Major Flaw in Replay System
I think Mets fans everywhere correctly questioned why this play wasn’t the neighborhood play:
Now, we know the neighborhood play isn’t reviewable. However, this play was reviewed because the umpires on the field determined it wasn’t the neighborhood play. My question is why can’t the replay officials review the play and determine that the neighborhood play should’ve applied?
Keep in mind we have replay because umpires blow calls. The replay system is in place because we can’t trust the umpires’ judgment. However, in this specific instance we’re going to trust their judgment even though they got everything about the play wrong.
Look at the play again. Utley “put a body on Tejada to break up the double play.” When the collision took place, Tejada’s arm was in a throwing position. If the slide/tackle was made to prevent the double play, and this slide/tackle prevented the throw. How is this not the neighborhood play? If upon the collision, Tejada throws the ball in any direction, do the umpires then rule there’s a neighborhood play?
Furthermore, why couldn’t the replay officials rule it was interference? We all know Utley wasn’t trying to slide there. We know the fiction we create regarding sliding and breaking up double plays, but this was: (1) not a slide; (2) started the tackle after the out call was made; and (3) not even an attempt to touch second until he was well past the bag.
I understand the arguments in both directions regarding replay. However, if the replay officials cannot review every aspect of the play, what’s the point of replay? In essence, replay officials have their hands tied by an umpiring crews bad decision. If the replay system is in place to correct bad umpiring, why are we relying on their poor judgment calls when reviewing a play?
The whole system doesn’t made sense. The umpires on the field made a series of bad calls. The replay rules prevented the replay officials from correcting the call in the fashion it should have been. This rule needs to be fixed now.