Tuesday, May 8, 2007
After homers stripped, Hurdle wants instant replay
ST. LOUIS -- Colorado Rockies manager Clint Hurdle wants
Major League Baseball to take another look at instant replay.
Twice in three games, Hurdle contends, wrong calls by umpires
cost the Rockies home runs. He spoke to the MLB office Tuesday to
voice his concern.
"It's a very difficult call and my point of contention is it
either is or is not a home run," Hurdle said. "I don't think
that's an area where the umpires' discretion should be involved."
The NFL, NBA and NHL all use some form of instant replay. The
issue has been raised in recent years by baseball officials, but
never gotten very far -- commissioner Bud Selig is among those
On Monday night, what appeared to be a ninth-inning, go-ahead
homer by Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki was instead ruled a double by
second base umpire Bob Davidson, who said the ball went off the top
of the wall in left-center field.
Hurdle was ejected for the first time this season after a long
argument. Tulowitzki eventually scored the tiebreaking run in a 3-2
win over St. Louis.
On Saturday, the Rockies said a home run by Garrett Atkins was
taken away by umpires who didn't see the ball well enough.
"You can't lose home runs," Hurdle said. "When they're hit,
they need to be a homer. That's it, that's the bottom line."
Hurdle said he has examples of other homers that have been lost
the last few seasons. He believes they're often the result of more
fan-friendly ballparks with paying customers closer to the action.
"I don't disagree with keeping the human element on balls and
strikes and plays at first," he said. "That's the hard question,
where do you draw the line? But to say you don't draw it anywhere,
I'm not so sure that's the right answer."
Hurdle said he's in favor of a system where challenges are
limited to game-changing plays.
On Monday night at Yankee Stadium, the Seattle Mariners
benefited from a missed call to beat New York 3-2. Pinch-runner
Willie Bloomquist looked out on a steal attempt in the eighth
inning, but was called safe by umpire Gerry Davis and wound up
scoring the tying run.
"We'll take it," Bloomquist said. "It's just a good thing
there's no instant replay in baseball."
After seeing a replay, Davis admitted he missed the call.
"We're all human," Yankees manager Joe Torre said Tuesday.
Torre, however, was not sure about adding replay.
"How much longer you want this game to go on?" he said.
"There's a difference in getting your money's worth and being able
to get up in the morning."
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he couldn't tell whether
Tulowitzki's drive cleared the fence.
"They had a meeting, nobody had a better view, the guy scored
anyway, so what's the issue?" La Russa said.
La Russa is not in favor of instant replay.
"I think the umpires do a good job," he said. "They make
fewer mistakes than managers do and pitchers hanging breaking balls
and hitters popping up balls down the middle."
The Rockies ended up winning both of the games in question.
"When you have everybody in the ballpark saying it's a homer
it's kind of tough to believe it's a double," Tulowitzki said.
"Then again they're on my team, so I was a little confused."
"Since I scored and we won, it kind of evens things out a
little bit," he said.
"You can't lose home runs. When they're hit, they need to be a homer. That's it, that's the bottom line."
-- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle