JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

I hate instant replay in sports

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 9.20.40 AMI hate instant replay in sports.

I really do.

I’m a fan of the idea of human error. People drop balls. People miss signs. People pop up bunts and botch tags. People stand when they’re supposed to slide, and begin a home run trot when the ball ain’t leaving the park.

Umpires blow calls.

No reason to run through them all. You know them. I know them. They’ve been ugly and unfortunate. But, to me (at least), they’re also a part of the beauty of baseball. Remember the 1985 World Series between the Cardinals and Royals? Remember when Don Denkinger f*cked up the call at first in Game 6? What else do you recall from that series? Maybe Juaquin Andujar. Maybe George Brett. Mainly, though, it’s that moment. That indelible, incredible, defining moment. Most won’t agree with me here, but I absolutely love those moments. I love the anger, the joy, the debate, the perspectives. There were, in the immediate aftermath, thousands of arguments across America about Denkinger and that call. Maybe hundreds of thousands. It was juicy and exciting and, truly, interesting.

Everything about sport is (traditionally) uniquely human. It’s accomplishment, and achievement. But also flaws and mistakes.

As a fan, I’d much prefer awful human decisions to paused time so a monitor can make sure it’s right.

But, again, perhaps it’s just me.