One other lost piece of business from a lost weekend -- what the...heck is the deal with Major League Baseball and its much-ballyhooed instant replay system for disputed home run calls? It seemed like a good idea -- too many replays on too many kinds of calls would slow up and possibly destroy the game, but screwed up home run calls can ruin a season, as the 2006 Phillies learned the hard way. These kind of things only happen a couple times a week in all of baseball, if that often.
So Friday Greg Dobbs hits one straight over the top of the pole (maybe that should be, um, taller?) at Citizens Bank Park in what would have been a game-winner for the Phillies in the 11th inning against the (now) hated Red Sox. The ump called it foul, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel cried "fair," and then they should have sent it to MLB HQ for the review, but...the ump simply said, "Nah, it was foul."
Isn't that the whole point of a review, to overrule the umpire? Shouldn't the manager get the decision on lodging an appeal -- just like it's the coach's red flag in pro football -- and then if the manager's wrong, there can be some kind of penalty? Because what happened on Friday was mindboggling, and it may have cost the Phillies a critical game in the standing.
That said, you have to like the way the regular season is playing out so far. The rest of the National League East, including the injury and error-plagued Mets, appears weak enough that the Phillies might not have to break much of a sweat to win the division. And if that's the case. they can focus on gearing up for October -- getting 2009 laggards like Brad Lidge, Jimmy Rollins and Greg Dobbs into the right physical and mental shape, finding a No. 2 starter and a right-handed bat at the July trading deadline, etc. The best way to atone for 25 years in the sports wilderness is a bona fide dynasty, which may be what we have here.