All is right with the world: Replay ADDS controversy

Traditionalists have dissed baseball’s new expanded replay system on the grounds it robs the game of two staples:

  • The human element, which gives umpires the license to goof up.
  • And the controversies, often eternal, which arise from the former.

Well, they should all be happy today. Good news: The staples are still around. Lots of people are bad-mouthing developments in last night’s Giants-Diamondbacks game — and, hey, that’s controversy right there.

But what transpired actually reinforced the human element — with more of the onus now on managers.

This is what happened, in a nutshell:

San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy challenged the safe call on a pickoff throw to first by Matt Cain. The call was upheld, and Bochy instead was out — of challenges.

Mere minutes later, Arizona scored a run on an even more questionable play. But Bochy couldn’t question it.

So lots of people are saying the system isn’t working, if the idea is to get calls right.

I would think the idea is for the manager to make the right call, of when and what to challenge. If he wins his challenge, he keeps it. Pretty simple. This process becomes, as Clint Hurdle has said all along, one of the manager’s strategic decisions.

So the use of challenges becomes a new controversial subject, more fodder for second-guessing … more strategy!

Hey, maybe it can even make up for the strategic toll of the DH.

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