(Enter Stage Right) -- In a few weeks my beloved New York Yankees will once again take the field for another opening day, one that brings many changes. Gone are the suspended Alex Rodriguez, the glorious game-ender Mariano Rivera and my personal favorite, Curtis Granderson, who has made the cross-town trip to the New York Mets. Gone too, after this year will be the captain, Derek Jeter, whose season-long goodbye will no doubt draw many tears from Yankee fans and haters alike who will miss his classy presence on the diamond.
Yes, there will be changes in the Bronx, but there are wider and much more nefarious changes going on in baseball in general; not the least of which is the expanded use of instant replay. Now, some may argue that the use of replay to determine home run calls has been a boon to the game, so letting the eyes in the sky overrule the eyes of the umps will produce a ‘fairer' game. But what game will that be? Surely not baseball as we know it. As I wrote over five years ago when MLB first toyed with the idea of instant replay:
- Even without instant replay, football referees—like those in hockey and basketball—are more or less like traffic cops who from time to time interrupt the organized chaos around them. But the baseball umpire controls nearly every aspect of the game. His decisions effect every pitch, hit and catch since he, in a way, determines whether or not the ball will even be put in play because he is the arbiter of all he surveys.
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