Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday 05/23 A.M. Quickie:
Celtics, MLB Replay, Lila Garrity, More

I am overwhelmed by schadenfreude about the Celtics. Everyone saw this coming; the only question now is: If they can't even beat the Hawks in Atlanta, how will they beat the Pistons in Detroit? The Celtics may very well be able to beat the Pistons in Detroit 1 out of 3 times, but now that they have lost at home, the sense of "unbeatable" has evaporated.

That's the lead of today's Sporting News column.

(Adding insult to injury is that it was the best playoff game from the entirety of the Big Three, and it still wasn't enough. Maybe Celtics fans will stop haranguing Ray Allen about his scoring, because they did a lot better when he was sucking.)

Meanwhile, if it wasn't for the Celtics' dud at home, I would have totally led the column with the MLB replay story, which is totally huge. For those of us who have been lobbying for replay in baseball for years, this is a very positive step -- this week's home-run mis-calls surely helped. (Look: Better now than in a World Series game.)

The fact is: Replay works. The only instance I can think of when it doesn't work is in college football, when the replay official DOESN'T review an obviously messed up call. That, and the ludicrous guidelines about what is "reviewable" and what is not (ie, penalty calls).

Baseball had been holding out because of this misplaced sense of nostalgia -- that umps are part of the game. But I would argue that it holds up the spirit of the game's "integrity" to get the calls right -- particularly when all we're asking for is fair-or-foul (or fan interference) on home runs.

Technology is a wonderful thing: Nice to see baseball taking advantage of it to ensure the fairest outcome of its games.

I'll be blogging all weekend -- including Memorial Day -- for those of you who check in on the weekends. Otherwise, have a great weekend, everyone. While you are lazing around, don't forget to take a moment to remember the service of those for whom the holiday was created.

-- D.S.


John said...

I think it's hilarious that the Celtics win game one and you barely acknowledge it. The Celtics lose game two and half your column is devoted to how they should pretty much concede the series to the Pistons. Bias much?

WuzUpG said...

Replay on fair or foul balls when runners are on base is kind of tricky. Sure, if a foul ball is called fair, no problem because the play goes on, then replay will show it was foul, then the runners can return where they came from.

However, what happens when a fair ball is called foul? The runners usually stop. How does an umpire determine where the runners would've ended up? What if a runner was stealing on a hit and run?

Would this cause umpires not to call fair or foul on close calls, similar to NFL referees not blowing someone down, so they could allow the play to continue?