Umps Under Fire After Rash of Botched Calls

Postseason miscues have MLB considering drastic changes
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2009 5:10 PM CDT
Umps Under Fire After Rash of Botched Calls
Umpire Phil Cuzzi (with Paul Konerko of the White Sox) botched a fair-foul call in a Yankees-Twins playoff game Oct. 9.   (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

This year’s postseason has featured the usual thrills—pitchers' duels, come-from-behind victories—and an outbreak of something unusual: botched calls by umpires. The threat of more gaffes in next week’s World Series has the tradition-bound sport considering expanding the use of instant replay beyond the verification of home runs. And not everyone objects.

"Baseball could save face by giving the umpires the luxury that everyone else in the world has: seeing the play again," former umpire Dave Phillips tells USA Today. Others worry replay will kill the soul of the game: "The game can be whatever we want it to be," says MLB's VP of umpiring: "There's a professor in Japan who has invented a robot pitcher and robot batter. I value the tradition and stability of the game. It's one of the few remaining things left to people on the field."
(More baseball stories.)

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