Remember when athletes and smart people were supposed to be at odds with each other (assuming, of course, that no smart people are athletes, and vice versa)? You know, basically the premise for all those "Revenge of the Nerds" movies?
Well, those days (if they ever really existed) are gone, as evidenced by Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon's statement Wednesday night that Major League Baseball needs "a bunch of nerds" to fix its replay review system.
The Cubs lost to the Dodgers, 5-2, after a video review upheld second base umpire Jordan Baker's call that Chris Denorfia was out at second after a perfect throw by Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke to end the game.
Maddon said he saw at least one replay on a big screen at Wrigley Field that showed that Denorfia was safe.
“I just think it really screams for an independent group back there to really research the video as opposed to working umpires who are on the field,” said Maddon, who just so happens to wear big, thick glasses, not unlike your stereotypical nerd.
“I think you should get just a bunch of nerds back there who know how to look at a videotape and then come to a conclusion. I think it'll be much more interesting that way.”
Maddon's biggest complaint from Wednesday's game seems to be that the call was simply upheld rather than confirmed, meaning that it was determined there wasn't enough video evidence to overturn the call on the field.
“I cannot believe the conclusion,” Maddon said. “I mean, even as a fan standing in the dugout at that particular moment, I wish that whomever made that call could have been at Wrigley Field and looked at our big screen if they wanted to see something definitive. To say there was nothing definitive right there, I cannot disagree with more strongly. I have no idea why they would say that. It makes zero sense to me whatsoever. I'm just being honest, folks. It made no sense.
“The play stands? If it was confirmed, I could almost live with that. To say it stands is not a really cool way to go in that particular moment with the game on the line. It was obvious from that one shot that he was absolutely safe. No questions asked. That might be the worst non-overturn I've seen to this point.”