Joe Posnanski gets it right

Regarding last night’s controversial safe call that ended the 19-inning Braves/Pirates game, Joe Posnanski thinks that Jerry Meals got the call wrong.  His discussion about the call and its controversy morphs into a support of instant replay in MLB (which I’d like to see happen).  But in the course of this, he addresses one of my pet peeves since the officiating-controversy-nadir year of 2005/6:  people who see definitive evidence where there is none.

Almost every response I saw to the missed call seemed, um, overwhelming somehow. I saw photos that APPEARED to show McKenry tagging the runner, but not quite. I saw video angles that APPEARED to show the tag, but again, not entirely. And people sent these around as if they were ABSOLUTE PROOF. I got one photo via email 12 times, and no matter how closely I look at it I cannot make out a connection between McKenry’s glove and Lugo’s leg.

Couldn’t have put it better myself.  To this day, I can’t say whether the nose of the ball broke the plane before Roethlisberger crossed the goal line (I actually think it did).  I can’t tell whether that pitch to Pierzynski hit the tan dirt or Josh Paul’s tan glove.  And I don’t see how anyone can look at any replay of those (or, for that matter, last night’s play) and say there’s definitive, oh-my-god-he’s-incompetent evidence.  In any event, in the post Joyce/Galarraga world, most will admit errors on plays like that anyway.

It’s good to see someone point this out, and I’d like for it to become our default position on matters such as this.  (Dream on, Paul.  Dream on.)

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About Paul Hamann
I am a basketball referee in Washington State, working mostly high school games.

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