Both WS games have been highly entertaining so far, but last night everyone suffered from a major case of terrible baseball.
1. Did everyone else in the world know when Pedro needed to be pulled? What are the odds that one of the only two guy who didn't manages the Phillies?
2. Derek Jeter bunting with 2 strikes, 2 men on and no one out in a World Series is the worst baseball play I have ever seen. Nice work Cap'n.
3. The umps screwed up twice in high leverage situations that could have cost either team the game, but we're used to that. What is getting me more upset is the basic calling of balls an strikes. Mariano Rivera struck out Ryan Howard last night on a called strike that was at least 5 inches off the plate. Only a half-blind idiot would have called that pitch a strike.
In the 8th inning of game one, Damaso Marte threw 5 pitches to Chase Utley. Utley did not swing at any of those 5 pitches, and was eventually called out on strikes on the 5th pitch. Fox Trax (Fox's version of Pitch F/X) showed all 5 pitches to be balls. (The 5th pitch was very close, however, at that point Utley should have already been standing on 1st base.) And really, the first 4 were not that close.
This is a problem with a solution. Pitch F/X can tell you almost instantaneously whether or not a ball was in the strike zone or not. Continuing to rely on umpires for this function is fucking Amish. It's ridiculous. We should at the very least offer hitters challenges, as they do in tennis. It would barely slow the game down at all. They could post the Pitch F/X replay up on the scoreboard and fans would love it. Umpires would hate it, but who cares? Maybe it would provide them with an incentive to not do such a shitty job.
I'd go a step further and have Pitch f/x call all of the balls and strikes. If you want to keep an umpire back there to make the "strike" signal and call plays at home plate, I'm fine with that, but there's no down side to turning this over to a computer.
Finally, if anyone tells me that they want umpires because they like "the human element" I will yell at this person very loudly. "The human element" is important in baseball, but it is provided by the players. The players are playing the game. They are supposed to provide all of the drama and heroics and whatnot. When an umpire introduces his own human element into the game, he diminishes the accomplishments of the players. Last night, Chase Utley's hustle was destroyed by an idiot who thought he was out. By arguing that you want to keep "the human element" you are arguing that you like mistakes. And no wonder.
If you have that opinion, you probably make a lot of them.
50 minutes ago