To Review Or Not To Review

Last night was one of the first times that I have watched a situation that probably should have called for baseball new “review” policy… and we didn’t get to see it used. I’m sure that many of you have watched the play on ESPN or MLB Network by now.

ph_425785.jpgIn a 2-2 game in the 11th Inning, Phillies pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs hit a high, towering drive… deep to right field (my ode to Harry Kalas) of Red Sox reliever Justin Masterson that went over the top of (or very close to) the foul pole. That would have given the Phils a 5-2 win.

The ball was ruled foul by 1B Umpire Jim Joyce. I don’t have a problem with Joyce’s call. What I do take issue with is the failure to use the video replay.

Video replay is supposed to determine, without doubt, whether the call is right or not. And in this situation it was not used. Jim Joyce said he “saw it all the way and it was foul”.

Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel asked Joyce to review it, but Joyce said that he didn’t have to.

WHAT!!! You don’t have to.

OK, we all know that the Umpires Union was one of the strongest in baseball until Ritchie Phillips pulled his bogus power play that got many of his clients fired. And we know that umpires work with a certain level of “attitude”. But this is supposed to be a kinder, gentler MLB where we used the tools at our disposal TO GET IT RIGHT.

 The problem here it that Joyce supposedly said “we don’t have to look at it”.
That is the type of response that gets someone fired in the real world.

Some situations have proven the umpires right, some wrong. But if you have the technology, you have to use it because of the situation.

– Tied game
– Extra Innings
– Potential homer that could end the game

Dobbs ball may very well have been foul… and it is tough to tell from the camera angles because you don’t know what angle the camera is pointing at the pole from. SO TAKE THE TIME TO LOOK AT IT.

Red Sox fans have been all over the Internet saying there was no way it was a fair ball. Of course they are going to say that. Look, one of my former broadcasting breathren said that the NESN broadcast didn’t have a real good angle to tell fair or foul.

The game was already over three hours old. The umpires and Red Sox weren’t getting back to the hotel by midnight to get their snack (John Kruk reference… look it up, great story). 

Maybe baseball has to learn from the NFL and put in a caveat that any plays like that in extra innings immediately go to the booth (like the final 2:00 minutes of the half in football).

Again, the ball was ruled foul and it may have been a foul ball. Just use what is at your disposal and GET IT RIGHT!!!



    That definitely should have been reviewed. More surprising to me is that they haven’t set up cameras just for reviewing those calls where the ball is above the foul pole. It seems the only angle that can really make the call is directly under the pole.

    They should setup a camera at the base of each foul pole looking straight up, and draw a line on the lens to mark the foul line. And have all calls where the ball goes into that cameras view reviewed “upstairs”. The pitcher wouldn’t be done adjusting his cup before we knew for sure if it was fair or foul.

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