by Ryan Meehan
Monday night there was an incident in the Tampa Bay Rays/Boston Red Sox game where pinch runner Daniel Nava was called out at home plate when he was clearly safe. It continued the debate about the current status of replay and how it is used in the game of baseball.
Personally, I don’t think there’s anything to discuss. I have always said that expanding instant replay can only help baseball. I think the whole “disrupting the flow of the game” stance is weak because the need for review happens so infrequently that it’s a moot point. But there’s something going on that has been bothering me. Every time there is a questionable call like that, ESPN shows how hypocritical they can really be. Their airwaves are full of debate over whether or not it’s time for Bud Selig to get his head out of his asshole and finally do what I consider to be the right thing. Which is precisely where the hypocrisy comes in…
All these analysts like Barry Larkin, John Krukunisticle, Curt Schilling, and Nomar Hamm seem to have what they think are “strong stances” when it comes to how instant replay is used in baseball. But it gives them a TON of talking point fodder, and they already know what they are going to say. It’s not inventive, it’s recycled material, and it’s hardly entertainment. In a sense, they are the standup comedian that shows up at open mic every Thursday, and instead of using that opportunity to test out new material the guy walks out there and trudges through the same eight minutes he’s been doing since 1998. I use that analogy because not only am I a huge comedy fan, but because that’s an accurate representation of how stale everybody’s takes on this issue are. (Speaking of which, could you imagine Larkin trying to do standup? “How many of you in the audience tonight have kids who are star collegiate athletes? Anybody? Boy…tough room…”)
This whole topic has been beat to death. Guys doing life with no parole for eating their wives after carving them up with paring knives know that instant replay in almost every form except for balls and strikes is probably a good idea. And if a bunch of dudes who use their own urine to make booze behind bars can figure that out, you can only imagine how easy it should be for the panty wastes that run MLB to do the same.
But for the analysts to sit there and act like they are so frustrated with the way this issue is handled (or in some cases defend the level of difficulty associated with being a Major League ump, and say that the game should be kept traditional) doesn’t sync up well with the fact that these same analysts LOVE it when this happens. Why? Because they’re that comic who doesn’t have to write new material. They don’t have to have a fresh take, they simply have some jackhole intern pull the tape of the last time this happened and then go off that. It’s not only hypocrisy, it’s weak reporting and the word “uninventive” keeps coming to mind.
If these guys really have these beliefs and they aren’t simply listening to what the producers are telling them to say, then that’s fine. But to sit there and act like they didn’t just get away with having to do their segment devoid of any thought is just plain nauseating. It sucks taint that hoping our bloated and technologically advanced media coming up with a great sports channel is starting to look like more and more of a pipe dream.