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Throw the flag on MLB's lack of replay!

Despite one of the biggest blown calls in baseball history -- which cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game on Wednesday -- getting expanded replay isn't a layup.

In fact, when Mets' manager Jerry Manuel on Friday was asked about a proposal to give each manager a red flag and allow them to challenge one play in every game, he was cold on the idea.

"No, I wouldn't agree with that," Manuel said. "The umpires, as a whole, do a good job.

"They are very conscious of that, they are conscious that they are part of it. That human element in the game that makes it what it is. Probably the greatest beauty of our game is that the human element is involved in such a degree it can sway it one way or the other. So I'm not in favor of a flag."

Manuel isn't alone. Other managers have said the same thing since the blown call outrage, including Tigers' manager Jim Leyland. But Commissioner Bud Selig, in response to the controversy, said he would look at expanded replay and better umpiring.

If Major League Baseball does come around -- we can only hope -- it needs to adopt Joe Dumars' approach to being a general manager.

Dumars, the Detroit Pistons' GM, has a simple credo: it's not about being right, it's about getting it right.

That's why MLB has to start using expanded replay as soon as they can figure it out. Wednesday wasn't the first time in recent history umpires have made terrible calls -- and could have been saved by a simple replay.

New Yorkers know it oh so well.

Game 4 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Angels in Anaheim this past October was proof positive why the umpires need help -- badly.

There were three missed calls by umpires. All three, on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the worst, were 10s. Video replays could have corrected them all in quick fashion.

In this day and age, it's silly for the fans in the stadium watching the video board and the fans at home watching TV to know the wrong call was made. Yet, the umpire's call has to stand even though everybody knows it was wrong.

The worst call of the bunch that night came when umpire Tim McClelland, who already botched a play earlier, blew another obvious call with one out in the fifth inning. After a comebacker to the mound, Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano were both caught in a rundown and both wound up at third base.

Neither Yankee was standing on the base when catcher Mike Napoli tagged each one of them. It should have been a double play ending the inning. Instead, McClelland assumed Cano's foot was on the base, calling him safe and Posada out. It was clear, when you saw the replay that Cano's foot wasn't on the base when he was tagged.

"Umpires are human. They make mistakes sometimes," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said to the media then. "Umpires are trying their best.

"Sometimes you get calls and sometimes you don't. I don't think it had any effect on this game."

Jeter is correct on both fronts. But that doesn't mean change still shouldn't take place.

And this is not making a mountain out of a molehill. Aside from that disastrous night for the umpires, there have been a number of missed calls this past postseason. There was a missed foul ball in the Phillies-Rockies series. There were some bad calls at first base in the Red Sox-Angels series. And there was a clear fair ball that was called against Joe Mauer in the Twins-Yankees series.

Most are all for the human element. The late, great Mets announcer Bob Murphy used to always say when a miscue was made, "that's why they put erasers on pencils -- because people make mistakes."

It would be one thing if there wasn't the technology. But most at home are watching on 42-inch HD TVs and can see the correct call as clear as day. If the fans at home can see it, why shouldn't the umpire?

No one wants every call reviewed -- like the second base in the neighborhood play or a pickoff throw to first base. For sure, no one wants to sit through a six-hour game. But on obviously wrong calls, replay should be used.

And to speed the process up, baseball should adopt a different way to get it right than the NFL. Forget the idea of the manager having to request a challenge of a call.

There should be an extra umpire in the press box, sitting right next to the official scorer. If there is a play in question, the umpire can simply watch the replay like everybody at home and talk to the crew chief via a wireless device and tell him to correct the call on the field.

The crew chief stops play and corrects the blown call. Fans won't mind the reversal if it means getting the play called correctly. And we're talking about obvious plays -- as was the case Wednesday night in Detroit.

Baseball shouldn't turn its head from this because it didn't cost a team a game. It should always be about getting it right. Period.

Rob Parker is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com

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