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Instant Replay: Yay or Nay?

Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor

Rounding Third Logo Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Major League Baseball joined its other major sport contemporaries on Tuesday by implementing instant replay on a limited basis for the rest of the season and the playoffs.

And I, for one, applaud it. It is something that should have been done a long time ago. If there is a way to get a call right, do it. In this day and age there is no reason for an umpire to miss a call, especially a home run call.

Of course there are going to be the purists out there that object to it, but they need to get a life. They'd be the first people complaining if another Jeffrey Maier incident occurred during a playoff game. They just need something to complain about.

The big knock on replay, aside from the purity aspect of it all, is that some feel that games, which already take forever, will last even longer.

Wrong.

First of all this isn't the NFL's version. Baseball's replay is going to be used only for disputed home run and boundary calls. If umpires have to go to the videotape three times in games from here on out, I would be shocked.

Honestly, I hope this is the first step towards bringing replay in on a more expanded basis - close calls at the plate, on the basepaths, whatever. Get the call right. At the end of the day, isn't that the most important thing anyway?

In all likelihood, a quick look at an instant replay will take considerably less time than the argument that occurs when one of these calls is blown in the first place.

The only problem I have with the decision is the immediate timing of the policy-change. Why couldn't they work the kinks out in the Winter Leagues and Spring Training, and start fresh with each team on equal ground in April?

It is laughable that they are changing the rules with just over a month to play.

It just goes to show you, if you want something done - screw over a New York team.

Don't know what I am talking about? Well, this whole replay ball got rolling back in early May, when both the Mets and Yankees had home runs taken away from them on national television due to blown calls by the umpiring crew.

Forget the fact that it has happened countless other times - most notably back in 1996 when Maier clearly interfered on a home run off the bat of Derek Jeter, probably costing the Baltimore Orioles a playoff game - take a home run away from Alex Rodriguez, and the rules get changed.

"I don't like it," Detroit Tigers veteran left-hander Kenny Rogers said after MLB made the announcement. "I think that it overshot the mark by far just because, what, in a Yankee game someone didn't get a homer? Please. It's happened thousands of times. That's part of the game. It's the beauty of the game. Mistakes are made."

Maybe if A-Rod hits into a couple more double plays MLB can change those rules as well. Seriously though, if this had happened to a team like Seattle, the debate would have lingered on, but nothing likely would have come from it.

If you don't believe me, let's see what happens in the NFL this year. People for years have been complaining that the preseason is too long. Every year you hear talk about lengthening the regular season and shortening the preseason.

Nothing ever comes from it, though.

As you probably know, the New York Giants lost defensive end Osi Umenyiora for the season the other night with a knee injury.

How much you want to bet that we are looking at an expanded regular season schedule in the NFL next year?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"This is what I get paid to do, obviously. This is what I live for. This is all I really know, to go out there every fifth day and do my job."

-- New York Yankees right-hander Carl Pavano following his win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, a mere 501 days after his previous major league start and victory.

You really can't make this stuff up.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Michael Rushton at mrushton@sportsnetwork.com.

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