Questions in Baseball Over Unintended Consequence of Instant Replay
NYTimes.com reports that Terrance Gore may be the fastest runner in baseball, a pint-size blur whose legs have not met their match in any catcher’s arm, pitcher’s quick move or manager’s shrewd call for a pitchout.
Or even the eagle eye of an umpire.
The only thing fast enough to catch Gore is a super-slow-motion replay camera.
Gore, the Kansas City Royals’ pinch-running specialist, had never been caught stealing in the major leagues until he arrived safely ahead of a throw to third base in Game 4 of his team’s American League division series last Monday.
As Houston Astros third baseman Luis Valbuena, who placed his foot in front of the bag in an attempt to block Gore’s path, slapped a tag on him, Valbuena held his glove to Gore’s thigh as if it were a cold compress, even as the third-base umpire, Lance Barksdale, ruled Gore safe.
But Gore’s 13th career stolen base was fleeting.
Astros Manager A. J. Hinch, alerted by a coach who monitors television replays in the clubhouse that Gore’s foot might have left the bag for a fraction of a second, challenged the call.