Upon Further Review…….

By Paul Hagen
Updated: August 31, 2008

PHILADELPHIA — Upon further review, instant replay is now officially a part of baseball. And, no, those who disagree can’t throw a red flag.

For the most part, the reaction across the baseball landscape has ranged from a grudging acknowledgment that the change was inevitable to a warm embrace of technology that should, in theory, help umpires get calls right.

Naturally, of course, there are those who disagree. Orioles manager Dave Trembley is one of the most prominently outspoken critics of the new system, which is designed to be used only for boundary calls involving home runs.

Trembley appears to have three major objections. One is that he’s a traditionalist.

“I guess if they can move into a new Yankee Stadium they can have instant replay. The game is evolving, much to my chagrin,” he grumbled.

The second, which has been expressed by others, is that it removes some of the human element from the equation. “I don’t like it. The game is the game. Let the game be pure in what it is,” he said.

He believes a better solution would be to add a pair of umpires for the regular season, just like baseball does for the playoffs.

His third objection carries the most weight. When general managers recommended that replay be considered last November, it was almost unthinkable that the system could be implemented this quickly.

“They better be sure they got the kinks out,” Trembley warned. “Otherwise, they are going to set themselves up for some embarrassing situations that could possibly occur. And I don’t think major league baseball, at this particular time, needs that.”

Trembley isn’t the only skeptical observer. “This is not going to work,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said earlier this week. “Come on. I shouldn’t say it’s not going to work, but this could turn into a little bit of a fiasco [at first].”

Added Indians backup catcher Sal Fasano: “It’s Armageddon. Baseball is a game of human error. It always has been and always will be. Why would you want to take that away? I think it’s dumb.”

Maybe. But the view from this small corner of the baseball universe is that it would be even dumber not to do whatever is possible to make sure calls are correct.