Thursday, September 16, 2010

Derek Jeter Hit By Pitch, Fair or Foul?

The events of last night have the sports world in an uproar.

Derek Jeter took an inside pitch that seemed to hit him near the hand or wrist. In a big show of pain he hopped around and was awarded first base. The problem? The ball never hit him, it hit the end of his bat. Technically this was a foul ball and a strike and Jeter should have continued his at bat, but instead he was on first base when the next batter hit a home run giving the Yankee's a lead.

This situation raised two questions: Should baseball expand instant replay and did Derek Jeter cheat?

Baseball is a game of statistics and history. This is why there is so much resistance to adding and expanding instant replay. The historical side says mistakes have always been part of the game and technology removed the charm of the human element. They say it will slow down the game. They say that it will be overused. They say it will take away from the umpire's authority.

The replay supporters say that the fans want to see the correct calls. The players deserve to have the came called accurately. They say it would take less time than manager arguments. They say that technology is to the point where it would be noninvasive.

I would not mind seeing more replay, provided it was done correctly. No replay on balls and strikes, and stop making the umps go watch a video. Have an ump in a booth watching the game and on close plays where the on field ump gets it wrong he radio's down the correct call.

Easy right?

Now what about is Derek Jeter a cheater. The answer is I don't know. But I have no problem with what he did. I think that is the difference between gamesmanship and cheating. In my opinion cheating is using something outside of the game to get an advantage in the game. Examples include HGH, steroids, corked bats, foreign substances on the ball, using video cameras to steal signals, etc. Gamesmanship is using the rules or situations of a game to an advantage in the game. Faking getting hit by the ball is not cheating, it is just smart play.

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