|Does this ball hit the pole? You decide|
When instant replay was implemented on August 28, 2008, MLB instructed its umpires to employ "clear and convincing evidence" as the standard in determining that a call was incorrect and should be reversed. A lack of evidence should result in the upholding of the call on the field.
Accordingly, after the BAL@NYY umpires invoked instant replay to rule on McLouth's drive off of Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, the final determination to uphold Culbreth's call was made by crew chief and left field umpire Brian Gorman, based on his judgment that "clear and convincing" evidence did not exist to suggest Culbreth's call had been made erroneously.
The question remains: fair or foul? Consult the poll located on the right sidebar to cast your vote. One UEFL'er has already stated:
I think the one angle that makes it appear that it nicked the pole was an optical illusion. They have shown another angle where you can see daylight the whole way past the pole.Fieldin Culbreth, meanwhile issued this statement: "I saw it go to the right of the pole," Culbreth said. "There is netting there and it didn't touch the netting. It did not change direction [indicating it grazed the pole]."
Instant replay has now been used five times in playoff baseball, resulting in two reversals (10/31/09, World Series, NYY@PHI, Alex Rodriguez hit reversed to a home run; 10/19/10, ALCS, TEX@NYY, Lance Berkman home run reversed to a foul ball) and three upheld calls (10/10/10, NLDS, PHI@CIN, Chasey Utley HR; 10/1/11, Cano; 10/12/12, McLouth).
Wrap: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees, American League Division Series (Game 5), 10/12/12
Video: McLouth's fly ball to deep right field and into the Stadium's second deck (live broadcast footage)
Video: Frame-by-frame replay of the angle referred to above (magnified)