Stan on baseball, guns, and O’Reilly

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I’ve been a baseball fan all my life and at my age, all my life is a loooong time. Ever since television started showing us instant replays in all the major sports, many of us have been in favor of using it as a tool for accuracy in America’s pastime.

Several years ago the technology was introduced for judging questionable home runs. Then it began being used in other safe or out and fair or foul calls. Until now, the umpires have been dead-set against using instant replays, and we can understand why: who would want to incorporate new rules that were able to prove them wrong? Instead they boasted their 99 percent plus accuracy rate. So why not aim for 100 percent? They also told us how stopping the game to look at replays would slow up an already slow and sometimes boring sport.


Before the use of the replay, whenever there was a questionable call, a manager would run out on the field, swinging his arms and shouting at the top of his lungs how the ump’s judgment was wrong. That screaming commotion lasted five or even 10 minutes. It ended when the skipper used some very foul language causing the man in blue to put an end to the argument by tossing the irate manager out of the game. Another three minutes would be needed for cooling down before play would resume.

In the sixth inning of the season opener, Atlanta Braves manager used the new expanded replay system to challenge a particular play. The call was the very first call to be reversed under the new replay rules. The review that umpires predicted would last a long time took exactly 58 seconds. And they got it right.

You gotta love it.

• • •

The sad news of another recent shooting hitting the headlines has resurrected the wars between the pro-gun and anti-gun people. Instead of boring you by repeating my Smith and Wesson experience, I’ll just point to my favorite bumper sticker that reads “when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns!”

• • •

I was watching Bill O’Reilly on FOX the other night and — ooops — I just wrote two names that will raise the blood pressure of four of you who will take the time to write 10 letters with 10 different names. Shhh. Please don’t tell anyone, but we do know that there are some who write under different names to make it look like there are more of you who hate FOX than there actually are. That’s okay. Keep ’em coming. I really do not mind disagreements. I recall an editor once saying, “What do you care about what they say as long as they continue reading you.”

I am running out of my allotted space so I will leave it right there saying that I am one of the many millions who watch O’Reilly and have kept him number one for at least the past 12 years. To you FOX haters, keep writing. I am thanking you because you are keeping me employed.

Read Stan Gershbein's column every Monday on
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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