‘’In this day and age when we have instant replay available to us, it’s got to change, we play 235 days to get to this point and two calls go against us.”
The words of New York Yankee’s general manager Joe Girardi could have been said by any modern day professional football manager. While many sports embrace and utilise technology in order to get all the calls as correct as possible such as the case in rugby league and union, tennis and cricket baseball is another that considers itself stuck in the dark ages along with football on the topic of technology.
The most recent example came after the Yankees’ fell to a poor call in the second game of their American League Championship Series with the Detroit Tigers that leaves them trailing and struggling to qualify for the World Series.
In the eighth innings of Sundays tie the Tiger’s Venezuelan infielder Omar Infante moved from first to second base but overran the plate. The Yankees advanced the ball to second and Robinson Cano tagged him before he made it in. However the umpire at second Jeff Nelson called Infante safe which kept the innings alive.
Needless to say Detroit went on to claim the innings and the game. Afterwards Nelson admitted he had got the call wrong…
Perhaps this was an occasion when the NYY did not want someone being mesmerised by their pinstripes, to borrow a phrase from one of my favourite movies. In terms of completely obvious wrong calls, this rivals Lampard v Germany and Mendes against United for the degree of difficulty in getting the call right.
But we are all human and humans make mistakes which is why the utilisation of technology is called for, as a way of removing that element of doubt. They do use some degree of instant-replay tech in MLB, but it is usually only used to decide whether homers are fair; they are not used at the bases.
The call for technology in football, in particular the goal-line variety, has been vented for over a decade now and it seems that the authorities realise, with the amount of money at stake in modern-day sport that the scope for human error is unnecessary enough to start implementing strategies for technology.
So football is not alone as its American cousin is also fending off the flirtatious advances of technology, and the potential spontaneity dilution that could come with it.
But for how long?
Is it time for football and baseball to catch up with the sporting world or will it dilute the historical sports to much?
image: © Keith Allison