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Joe Torre: “The game isn’t perfect”

May 17, 2013, 2:40 PM EDT

Baseball’s head of replay and umpiring went on the Dan Patrick show and makes it clear: he doesn’t want the adequate to be the enemy of the low-end-of-mediocre. But he is for expanded replay because, he says, that it’s bad when people pay more attention to the missed calls than the game.

Which is fine, but his tone suggests that he’d prefer people to simply ignore the bad call than to have to go through the trouble of actually getting it right. They won’t, though, so fine, more replay it is and we’ll get on it eventually.

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Encouraging, though? He sounds a bit skeptical of the “nerve center” model of replay, in which calls would be made from a central location. I think that could work, but it’s my second choice to a fifth umpire in the booth at each park.

  1. proudlycanadian - May 17, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    On a related topic, what do they plan to do with blind mice that roar such as Angel Hernandez?

    • spellingcops - May 17, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      Just keep (over)paying him. You would think that the person that runs a huge business (MLB) would frown upon his “employees” tarnishing the image of said business.

    • fanofevilempire - May 17, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      what is so difficult about having a ump watch the game and call down with the
      correct call.
      and maybe give the managers a couple of challenges, come on already, your
      ruing your own game.
      why does it have to be so difficult.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 17, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        what is so difficult about having a ump watch the game and call down with the
        correct call.

        Probably that it’s so simple, it’d work AND solve a ton of problems. Selig doesn’t like simple solutions. He’ll want to put together an exploratory committee first to study whether it’s feasible to expand replay. We’ll get the results in 2020.

      • badintent - May 18, 2013 at 1:58 AM

        my thoughts exactly ! Are we missing something ??? beam up BUD.

  2. commonsenseisnotcmonman - May 17, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    One day baseball will get past the old fuddy duddy mentality and it will be great

    • pillowporkers - May 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      Yeah and then we’ll get to have 4 1/2 hour games like the NFL, and them still not being able to get the calls right 100%, or even 90%, of the time. That’s exactly what baseball needs, to become even slower. Don’t follow the idiocracy of the NFL!

      • paperlions - May 17, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        We will?

        If they used Pitch F/X to call balls and strikes (which they could do as an ump could have a hand held device that instantly tells him where the ball was), there would be no arguing over them.

        Most games have approximately 0 calls that would need to be reviewed…and having a guy up top at every game take a quick look and radio the result to the chief ump would take less time than for the manager to wander out of the dugout to argue. A decent replay system and a computerized K-zone would actually speed up the game….as would umps requiring pitchers to throw the ball, and umps not allowing batters to take all day between pitches…there is no reason to get out of the box after every pitch.

        NFL games aren’t any longer now than they used to be…and most of the length is due to long TV time-outs, or injuries on the field, not replay review.

      • grumpyoleman - May 17, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        How’d that replay delay work last week?

    • flamethrower101 - May 17, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      The only fuddy duddy I see here is Joe Torre

    • stoutfiles - May 17, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      The future of baseball won’t have human umps at all. We could already have strikes and balls be perfect. Why not everything be perfect? Complaining about umps is part of the game, but it’s not a good part.

  3. The Dangerous Mabry - May 17, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    The fifth umpire setup seems like it would be easier to get the umpire’s union interested in as well, since it would increase the number of MLB umpire jobs. I’d especially like it if it was part of the normal rotation, so that every part of an umpiring crew spent a few games up there throughout the year. I imagine guys would be more likely to work with replay if they were the guy who was in charge of the replay some of the time. I could be wrong.

    • clydeserra - May 17, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      I think that’s the way it will happen, but I would like a 5th ump and a central MLB person in NY as well.

    • Kevin S. - May 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      Exactly – more umpire jobs, umpires not being overruled by non-umpires, and one night out of five with a nice booth gig should be plenty to get them onboard.

    • sfgiantsfanforever - May 18, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      Not sure that one umpire is going to feel comfortable overruling another umpire- especially if they are crew mates.

  4. paperlions - May 17, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    When a blown call determines the outcome of a game, discussing the blown call IS discussing the game.

  5. 18thstreet - May 17, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    I’m going to assume that Joe Torre’s teams never practiced. Mistakes are part of the game.

    • sirrealrainman - May 17, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      Joe Torre is not concerned because his perception of the “mistakes” are skewed.
      He spent many years in New York with his team getting the benefit of tons of blown calls.
      Subsequently he feels there have been almost no mistakes made by the umpiring crew.

  6. grumpyoleman - May 17, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    We could just play the season out on your gaming systems and then we could have the season done and over with in no time at all and also have immediate access to all of those wonderful subjective stats you guys love.

    • paperlions - May 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      YEAH, who cares about getting calls right so the team that should win the game does win it….because we love subjec….wait, what?

      • grumpyoleman - May 17, 2013 at 4:54 PM

        We could also use pitching machines which would speed up the game and give the hitters all the same pitch to hit. This might lend some credibility to the saber defensive stats in that every ball hit would then have a higher probablity of coming off the bat in a more similar manner, and you could better judge whether or not it should have been caught from the comfort of your parents basement.

      • paperlions - May 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        Except, of course, the modern defensive stats are based on the particular speed and trajectory of every single batted ball, negating the need to assume anything at all about the similarity of batted balls.

  7. decimusprime - May 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM


    Very good ideas! Well with the exception of the batters…while it would shave some minutes off the length, it might have a negative effect on those batters. Baseball is a game of focus and superstition. They need that time to say a prayer, kiss their jewelry, adjust each glove 3 times, spit on said gloves/bat/opposite box…etc. Players need to step out so they can step back in. When you cross that line…its go time.

  8. jeffa43 - May 17, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    The game is not perfect, but Angel Hernandez is a crooked mess… Every year!

    Cowboy Joe lives in the same slum.

  9. moogro - May 17, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Torre: “When I became a coach, I developed more apathy to the umpires.” Oops.

    Did Dan ask his batch of questions at random, or is he trying to preserve his access?

    Nobody wants replay on balls and strikes. Why not follow up Joe’s reply with a question about his thoughts on pitch trackers calling balls and strikes in real time? Or any number of real questions?

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