I have a lot of sympathy for officials. The abuse they receive from fans, players and management for their performance is brutal. Trying to get every call correct while these athletes run around at high levels of speed is a daunting task. They need assistance and one sport is not doing enough to help.
In a recent Nationals home game against the New York Yankees, which was tied in the bottom of the eighth, there was a play at home plate where Tyler Moore of the home team clearly beat the tag of catcher Russell Martin. Home plate umpire Tim Timmons was in position and still got the call wrong. Instead of having a one-run lead going in to the ninth, the Nationals lost the game in extra innings.
All of the television monitors in the stadium clearly showed that Timmons got the call wrong, but replay was not an option. Why is that? We see NFL referees go under the hood to check a play as well as coaches challenging calls with red handkerchiefs. We see NBA and NHL officials come over to the scorer's area to get a better look at a basket or goal in question.
Baseball better fix this growing problem - and soon. Plays like the one in the Nationals game are happening all over the league and Commissioner Bud Selig's stubbornness to adapt is hurting the sport. I know baseball wants to be as natural as possible, but the game is getting too fast for the human eye to see everything.
Managers and players arguing over calls has been going on since the game began and no one expects that everything be reviewed, but certain plays, like those at home plate, have got to be handled differently. After all, it is the only place on the field that results in a score.
The umpires will never speak out on this because they don't want to lose their jobs by saying help is needed, so it really is up to Selig to force this issue.
How many times in the other sports have you heard fans really complain about how long it takes to get a call right? Not many, and the reason is because people understand how important technology is. If baseball wants to keep people interested, it can start by putting aside its pride and get with the times. With today's technology baseball viewers are already exposed to instant replays so why not make it official?
What plays do you think should be under review in baseball?