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Tuesday, May 8, 2007
After homers stripped, Hurdle wants instant replay

Associated Press

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."

"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

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 against it.

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.