Major League Baseball should be ashamed. It’s their fault that the first ever no-hitter in Mets history comes with controversy, and it’s their fault Mike Baxter is out for six weeks with dislocations and cracked ribs. How so? Well, the stubbornness behind not wanting to change and implement instant replay for more than home runs resulted in both the questionable no-hitter and Baxter’s injury.
It wasn’t until the Mets 8,020th game that they finally registered their first ever no-hitter. Yes, it was nerve racking to watch, and it couldn’t have come to a better pitcher: Johan Santana. His gutsy performance and the excitement of the night can be caught in Scott Engel’s piece. However, it was actually a one-hitter, and Santana would have never finished that game.
Carlos Beltran clearly smacked a ball down the third base line for a hit, but the umpire ruled it foul. End of story. With baseball not using instant replay for such calls, the hit went down as a foul, and no other St. Louis player came that close again, including Beltran. Forget the fact that there was a clear ball mark in the chalk; instant replay could have settled this in mere seconds. Later in the game, Mike Baxter made the catch of the night, slamming into the outfield wall to preserve the no-hitter. Gutsy – actually, amazing – play, but Baxter would have never injured himself if not for trying to keep the no-hitter in tact.
Not using instant replay in baseball is ignorant, and arguing it would take away from the spirit of baseball is antiquated thinking. Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it’s better than improve practices. Or, would you rather still use candlelight in your home?
Bud Selig and MLB have kept instant replay out of baseball long enough, and now it has created a controversy alongside the first ever Mets no-hitter… for the rest of time. It’s sad that Johan and the Mets have their memorable night cheapened, but it all could have been avoided… if baseball would stop living in the dark ages.