That's Debatable: Chat with Jayson Stark

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Welcome to The Show! On Monday, ESPN.com senior MLB writer Jayson Stark will drop by at 1 p.m. ET for another installment of "That's Debatable," a weekly feature in which we break down a hot topic you have suggested.

Monday's topic, courtesy of Brian in Philadelphia:
Major League Baseball needs to allow for the review of controversial calls made by umpires. It's the 21st century. There's this new thing called instant replay that could help them review the calls that the umps messed up.

Jayson Stark: The Cubs' Mark DeRosa hit a baseball Sunday that curled around the wrong side of the foul pole. Every occupant of this planet who saw the replay knows that.

The bad news for the team he hit it against, the Phillies, is that the umpire who called that ball fair, Adrian Johnson, wasn't among the earthlings who got to look at that replay.

So is it time for baseball to point its umpires toward the nearest replay machine? Let that debate begin.

THE CASE FOR: Sheez, shouldn't this sport be embarrassed to get calls that basic so wrong? It would have taken those umpires less time to watch the replay than it took for them to huddle, then STILL get it wrong and then have to stand around listening to Phillies manager Charlie Manuel rant and rave about it.

THE CASE AGAINST: Bud Selig says he wouldn't want to do anything to tarnish the sacred ''human element'' that has prevailed in the umpiring business since long before replay machines, and even light bulbs, were invented. So ostensibly, introducing technology would destroy the ''charm'' of the game. Or something like that.

THE VERDICT: You've got to be kidding. As the reader who inspired this debate, Brian of Philadephia, points out, it's the 21st century. So it's about time baseball charged into the 20th century and turned on those replay monitors. Tell Bud Selig I'm 100 percent in favor of humans. But I'm more in favor of getting calls right -- especially calls like this one, which will hang over two division races all year.

Nevertheless, feel free to disagree. That's what ''That's Debatable'' is all about.


Every week, we'll give you the topic and then we'll have one of our writers stopping by to debate the issue with you. To suggest a topic for "That's Debatable," go here. Or check out the full archive.

Stark Archive: Chats | Columns

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