By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Everybody’s happy on Opening Day. The grass is green, the sky is blue, and the crack of the bat and the pop of the mitt is a reminder that hope springs eternal, life blooms anew, and all is right in the world.READ MORE: Boston Bullies: Celtics' 31-3 Run Ends Nuggets' Win Streak
But then a long, boring, painful instant replay review takes place for no real reason. And we’re reminded again that everything stinks.
OK, that may be overstating things a bit on both accounts, but nevertheless, the Red Sox (and their fans) couldn’t even get a full inning into their season before having to deal with a review that not only took forever, that not only was not in line with the spirit of the rules, but also ultimately went against them. And that was after waiting an extra day for the season to begin, after Opening Day was postponed due to rain that never actually fell from the sky.
It all wasn’t great.
The play involved Kiké Hernandez, who led off the bottom of the first with an opposite-field single. Later in the inning, with one out, John Means threw harmlessly to first base for a check on Hernandez, who got back to the bag with ease. But Hernandez’s foot slipped off the base, causing a minor ankle roll and a bit of a stumble. But it appeared to be a no harm, no foul situation.READ MORE: J.D. Martinez Comes Off COVID list, Hits 3 HRs As Red Sox Top O's
That was, until crew chief Joe West began sauntering toward the third base dugout to review the play.
The NESN broadcast showed multiple angles, none of which explicitly showed a tag being applied during the brief moment when Hernandez’s foot was not touching the base. Alas, the longer the review went, the more it seemed as though the MLB powers that be were steadfastly poring over every single frame from every single shot to find a split-second tag.
Lo and behold, they found it. It seemed like Hernandez’s hand smacked into Trey Mancini’s glove during his foot’s brief absence from the base. And after a long delay (NESN said it took two minutes and 32 seconds), West pointed to first base and signaled that Hernandez was out.
It was … extremely boring. And pretty lame? And it was certainly not what anybody tuned in to see.
Nevertheless, that is the replay system that governs sports these days: frame-by-frame overanalysis, for the sake of “getting it right.” Occasionally, it saves the on-field officials, referees and umpires from ruining games with bad calls. But most of the time, the replay system itself causes much more damage than it helps. And until someone — ANYONE! — can force sports leagues to figure out a more common-sense way to approach replay review, we’re sure to get a million more of these moments.MORE NEWS: Red Sox Extend Win Streak To 5, Beat Orioles 6-4 in 10