Here we go again: Would the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and umpire Dave Rackley have been helped by 1980s music video technology to confirm whether Andres Torres touched first base at a crucial moment Monday?
Like, obviously, dude.
As it is, all we have to go on is Rackley's human eyes and TV's own insufficient camera angles. Rackley can be seen watching Torres closely as he rounded first on an apparent double in the ninth inning with the Mets down a run to St. Louis. And Rackley confidently called Torres out after the Cards appealed, saying he cut the corner too close (or not close enough) at first base in an effort to reach second base as quickly as possible.
Via the Associated Press:
''He went over the front corner with his toe and it just kicked dirt up onto the base,'' Rackley said.
Rackley said he wouldn't make that call if he weren't sure.
''That's what I told Terry [Collins]. I wouldn't make that up,'' Rackley said.
But umpires have been confident before and still been wrong. And this is a case where replay technology wouldn't tell us for certain if the call was correct. As the Mets' own announcers even said, it's impossible to tell for sure.
Regardless, Cards closer Jason Motte got two more outs for the save and a 5-4 victory. Rackley's call was huge. If only we could be sure. We've asked the question before on The Stew: What if the bases lighted up?
C'mon it's so obvious: The same technology that lighted up the sidewalk in Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" video could be used to light up the bases so we could tell when a runner was touching one. Place sensors inside every player's cleats so, whenever they contacted the bag, it lights up like a burner on an electric stove. Make it light up different colors for offense and defense. Like a Simon game! The kids'll love it and we'll know for sure if a guy is on the bag or not.
Earlier this season, Carlos Santana of the Indians was mistakenly ruled safe by ump Jim Wolf because MLB didn't use base-lighting technology. "Billie Jean" came out more than 25 years ago, guys.
Be careful what you do, Jackson said, because a lie becomes the truth. If we can't have cyborg umpire overlords with robot hawk laser vision, and if TV networks can't provide us with definitive replay angles, then the next best thing is to make the bases light up like in "Billie Jean." Don't go around breakin' Mets fans, hearts, MLB. Implement this tomorrow. It'll make it a better game. And the bases will light up!
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- Andres Torres