It's a bit of a cognitive leap, but let me connect the dots for
Last night, a pitcher on the Detroit Tigers named Armando
Galarraga lost a perfect game - the stuff of baseball legend - on a
blown call at first base with two outs in the ninth inning. The
runner was out by a full step, and the umpire has admitted his
Wednesday morning, the sports world was all abuzz about the need for more instant replay in
the sport. Baseball was a late adapter of the second look, only
introducing it in 2008, and only on questionable home run calls.
Tuesday's play at first base in Detroit was not reviewable, and
today, the question is: shouldn't it be?
There's obviously case to be made for saying yes. But
before you jump on the instant replay train, consider this: It
might unravel the entire parenting space-time continuum.
A lot of raising kids and keeping your sanity hinges on the
weight carried by two simple phrases: "Because I said so" and "Life
isn't fair." Expanding instant replay undermines both.
On the first point, the game of baseball only works because
there are rules, and because umpires have the authority to enforce
those rules. If nobody listened to the umps, we'd have no game. And
there's punishment for disagreeing with the officials, even if
you don't like what they have to say. A classic example is the
(unwritten) rule that a batter can't argue balls and strikes. Don't
like the call? Keep it to yourself, or you'll find yourself on the
way to the locker room quickly.
Parents are the family umps. The buck has to stop there, and
kids have to know that it's going to stop in a rather unpleasant
hurry, like baseball players being ejected from the game for
arguing a call. Kids often don't like what their parents have to
say, but if they can count on an after-the-fact vindication -- an
"instant replay" in life, if you will -- all bets are off.
The second point doesn't need much explanation. Life isn't fair,
and the sooner kids learn that, the better.
Note: I'm only half-serious in all of this. Instant
replay should absolutely be used more often. The call was wrong,
everyone but the person responsible for making it knew it was
wrong, and a pitcher was robbed of a career-making moment. We have
the technology to fix it. It's a no-brainer.
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