In the beginning of my spring training adventures I witnessed a prime example of why baseball has introduced instant replay. Today at Goodyear ballpark at 2:30 this afternoon Brandon Phillips, second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds attempted to steal third base 1 out deep in the home half of the 5th. He was called out, but in fairness to the umpiring crew who were down one official due to umpire Brad Meyers being struck by a batted ball and the other umpire was forced to make the call from the 2nd base side of the play. Mark Berry, 3rd base coach for the Cincinnati Reds immediately and emphatically summoned Reds manager Brian Price from the dugout. Price had a very calm discussion with the umpire and then asked for the play to be reviewed. I looked at my photographer, Anthony Fryman and we pondered going to get a drink. I started to stand up to leave my seat to get that drink and the umpires appeared back on the field having reversed the call to Phillips being safe. Seriously, it was that quick! And for the record from my vantage point, which was down the third base line, they corrected the play and consequently made the right call.
I am a skeptic of replay in baseball. Everyone in baseball always says they want the right call. I am not sure if I agree. Controversy fuels great arguments, and if you always get everything right, there is nothing to argue about and an element of the game is lost. And before I get all the hate mail saying that we must make the game as fair as possible, the game has a way of policing itself. If an ump makes a wrong he simply makes a make-up call later in the game. And besides, life is not fair, why should baseball be? To me baseball is life.