18.6.08

A RADICAL'S CONSERVATIVE SIDE. Former Madison mayor Paul Soglin identifies a change he can't believe in.

Umpires' mistakes like home runs that appear to wrap around the foul pole or calling out runners who clearly beat the throw home are part of the game.

I can see it now. It is the top of the 5th inning and the clean up batter has a 3-2 count with two outs and the bases loaded. The batter takes the pitch and the umpire calls it a strike as the ball drifts outside. The batter drags his bat muttering under his breath something about the umpire's relatives and suddenly the arm goes up to the sky and Dave Ortiz is summarily tossed from the game.

Instant replay shows the pitch was a ball, the batter is given first base and reinstated into the game.

Instant replay will end the game as we know it. First they will only use it for select plays such as the home run or the play at the plate. Eventually it will be used for calling balls and strikes.

Finally the game will be perfected when the umpires are replaced by lasers, a gps, and microchips.

There are two problems with the game today. It takes too long and the expensive hot dogs stink. The instant replay will lengthen the time of the game, increase the price of the hot dog, and do nothing to improve its taste.

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