Instant coffee, good; instant replay, bad

Published 4:42 pm Thursday, August 28, 2008

Apparently Cubs fans can wait till next year, but instant replay can’t.

That was the message sent this week when Bud Selig announced that instant replay would be used in all major league games beginning this weekend.

Am I the only person that thinks this is going in the wrong direction?

To begin with, instant replay is a horrible idea. Good in theory, but bad in practice.

Yes, we have the technology to make it work. By my own unofficial estimate, we also have the technology to nuke the guts out of three-fifths of the world’s countries. But do we up and do it? No.

Not unless, of course, we think there’s some valuable export we’re not getting enough of.

But anyway, back to the topic. Instant replay. Bad. Implementing it in late August. Even worse.

Is there any reason to believe that even one small hiccup in this experiment won’t cause people to blame the fact that it started with one month left in the regular season?

I’m the biggest fighter against the argument that baseball is slow, and that may be true on the field. No, there is no clock, but that’s like waiting three hours for your wife to cook a really good meal. If you go to work the next day and tell your buddies how well you ate, you’ve no right to complain about the preparation time.

Off the field, however, there hasn’t been a whole lot to aid my cause. Baseball took a dreadfully long time to even attempt to adequately address the use of performance enhancing drugs. Look what that got us – middle infielders with Popeye arms and home run records at least half the fans in the world think are tainted.

Now this. Baseball owners voted 25-5 in November – November – to study the use of instant replay. Hmm, spring training was four months down the road, so wouldn’t that have been a good sample time? The games didn’t count then, which kinda makes me think so.

But no, baseball once again showed it has its mind made up about something and will use its supreme sovereignty to impose its will.

And don’t be sucked into the “it’s just for home run reviews” argument. QuesTec showed owners’ willingness to undermine umpires, and that’s exactly where this new road is leading.

Did our forefathers really risk their lives for this? No. The question is completely irrelevant, but still.