Continued from page 1

Maybe that’s even an issue for some folks at MLB.

Baseball’s official Twitter site had a sentence in its profile that said “We don’t understand the infield fly rule, either.” Sure, it was just somebody’s attempt at humor, but that sentence was quietly zapped from the site as the trash was flying in Atlanta.

Indeed, this is no laughing matter, especially for the Braves.

Their season is over.

“This was an exciting game,” said Joe Torre, who played and managed for both the Braves and Cardinals and now serves as MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations. “I’m sorry about the controversy. It’s certainly not something we ever plan on.”

Maybe they should.

This certainly wasn’t the first time the umps have been at the center of a call that might’ve gone a different way with instant replay _ though, in this case, Holbrook said he was “absolutely” sure he made the right ruling even after looking at the video.

From Doug Eddings’ noncall on an apparent strike three by the Los Angeles Angels in the 2005 AL championship series to Tim McClelland blatantly missing a clear double play by those same Angels in the 2009 ALCS to Ron Kulpa blowing a tag on a Cardinals runner in last year’s World Series, this has become a rite of October.

Even the Braves had been through this before. During their last playoff appearance two years ago, San Francisco’s Buster Posey was called safe on a steal of second when everyone in the stadium knew he had been tagged by Atlanta’s Brooks Conrad. Everyone, except the one guy who mattered _ umpire Paul Emmel. Posey wound up scoring the only run of the game, and the Giants went on to take the divisional series.

“I guess it’s a good thing we don’t have instant replay right now,” Posey conceded at the time.

The question that was as relevant then as it is today: Why not?

After years of resistance by Commissioner Bud Selig and his predecessors, baseball conceded to limited use of instant replay late in the 2008 season, to deal with whether a home run was fair or foul, the ball actually cleared the wall, or there was fan interference. Plenty of people are saying it’s time to go to the monitor a lot more often.

Torre, who has become baseball’s point man on the hot-button issue, isn’t so sure.

“There’s been an outcry for replay,” he said. “To me, it’s always the play that happened yesterday. That’s what people want replayed, whether it’s a tag at the plate, coming off the bag at first, whatever it is. We’re certainly looking at expanding replay, but we’re making sure if we do expand it through the technology that it makes sense for baseball.

“Baseball has been controversial for a long time,” Torre went on. “But I think controversy is what we do because the game is not perfect, the players make errors, the hitters strike out, the home team wants certain things to go certain ways.”

Story Continues →