About two weeks ago, I wrote about umpire Phil Cuzzi's unbelievably bad call in San Francisco that would have ended their game with the Mets in victory. Instead, the Giants lost in extra innings.
The same thing happened again last night in Miami. With Hanley Ramirez on second base in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Marlins' Gaby Sanchez sent a bouncer that hugged the third-base line, clearly went directly over the base, and landed on the grass on the fair side of the line. This clean hit would have scored Ramirez and won the game for the Marlins.
Instead, 3B umpire Bob Davidson called it foul -- and replays showed him out of position and making the call before the ball had even crossed third base! Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez argued the play, and you could see he was trying real hard to get tossed, but Davidson wouldn't even do that.
Use of replay -- perhaps via a fifth umpire in the press box who could watch video and instantly give the correct call to the umpires on the field -- would have made the correct call and the Marlins would have been awarded a run and the win, which they had earned by their performance.
The ridiculousness of the current MLB replay policy was made evident only a few minutes later, when the umpires went off the field to review a long fly ball to left field which was clearly foul. They took only a couple of minutes and made the correct call.
What sense does it make to use replay for plays like that, and not for a critical play that, in last night's instance, literally cost a team a game? The call in San Francisco last month cost the Giants a game; a similar bad call in June cost the Twins a game. What if those teams miss the playoffs by one game? What if a bad call like this costs a team a game in the playoffs?
Get your head out of -- well, the sand, Bud Selig. Replay NOW. Before you get really embarrassed when the whole country is watching in October.