Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pablo Lost Home Run to Replay Speculation

A flaw in the system? On May 21, 2014, in Colorado, Pablo Sandoval lost a home run. Or was it that those MLB representatives- selected to provide a service at Major League Baseball's New York central location for replay reviews-do not know conclusive from inconclusive?

Can they discern something as obvious as the ball being blocked by the foul pole? That is, one particular slide showed the ball had disappeared behind the foul pole. Think about it, if the ball disappeared that means the ball went around the pole and in the manner it "WENT AROUND" it snuck inside the line/foul pole. That was the only clear view of what was otherwise an optical illusion. If the modern technology that allowed the frame to be frozen so you could clearly see just a foul pole justice would have been served just as well if the ball was in front of the pole at that freeze-frame moment. This would have been the proof necessary to prove that the ball curved foul before passing the pole.

In the book Pinstripe Empirea reference is made to numerous "would be" home runs by the Babe himself at Yankee Stadium. Evidently Babe Ruth hit many pop ups down the line that went over the right field foul pole that the author claims with modern day technology may have been called fair.

Some stadiums are easier to align yourself with the foul line and make the call fair or foul without the slightest hesitation. Others have obstacles that get in the way. As a home plate umpire I liked to straddle the line to help gauge the flight of the ball. It was the best position provided the ball didn't sail over the foul pole. In that case the replay review should be able to determine fair or foul.

One last question, is the matter of the ball being fair or foul the same as with a field goal. That if the ball goes over the upright it is considered by some (not all) to be "NO GOOD" because the ball did not go through the uprights.
I don't want to hear "it looked fair/foul." Leave the speculators out of the equation, please!

Kevin J. Marquez