Don Denkinger Feels Sorry for Jim Joyce, Supports Expanded Replay
So what does Denkinger think of this whole fiasco? The New York Post asked him and he expressed both support for Joyce, who at one point umpired on his crew, and for expanded instant replay in baseball.
"Maybe instant replay can clean things up," Denkinger told the Post, "If a play is missed, it can be corrected. I didn't feel that way in '85, but I feel that way now. We want everything to be called correctly. Unfortunately it isn't, because we're just human beings."
The comment about being a human being is one that stands out, especially because opponents of expanding replay in baseball often do so on the basis of the game needing to retain a "human element." The players, prone to both physical and mental errors, obviously provide the game with plenty of humanity. Should that extend to those who officiate the game being played? What does the umpires' humanity have to do with the players' ability to play baseball?
These are the important questions that baseball has to ask itself in the coming weeks, but the opinion of an umpire who publicly failed and was humiliated because of it is an important one. Umpires take their jobs very seriously and if umps and former umps are indicating they would welcome help, maybe it's time to listen to them.