You're as blind as a bat!

My favorite sport, baseball, has succumbed to the cries for replay. No longer can we enjoy the spectacle of a manger venting his anger at an umpire after a controversial call at home plate. "you're as blind as a bat" has been replaced with " I'm challenging your call, please call New York". If Pete Rose were playing today he would look like an ordinary base runner. No longer would catchers brace themselves for the inevitable collision as he barreled down the third base line. I must admit that I do not fully understand the new "replay" rule on plays at home plate. (Just for the record, I am not in favor of seeing a catcher maimed trying to protect the plate nor a runner risking a concussion in order to score a run.)

The entertaining tantrums of managers are being replaced with the endless. boring chatter of play by play announcers trying to explain the replay rules. Did I say boring? What is more boring than waiting for an "expert" in New York to rule on a challenged play in Los Angeles? Even the commercials eating up air time while he diddles with ten TV monitors are more interesting than listening to someone explain over and over again why the replay option makes the game safer (and slower).

I wouldn't be surprised if teams elect to hire a new coach. He must have a law degree and twenty years experience arguing before the Supreme Court. His title will be "Challenge Coach". The Challenge Coaches' primary function will be to keep the manager from making an ass of himself if he's pissed about the way the umpire ruled on a play at home plate .

 As for baseball fans, they should make a pilgrimage to a religious shrine of their choice, and pray to some Almighty that baseball not be allowed to go down the tubes because an umpire misses a call now and then or an athlete gets injured occasionally. A few extra prayers for the umpires who are slowly being replaced by a boob tube would be in order.

Of course the ultimate solution to make baseball safer for the players is to convince them that violence is not a replacement for baseball skills. Easier said than done? How about hefty fines (six figures) or even suspension? Of course, violence in baseball or any other spectator sport will never be eliminated. Violence is the American way. Look at our love affair with guns.

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