Friday, October 7, 2016

Cal Ripken Was Right, Oddly Enough

Last night's ALDS Game 1 between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox featured a somewhat odd play. Cleveland's Lonnie Chisenhall slid into second base, beat the throw, and was called safe. The Red Sox challenged the play because they thought Chisenhall came off second base while Xander Bogaerts was still applying a tag. The play was overturned on review because the Red Sox were right -- Chisenhall popped off the base for a couple of seconds.

This led Ernie Johnson, TBS play-by-play man who is normally the guy sitting between Kenny Smith and Shaq, to discuss the role of replay in baseball (I can't find the video of this, unfortunately). He said that replay should not be used this situation because, in real time, the umpire could never have made the call that Chisenhall wasn't on the base. Ron Darling, Ernie's booth mate, agreed. But Cal Ripken, who plays the role of weird sideline reporter/color commentator, and says the most boring and obvious things all the time, vehemently disagreed. He said that runners should have to keep contact with the bag the entire way through, and that it was right for Chisenhall to be called out. They went back and forth for a surprising amount of time about this. MLB Network Radio even put out a Twitter poll asking which side people agreed with (Cal's side won 51% of 237 votes -- a tight one!).