Replay Review: What Would Umpires Do If Nothing Happened?

Brian Kersey - Getty Images

If baseball ever does institute replay review, how would the review officials handle a play where a play called on the field revealed... nothing happened?

We were promised more replay review in 2012. No, seriously, we were: I wrote about it right here at Baseball Nation last November. This Ken Rosenthal tweet was part of my article:

New CBA will expand instant replay to include fair/foul and "trapped" ball plays, subject to discussions between #MLB and umpires.

They weren't going to include safe/out calls, but even fair/foul and trapped/caught would have been a good start. Instead, we got... nothing. The issue was shelved until 2013. But some baseball people are still calling for it; Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said it should just be done now, after his team lost a game last weekend in Milwaukee on a disputed call:

"Let's just expand it to the point where if it ends a game," Mattingly said. "A game-ending play. Let's say a double-play ball that you say, 'Hey, that's the end of the game, you called him out, I thought he was safe.' It seems like that could be a play (subject to review)."

The Tigers also lost an extra-inning game Sunday when Bill Welke didn't see Alberto Gonzalez's bunt hit him in the knee -- which would have made it a foul ball; instead, it went for a single, scoring the eventual winning run.

The plays described above are relatively easy to review. Either the winning run scored or it didn't; either the ball hit the batter or it didn't.

What if, though, you were a replay review official and you were presented with this play, which happened in Tuesday night's Cubs/Cardinals game:

The Cubs' David DeJesus was trying to score on a fly ball to right field. As you can see, he never touched the plate. But Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina never tagged him, either. Plate umpire Chris Conroy called him safe. DeJesus got up and began heading toward the Cubs' dugout; Molina got up and started barking at Conroy. While this was going on, DeJesus casually went back and touched the plate.

We don't have replay review. What if it had been in force Tuesday night? What call would you have made? Safe? Out? Make the runner go back to third base? Vote in the poll.

Funny thing, too. Watching this play from left field Tuesday night was Matt Holliday, who was involved in a similar play in a much more important game in 2007. I suppose David DeJesus will never get to make a commercial like this:

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