ARLINGTON, TEXAS (AP) - Don Denkinger was watching at home, saw the blown call at first base and winced.
As did baseball fans everywhere.
“That’s a nightmare for an umpire,” he said Sunday. “You hate to see that happen to anyone.”
He would know. All these years later, he still gets an earful from St. Louis fans angry about his miss at first base in the 1985 World Series.
Back then, the technology wasn’t too refined, there weren’t too many remedies to correct mistakes.
So how about now? What about more instant replay?
“It’s time, especially for the World Series,” he said. “You can’t get an argument out of me.”
Hard to imagine anyone would dispute that these days. No further review needed: Enough is enough.
Ron Kulpa’s admitted missed call at first base Saturday night wasn’t the reason the Texas Rangers got routed by the Cardinals in Game 3. Albert Pujols was the story, clearly.
But after another glaring call went wrong, and millions of fans saw right away that it indeed was wrong, the reasons Major League Baseball keep offering against replay are harder and harder to understand.
Mostly, the pace of the game is the issue. An overblown issue, really, in an era where every hitter seems to step out of the batter’s box, catchers wear out the grass with trips to the mound, and TV commercials add about 10 minutes to postseason games.
Besides, look around.
The NFL reviews all scoring plays. The NBA, NHL and Grand Slam tennis use replay.
A sensational ending in the Wisconsin-Michigan State game Saturday night was decided by a replay that overturned a call at the goal line. No one argued; the call was right.
As it stands, MLB only uses replay to check on potential home runs. Next season, it’s expected replay will be extended to fair-or-foul calls and trapped balls.