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October 2, 2007

While using technology in football has gotten a bad rap lately, the argument for implementing the use of it in baseball got a boost last night at the end of the Padres–versus-Rockies game.

 

The last game of the MLB regular season was the best game of the year. But instead of focusing on how great of a game it was, the talk among the sports community is about the controversy that ended it.

The Padres were playing the Rockies for the National League wild-card spot after the teams ended the season in a tie. The Rockies were hot, having won 14 of their last 15 games to get to this point. But things didn’t look too hot after Jorge Julio gave up a two-run home run in the top of the 13th inning, putting the Rockies in an 8-6 hole.

 

The Rockies battled back to tie it up again and, with no outs, Matt Holliday was standing 90 feet from clinching a playoff spot. This is where the controversy began. A sacrifice fly was hit to right field and Holliday tagged up and sprinted home with the season on the line. The throw from right field came loose as Holliday slid in head-first. Safe! Or was he?

 

 

The umpire didn’t call him safe at first. Replay shows Holliday missed the plate on an incredible block by Michael Barrett. Barrett then picked up the ball to tag Holliday as he lay on the ground. But for some baffling reason—-after hesitating and waiting until Barrett reached to tag Holliday for the second out—-the ump decided to call him safe.

 

Maybe the umpire just missed the call. Is it possible he was trying to make up for the fact that an earlier ball that was ruled a double was actually a Rockies homerun? Perhaps Holliday sold his slide by not getting up and scrambling to touch home plate.  We’ll never know what was going through his mind, but it seems clear enough that Holliday still hasn’t scored the winning run.

 

Since games such as this one are so important, do you feel instant replay would be an asset to assure accurate calls?

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