I have been a baseball fan for most of my life. I’ve been watching the post-season games even though my team, the Mariners, did not make it to the post-season. The game I watched this evening was game 2 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets.
I think it’s very important, no matter what game you’re playing, that the rules of the game are applied to all players in the same manner. The only way the game is fair is if everyone must play by the same rules.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, the Dodgers had a man on first base. The next batter hit the ball, which was picked up and thrown to the Mets shortstop. It looked like it was going to be a double play. The shortstop had his foot probably less than an inch from second base as he was taken out by the player running from first base. On the instant replay, the shortstop’s foot was “in the neighborhood” of second base. The replay also showed that the runner from first base never touched second base. The second base umpire called the runner out, but this call was challenged.
After a review by the umpires in New York, the call was overturned and the runner was awarded second base. On top of all this, the collision of the Dodger base runner with the Mets shortstop resulted in the shortstop breaking his leg. I could not believe the ruling on this play.
It is so common in Major League Baseball for umpires to call runners out at second base when the defensive player doesn’t actually touch the base. It’s know as a neighborhood play. In the case of this play tonight, the umpires awarded the base to the runner because the shortstop didn’t actually touch the base, even though the runner never actually touched the base either.
So, the bottom line is that Major League Baseball is not a game governed by rules. Apparently, the rules are just guidelines and the umpires have the ultimate authority to decide who wins and who loses. I have no real interest in either the Dodgers or the Mets. But what went on tonight in the way this play was rule upon was just plain wrong. Either a rule is a rule or it isn’t. If the rules are not going to be uniformly applied to everyone, what’s the point of playing the game?
I have been disgusted with Major League Baseball because the technology is available that would allow balls and strikes to be called fairly and correctly for all players. Clearly, MLB believes umpires are more important than game integrity. In my opinion, even with an instant replay review tonight, the umpires who overturned the original call got it wrong. In doing so, they likely changed the outcome of the game.