Where does it end?

>> Tuesday

One of the hot topics in the world of sports over the weekend was the institution of instant replay in Major League Baseball. Apparently, the accuracy-mongers who've already taken over the NFL and NBA are set on ruining baseball too. They think it's a good idea to let umpires watch replays of homerun balls and close plays at the plate to make sure they got the call "right."

This is ridiculous. The game of baseball is grounded on the principle that the right call is whatever the umpire calls, and this should never change. Maybe once in a while the ump will call the ball foul when it was actually fair. Well guess what--If you'd hit it 450 feet to straight-away center instead of hooking it down the line, you wouldn't have that problem, would you? But now because of a few crybabies, we'll have to sit through umps watching five replays of every homerun ball. What a terrible precedent! Pretty soon the umps will be watching replays of every ball and strike call from ten different angles, and every MLB game will be eight hours long.

My biggest problem with this idea is the way it robs the game of its human element. What next? Robot peanut vendors? Automated beer dispensers? Things like leaping to catch a poor peanut-bag toss from a human vendor or accidentally spilling beer on an old lady as you try to pass it down your row are the the kinds of simple joys that make baseball so endearing, and bad calls by umpires are no different. I don't know about you, but I like my peanuts thrown, my beer partially spilled, and my umps inaccurate.

Honestly, how much more can we dehumanize this game? Where does it end? And this isn't just about baseball. The obsession with accuracy has become so pervasive in all walks of life. For example, I work in the construction industry, and you wouldn't believe how obsessed people are with being accurate. God forbid anyone should let a construction crew dig up a trench without sending out a crew with metal detectors to make sure every little pipeline is located to the inch. It used to just be that you'd get an old, yellowed map with a some lines drawn in a felt-tipped marker, and you'd cross your fingers and start digging. If you put a backhoe through a six-foot gas main, you just had to deal with it.

And look at our medical industry. CT scans? Are you kidding me? You're telling me our family physician Dr. Goodman, who's been practicing family medicine for thirty years, can't tell a deadly brain tumor from a sinus headache? Let the man do his job without second guessing his every call. If a doctor can't make the right diagnosis, he'll lose his practice, and someone else will come along to take his place. And now when you get a perscription, it's all typed out and stored in some huge database somewhere. It used to be that if you got 800mg of lithium instead of 80, you'd just feel extra happy for a few days. The whole fun in getting a perscription filled used to be watching the pharmacist struggling to make out the doctor's handwriting. "With handwriting that messy, you should've been a doctor!" For decades, that was one of America's great running jokes. Now? It's all databases and PDA's and Blackberry's.

You know what else I hate? DNA evidence. It needs to be banned from murder trials. It takes away the whole human element of innocent people being sentenced to death. While we're on the subject, let's get rid of the whole appellate court system. Lawyers--who needs 'em, am I right? That's why we have trials in the first place--to figure out if the guy is guilty. What's the point of doing the whole thing over? So maybe one or two people get wrongly convicted. Tough noogies! It's criminal justice, not ballroom dancing.

That'll be the next thing--a major league team challenging a call in a U.S. appellate court using DNA evidence. This has gotten out of control and needs to stop. Everything that changed about baseball up until the time I was about ten years old was perfect, and they should've just left it like that permanently. All they've done since then is ruin the game, and I don't like it.


Anonymous,  4:14 PM  

Very funny and I see your point. But all the same, this is just baseball right? I've always found it idiotic that the NL has the DH and that people fawn over wrigley field even though nothing of historic importance ever happened there, it just FEELS old. At the same time it is entertainment and it is all for fun, shouldn't people be able to have fun the way they want? It's pretty illogical to go up a roller coaster just to end up at the same spot but we don't demand that the roller coaster take us somewhere relevant. I agree all DH lover, "playground for the cocksuckers"(ie. wrigley field) lovers and anti-replay lovers should be relaxed on all aspects of the game if they're going to support such silliness. Just my two cents, again quite funny.
Phil Nevin

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