Blog Entry

Torre 'human element' is part of baseball

Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:18 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Joe Torre, MLB's vice president for baseball opperations, released his statement on the ending of Tuesday night's/Wednesday morning's Braves-Pirates game that ended on what appeared to be a missed call by home plate umpire Jerry Meals.

Here's Torre's statement:

“Unfortunately, it appears that the call was missed, as Jerry Meals acknowledged after the game.  Many swipe tags are not applied to the runner with solid contact, but the tag was applied and the game should have remained tied.  I have spoken with Jerry, who is a hard-working, respected umpire, and no one feels worse than him.  We know that this is not a product of a lack of effort. 

“Having been the beneficiary of calls like this and having been on the other end in my experience as a player and as a manager, I have felt that this has always been a part of our game.  As a member of the Commissioner’s Special Committee for On-Field Matters, I have heard many discussions on umpiring and technology over the past two years, including both the pros and the cons of expanding replay.  However, most in the game recognize that the human element always will be part of baseball and instant replay can never replace all judgment calls by umpires. Obviously, a play like this is going to spark a lot of conversation, and we will continue to consider all viewpoints in our ongoing discussions regarding officiating in baseball.

“We expect the best from our umpires, and an umpire would tell you he expects the best of himself.  We have to continue to strive for accuracy, consistency and professionalism day in and day out.”

I don't disagree with any of the words here -- but I do disagree with the sentiment. The sentiment is "stuff happens, deal with it." I will constantly harp thtat there are improvements that can be made and should be made to help umpires make the game better and more fair. To stand in the way of progress for the simple reason of tradition is myopic at best and lazy at worst.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 3:19 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 19, 2011 10:08 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Feb 6, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:35 pm

Torre 'human element' is part of baseball

Why not just institute a system like the NFL and give the Managers a challenge flag?  They can use it for any call (as determined by the league for what can be replayed) and if the challenge is upheld they get to use it a second time but that's it.  It's not like things like this happen all the time.  As a fan I would rather see a call made properly than to just chalk it up to "sh1t happens".  Yes, I realize this may be a slippery slope but something needs to be done to make the game better.  Of course in this particular case there's also the possibility that Hurdle would have already used his challenges (it being a 19-inning game and all) and this play would still have been blown.

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:23 am

Torre 'human element' is part of baseball

Want to make watching a game more boring? Add freaking instant replay. It's slow enough as it is, now you want add another game stopping delay? There are numerous missed calls throughout the game so stopping play to review each one is just ridiculous. You want to stop the missed calls? Fine the umps. That will put a stop to this issue real quick.

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:13 am

Torre 'human element' is part of baseball

I must agree with you vegasTexx, but to me they where so far away from the plate I'd just called him out. Plus he ran over the catcher getting to home plate. But it was close on slow motion it looks like he just sweep up and missed him. Next time I bet that catcher puts the smack down on the runner just to make sure theres no question.

Since: Feb 5, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:40 am

Torre 'human element' is part of baseball

That is part of the Game!  All in all, the umps do a good job.  You think not?, go and try it yourself......

Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:36 am

Torre 'human element' is part of baseball

Get over it. What has adding instant replay in the NFL or CF helped?? They still misinterpret the replay half the time--and its excrutiating waiting for the result as it is. Umps/refs suck. Its nothing new. Half these guys don't even know what the strike zone is. The game is long enough already. Just like politics--or any other business for that matter--until they get rid of the buddy system for hiring these guys, the poor calls will never change. 

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:20 am

Torre 'human element' is part of baseball

The catcher should have blocked the plate & made a decisive, two- handed tag. The runner would never had come close & WE WOULD NOT BE TALKING ABOUT THE "HUMAN ELEMENT". BAD FUNDAMENTALS!!!

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:15 am

No kidding -- 'human element' is part of baseball

When balls and strikes are called by I computer, I will quit watching baseball.  The Pirates have benefited from this phenomenon in the past, themselves; so to whine about it is simply ridiculous.  For the third time:  Move on, and get over it!

Since: Mar 16, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2011 9:46 am

Torre 'human element' is part of baseball

Not only does instant replay have to be expanded to confirm calls like this, but balls and strikes should be called electronically.  MLB is the only sport in which the rules change daily, depending on who is behind the plate.  Any organization based entirely on nepotism and cronyism, as is the umpires union, will not produce quality output.  Check out how many 2nd and 3rd (and soon to be 4th) generations of MLB umps are or have worked in the game.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or