By: Michael Ganci

When Does The Madness Stop?


With news circulating over the weekend that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred could consider eliminating the defensive shift, I immediately became concerned.

Not long ago, baseball was baseball. Human error waspart of the game, as is different strategies that may or may not be effective. Baseball is supposed to be like a chess match. Whoever makes the right move at any given time could win. If you lose, the good teams make adjustments so they come out on top the next time.

I was never in favor of incorporating instant replay in any of the four major sports. Why? Human error is and has always been a part of the game. Think about Armando Galaragga, formerly of the Detroit Tigers, for a second. He was one out away from a no-hitter, and James Joyce blew a clear out call at first base. There was no replay at the time, so the call stood. The Tigers handled it with class, having Galaragga present Joyce with the lineup card prior to the next game. A clearly emotional Joyce took the gesture to heart and got emotional. So out of a mistake, something beautiful was born.

How about a Mets’ relation. Johan Santana was thee first man in Mets’ history to throw a no-hitter, but it wasn’t without controversy. During the game, former Met and then-Cardinal Carlos Beltran sliced a liner down the left field line. Replays clearly indicated that the ball was fair, but it was called foul. Santana would retire Beltran, and the rest of the Cardinals to complete the no-no.

What has the addition of replay done? Managers come out to argue sometimes just so their guys can have the time to review the footage and give them the signal whether or not to challenge. This delays an already-long game and compromises momentum and makes some fans even change the channel due to boredom.

Will they expand replay one day to include judgement calls? Will strikes and balls be challengeable? Can you challenge whether a pitcher balked? When does the madness stop?

Now Mandred made a comment saying he’d consider banning the overwhelming defensive shift, something that’s been very valuable for teams, especially against power pulling left-handed hitters. I just don’t get it. There’s a reason why it hasn’t been made illegal before…there’s nothing wrong with it. By shifting, teams create a disadvantage for themselves if the hitter goes the other way. Therefore, the smart hitters should drop down a bunt or learn to hit the ball the other way. If they do that a few times, defenses will adjust, and the shift will disappear. Problem solved.

I plead to Commissioner Manfred…please don’t eliminate human error from the game. Please do not compromise the integrity of baseball. It should be played like the greats played it.

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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