best thing in life short of finding a cure for cancer, why are folks still grumbling over that Monday Night Football game in Seattle? 

This is yet another stupid question. I can't believe Terence Moore is acting this dumb. This is like asking, "If wearing a seat belt is really going to save lives, then why do people still die in car accidents?" and then smiling like you have proven a great point and aren't a vapid idiot.

"If Tom Brady really is the best quarterback in the NFL, then how come he has lost games to Russell Wilson and Kevin Kolb?"

"If not smoking helps prevent lung cancer, then how come some people die of lung cancer and they haven't smoked a cigarette in their lives?"

It wasn't the instant replay that didn't work in the Green Bay-Seattle game, it was the officials looking at the replay. They seem to have gotten the call incorrect upon looking at the replay. You can't blame replay for user error, just in the same way you can't say your parent's iPad is defective because they don't know how to correctly use it.

The on-field officials gave the touchdown to Seattle.

They looked at the replay and came up with the wrong conclusion. It doesn't mean replay doesn't work if the people looking at the replay don't pay attention to what the replay shows or think the evidence in the replay is inconclusive.

Then, after a (ahem) lengthy delay, the replay officials in the booth upheld the decision.

This was a lengthy delay in a football game, which will be a longer delay than baseball games will experience using instant replay. Possession in this situation had to be decided from multiple camera angles. Again, I submit the delay would be much shorter in baseball because the questions and answers are much easier to determine. Is it conclusive whether the player caught the ball or not? Did the runner beat the throw to first base? Was the ball on the left side of the white chalk line or on the right side of the white chalk line or did the ball hit the white chalk line? Did the ball stay fair before passing the foul pole? Did the player tag the runner before the runner tagged the base? These aren't complicated questions and don't generally require multiple viewings for the answer to these questions.

I think baseball's replay system would be much easier and quicker to use because there usually aren't multiple issues to be decided. It just seems like common sense to understand the difference in replay time in the NFL and in MLB.

I won't even mention Saturday's game at Notre Dame, where Stanford lost in overtime. The on-field officials said the game was over in Notre Dame's favor after its defense completed a goal-line stand by keeping Stanford out of the end zone from Notre Dame's one-yard line. 

Nobody said replay was perfect. To suggest otherwise is to be lying. To use Terence's phrasing, there a slew of other examples where bad calls have been overturned this year in the NFL and college football. Terence conveniently leaves these examples out of his discussion.

The replay wasn't even the full issue on this call in the Notre Dame-Stanford game. The officials never said Taylor didn't have a touchdown, it is just the touchdown doesn't count because his forward progress was stopped and they confirmed this on replay. Forward progress is more of a judgment call. It's always helpful to know exactly the result of the replay when criticizing it. Is Terence Moore stating because instant replay isn't 100% perfect college football and the NFL should do away with replay all together? Why doesn't Terence care if the umpires miss calls, but it's a huge issue if an incorrect call is upheld on replay? The purpose of replay is to strive for perfection, but perfection isn't guaranteed.

The game was stopped for an instant-replay review, and the (ahem) lengthy delay gave NBC time to show over and over again that the Stanford running back likely scored on second effort. 

Again, know what the hell you are talking about. The officials ruled there was NO SECOND EFFORT because the runner's forward progress was stopped before he lunged across the goal-line. Whether his forward progress was stopped was reviewed and found to be inconclusive, so the call stood. The whistle blew prior to Taylor crossing the goal-line. Forward progress was stopped. That was the ruling and at least one college football expert agreed. 

But I digress. Back to the question of the moment, and I'm still waiting for an answer.

Well, you are going to keep waiting then because the question was stupid. In a seven game series, not even one play in one game makes the ultimate difference in the series, so it is impossible for an umpire's bad call to make THE difference in the entire series. One bad call can affect one game in the series, which does affect the overall playoff series.

Let me pose a question though. Why shouldn't we use replay to try and get calls on the field 100% correct? It takes too long? Is that the only reason given? I bet it would cut down on the managers arguing over a call if the call is able to be reviewed. Besides, there are plenty of other delays in a baseball game and there wouldn't be that many calls sent to replay. I am betting maybe 1-2 times per game maximum replay would be needed. It would add five minutes to a game.

There was Game 1 on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium, where Cano was called out, despite replays showing he was safe. Then there was Game 2 on Sunday night that featured replays indicating that Cano took an outfield throw from his position at second base and tagged out a Tiger baserunner by several feet. 

Yeah, but these calls didn't change the entire Detroit-New York Yankees series, so why do we even need replay? Terence Moore is the judge of whether this affected the series or not and he says it did not. In his own opinion, how could he be wrong?

Here's what else you should know: The primary reason the Yankees entered Tuesday night's Game 3 in Detroit down 0-2 in the series wasn't because of those two blown calls.

No, but these calls didn't help and that run eventually scored in Game 1. Then the Yankees tied the game in the 9th inning, where if Cano had been called safe at first base in Game 1, a run would have scored at that point in the second inning and the Yankees would have won the game in the ninth inning. The missed call at second base in Game 2 was much more egregious, but didn't have quite the impact since the Yankees never scored in that game. I really don't like the Yankees and it doesn't break my heart to see them lose, but this ended up being a game-changing play in Game 1. I find it hard to believe because the Yankees didn't win the series this play had no effect on the series. Hypothetically if Cano is safe in Game 1 and the run scores, the series went from 1-1 going to Detroit as opposed to 2-0 going to Detroit. If Terence Moore thinks there isn't difference in a 2-0 and 1-1 series then he is more ignorant than I originally had thought.

It was because they couldn't hit anymore, especially Cano. His 0-for-26 stretch during this postseason through Sunday's game was the worst ever at the plate for anybody in the postseason.

In a seven game series a team can't point to one play and say, "THAT play literally cost us this entire series," (except in a one game playoff), so yes, there were other factors that went into the Yankees being down 2-0 to Detroit going back to Detroit. That doesn't mean the missed call is any more acceptable. The expansion of replay is welcome in my opinion and I would love to see it slightly expanded to each manager being able to challenge one call on the bases during a game.

If the umpire had gotten the call at first base correct in Game 1 then Cano would be on a 1-for-26 during this playoff stretch. I feel the need to add this for some reason.

Cano also was joined in offensive purgatory by Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher in the middle of the Yankees' batting order to hit .112 overall with a ton of strikeouts in the playoffs entering Game 3. 

Right, they aren't hitting well. That is why it is important the umpires get the calls correct and MLB ensures the calls are correct, because there isn't a lot of breathing room between winning and losing a playoff game.

You get the point. If not, you can "replay" everything I just typed in your head until you do.

The point apparently being because it is impossible for one play in one game to change the outcome of an entire seven game playoff series, there is no point in ensuring that same play doesn't change the outcome of one game in that series.


HH said...

The only way a single call could turn a series would be something like a Game 7, bottom-ninth two-run hit that is erroneously called an out [or vice versa] so the wrong team wins. By that logic, almost no call ever qualifies, and there's really no need to even have qualified umpires.

Bengoodfella said...

HH, good point. Why even have umpires. This is one of those cases where I don't necessarily care too much about expanded replay but the more Terence fights it, the more I want it.