By Ken Reed
In the end, this year’s American League East race might be decided by a blown call at first base this past Saturday night.
The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles have been battling for first place for weeks. The Orioles won Saturday’s game between the two teams when the Yankees’ Mark Teixeira was called out despite being clearly safe while sliding head first into first base on the back end of a double play attempt. Replays showed that Teixeira easily beat the ball to first but umpire Jerry Meals missed it and called him out.
“It was not a bang-bang play. He was safe. He was clearly safe,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “You hate to lose a game that way, but he missed it.”
Teixeira was even more upset.
“I’m probably going to get fined,” railed Teixeira. “But I don’t care, really. I’m out there fighting. We are out there fighting. When you are battling like we are battling and they can’t get a call right, that pisses you off. It really does.”
The point here isn’t to focus on this particular blown call. This Major League Baseball season has had numerous blown calls. The point is that it’s time for Major League Baseball to expand its use of instant replay in order to get a much higher percentage of calls correct.
Blown calls negatively impact baseball history. Remember, it was only two years ago that the Detroit Tigers’ Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce blew a call at first base.
Managers should have the ability to challenge a limited number of calls per game via instant replay. Maybe they don’t need to throw out a red flag like head coaches do in the NFL but they need to have the ability to notify the home plate umpire that they’re challenging a particular call. Maybe you limit the number of challenges to two per game. Whatever the final rule change is, in this technological age, managers need the ability to challenge controversial baseball plays.
Apart from balls and strikes, every play in baseball should be subject for review: fair/foul calls down the lines, every play at every base, catch/trap calls on flyballs, etc.
Some baseball purists continue to argue that using instant replay more often will lengthen the games too much. I think the actual time impact would be minimal. Moreover, the use of instant replay would severely restrict the often long — and futile — arguments between managers and umpires.
There was resistance to move to instant replay reviews in the NFL but I think very few NFL coaches or fans would argue that the instant replay system isn’t working in the NFL today.
Like virtually all baseball fans, I like the tradition and nostalgia in baseball. But I’m also a fan of progress. And using more instant replay in Major League Baseball to get more calls right would definitely be a step in a positive direction.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon