Denkinger is living a quiet, peaceful retirement these days, playing golf in the Arizona sun. But just like any former major league umpire, he still follows the game. And as one, in particular, whose career was defined by a bad call - the one that changed the 1985 World Series - Denkinger has an unwavering opinion about instant replay: Its time has come.
"I'm in favor of getting all the calls correct, whatever it takes," he said by telephone Wednesday. "I don't see how [commissioner Bud Selig] can get away with not [introducing instant replay]. It makes no sense not to. There's nothing better than getting every call right."
What is it going to take to get wider use of instant replay? The technology is there. My motto on the subject is 'the Right Call is paramount.' Here's the system I propose:
An umpire sits up in the press box or umpire's room. When there's a close play (out/safe, fair/foul) that the crew chief feels deserves a review, he calls to the 'press box ump.' And if that ump can't definitively tell if the call was wrong (viewing video replays) within 60 seconds, the call on the field stands.
This is better than giving reviews to managers like in football because they could use them to manipulate the game, e.g. a pitcher is cruising and the opposing manager wants to get him off his rhythm so he decides to challenge a play just to disrupt him.