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Quote of the Day: Bill Welke essentially admits the need for instant replay

May 29, 2012, 9:12 AM EDT

Video camera

Yesterday a bad call by umpire Bill Welke cost the Tigers several runs and possibly the game. Afterwards, he said something that made complete and total sense:


If even the umpires can admit that replay often sees things that they can’t and would help ensure better calls, why again isn’t anyone in a position to do anything about it willing to admit the same?

  1. Kevin S. - May 29, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    But, but… human element!

  2. paperlions - May 29, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    …..and if it didn’t look crystal clear, why did he just guess? It was obvious he guessed, because he got it wrong. If no one knows the answer, shouldn’t they at least consult (and check the ball for evidence) to make the best possible guess?

    • purnellmeagrejr - May 29, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      goood points all – I didn’t see the play but, in general, umpires feeel the need to “own”their call – reacting with violent negativity when someone challlenges its acccuracy – checking with another umpire would be surrrendering part of that authroity is my guesss (not defending here – just trying to understand.)

  3. sictransitchris - May 29, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    We need to ensure the game continues to be played the same way it always has been… except when pitchers couldn’t throw overhand until 1883… or when the height of pitching mounds was standardized in 1904… or when balls began having cork centers in 1910… or when scuffed or otherwise doctored balls were banned in 1920… or when the minimum distance for outfield walls was fixed at 250 ft (or when it was changed to 350 feet 24 years later)… or when fielder’s interference was added in 1931… or when black players were allowed in 1947…

  4. protius - May 29, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Why couldn’t there be a replay laptop available for the first or third base umpire? It would make replay quick, and it would make certain that the umpires get the call right.

    Somebody call Bud Selig.

    • aarontzach - May 29, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      Bud Selig’s laptop is probably an Etch-A-Sketch.

  5. cur68 - May 29, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Its ’cause Bud feels no pressure. None what so ever. Clearly me and Bud define pressure differently. So, in the spirit of seeing things from the other guys view point, I’m prepared to come to his house with a jumbo bar of ex-lax, a bag of bran muffins, and a giant bottle of castor oil, if that’s what it takes for Bud to “feel some pressure”.

    • jimbo1949 - May 29, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      Wait, you forgot about the butt plug.

      • cur68 - May 29, 2012 at 10:36 AM

        That man craps thru the eye of a needle. He was born plugged.

    • Francisco (FC) - May 29, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      Let’s be clear on one thing: the only Pressure Selig feels can come from the owners. If they owners don’t push for more instant replay Bud will continue saying there’s no pressure to expand instant replay. His employers are the only ones whose opinion concerns him, not the players, managers, umpires and certainly not the fans.

      • bsbiz - May 29, 2012 at 10:14 AM


      • cur68 - May 29, 2012 at 10:39 AM

        Ayup. Boring, but true. The owners cannot see how replay makes them any money, so why endorse it? So their product is better? Naw. Charge more for less, that’s their business model. Is there any evidence that owners in general, and Bud in particular, likes baseball? ‘Cause anyone that likes the game would want to improve it.

      • protius - May 29, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        Cur, why do you feel it is necessary that Bud Selig be pressured into making changes to the way baseball is umpired? After all, instant replay did become an official part of MLB during Selig’s term as Commissioner of Baseball. Do you have any evidence that Commissioner Selig was pressured into making that change?

      • cur68 - May 29, 2012 at 10:07 PM


        Next time do your own research, jackass.

  6. chumthumper - May 29, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    If MLB isn’t going to implement instant replay, then perhaps they should just forbid all replays in stadiums, etc. If you can limit the number of people who know the ump got it wrong, then hopefully the quieter the controversy. Instead of getting it right, MLB can go back to keeping us fat, dumb, happy and none the wiser.

  7. dwaynehosey - May 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    1) It’s a stretch to say the bad call cost the Tigers several runs. A third strike foul tip was ruled to have been dropped, extending an at-bat. The batter eventually got a hit, as did two subsequent batters, driving in three runs. Poor pitching and defense cost the Tigers several runs – the missed call extended one at-bat.

    2) The Home Plate umpire ruled the ball dropped, but appealed to Welke at first for confirmation. If Welke also wasn’t certain, he’s not in a position to reverse the original call. He didn’t make a bad call – he simply failed to reverse one because he too wasn’t sure.

    • stuckonwords - May 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      You’re sorta missing the point.

    • frank433 - May 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      How is it a stretch to say it caused 3 runs? There were already 2 outs, and a 0-2 count. If that call is made correctly, inning over, no runs score.

    • normcash - May 29, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      1) You’re obviously wrong….the bad call resulted in 3 runs. Maybe 3 other runs would have scored at some point, but THOSE 3 would not have….duh!

      2) The first base base ump did NOT “fail to reverse” the homeplate ump call—the homeplate
      ump didn’t make a call—-he asked for help.

      What I can’t understand is why the second base ump, who had the best view, didn’t jump in.
      Just because the homeplate ump asks the first base ump for help shouldn’t prevent an ump with the best view to weigh in.

      I also believe replays should be expanded beyond boundary calls and fan interference. Originally, the claim was that not every game is televised…but they are all televised now.
      BTW, that call wasn’t the only bad one. Danny Worth singled to center and tried to get to second
      when the ball bounced away from the center fielder. He overslid second and was called out.
      The replay showed he got his fingers back to the bag before he was tagged—as a result, it was
      one out and nobody on vs. nobody out and a man on second…Detroit was royally screwed ysterday, no two ways about it…

    • craigp2008 - May 29, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      You obviously don’t see too well or don’t understand the rules of the game. An out is an out and it should have properly been credited with an out and the inning over – that’s it, period. If they would have made the obvious and correct call to begin with, that’s what would have and should have happened. How do you think most pitchers would respond if you demanded that they have to get an extra out every inning after he already gets the required three? And if Bill Welke wasn’t sure, then why is he imposing his opinion on the play at all?

      In all honesty, who the Hell cares if the umpires realize they got it wrong, it still cost the Tigers 3 runs and possibly the game; I want restitution for this even though I know it will never happen; I’ve been watching baseball since the late 60’s and there are things that are traditional that I would like to stay that way, but I don’t recall a time where there have been so many bad, game changing calls that affect the outcome of games as we have had in the last 5 years or so. I say get the replay in place, screw tradition in this regard and GET THE F’ING CALLS RIGHT!!!! Not only will it get the calls right, but these Buttheads who are making these horrendous calls and decisions will be off the hook. Why can’t MLB understand this? As for the UmpsI want a pound of Flesh from Bill Welke, I wish he could be Fired immediately, but again I know the spineless jellyfish (Bud Selig and his bad rug) at MLB won’t do a damn thing!

  8. inkedchef - May 30, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    How about improving the overall quality of umpiring by instituting a system that allows those umpires that are proven to be substandard to be “sent down” to the minors until the best are at the Major League level? The umpires union would fight it tooth and nail, I’m sure, but I think if your going to talk about replay expanding you also need to look at the reasons it is needed. Theoretically the best work postseason games so an evaluation system is there already. Besides…….who wouldn’t get a warm feeling upon hearing that C. B. Bucknor was sent down to “work on his zone”?

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