The quickly dissipating furor over Jim Joyce’s boner of a lifetime has once again brought the issue of instant replay to the forefront of many baseball discussions, but the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman (above) sagely warns, “producers, directors and broadcasters who work in the YES and SNY broadcast booths are paid by the Yankees and Mets…would anyone be surprised if a crucial replay, one under ‘review’ that affected the outcome of a game, was suddenly ‘lost’ by a director or producer?”
For a moment forget about baseball – and baseball teams owning networks. In January, Lowell McDonald Jr., a veteran hockey producer for Fox SportsNet Pittsburgh, couldn’t “find” a replay for review that would have caused a shorthanded goal to be awarded to the Flyers in a game against the Penguins. McDonald was suspended for not providing the replay to NHL officials in a “timely” manner.
There are nights on baseball telecasts during which definitive angles on replays are missing. We would like to believe the best camera angle was simply not available. Is that the real reason? Or is it because the essential piece of video, determining if a runner is out or safe, grew legs and walked out of the production truck?
Imagine the ramifications, or at the least perceptions, if a “smoking gun” replay did not surface on YES or SNY with a MLB-ordered review system in place. Short of setting up their own independent “review” cameras in every ballpark across the major leagues, there is no way MLB suits could honestly explain a situation where a crucial replay, or telling replay angle, did not see the light of day.