Instant Replay? Not So Fast

Atlanta's Julio Lugo is called safe at home plate by umpire Jerry Meals, giving the Braves a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in 19 grueling innings.

Last night’s epic 19-inning duel between the Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates will be a game talked about in Pennsylvania for quite some time. Just before 2 a.m., umpire Jerry Meals called Braves veteran Julio Lugo safe at home plate to give Atlanta a 4-3 victory. The only problem was that Lugo was out — by a mile. Pirates backstop Michael McKenry clearly applied the tag to Lugo’s right leg as he attempted to slide into home for the game winning run. The missed call sent shock waves throughout the baseball universe as the Pirates fell into third place in the National League Central thanks to the loss. The call for instant replay was heard loud and clear all across social networking sites such as Twitter (a much similar reaction to Jim Joyce’s blown call at first base last season which cost Tiger’s pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game). But should Major League Baseball really expand the use of instant replay? Games are longer than ever as it is; adding replay would open Pandora’s box. I personally am not even a fan of instant replay being used to judge home runs that are on the cusp of the foul pole. Baseball is the only game where there is no clock. That’s what’s beautiful about it. Human error is as much part of the game as anything else, and if we start changing the rules now when will they ever stop? Replays on outs on the basepaths? Replays on balls and strikes? Major League Baseball should be left alone… and seeing how this is a Milwaukee Brewers blog, I have a hard time feeling any sympathy for Clint Hurdle’s Pirates. Every team suffers a bad break now and again. If Pittsburgh truly is for real, they won’t let Jerry Meal’s error have a lasting effect on their club.

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