If I have learned one thing during this first week of baseball’s implementation of instant replay, it is that I am an old soul when it comes to being a baseball fan. I say that with no pretension intended: in fact, I wish this weren’t the case. I don’t want to be the old guy who walked uphill both ways to school, or played stick ball in the streets of Brooklyn with the voices of Vince Scully, Mel Allen, and Red Barber reverberating in the background. I don’t want to be the guy who thinks pitchers are pussies because they are pampered and no longer throw 350 pitches in a day-night doubleheader in the middle of a downpour. And I really don’t want to be the guy who thinks technology is bringing the game down. I want to be a baseball fan that loves baseball, old and new.

But this replay shit is killing me, and I’ve only watched three baseball games from start to finish in 2014. All of them were Indians games. The first play that was reviewed in the Indians-A’s series did not come from a “coach’s challenge,” because the play was not eligible to be challenged. Instead, Terry Francona convinced the umpires that they needed to waste three minutes of our day by reviewing whether the A’s catcher had unfairly blocked the plate despite not yet having possession of the ball. It was a dubious claim that Tito was making, but goddammit, those umpires did not want to be wrong. So they reviewed the play, and, wouldn’t you know it, it wasn’t even close — they were right. They got their affirmation, Tito got his, and we all got to go home and look in the mirror while we masturbated to our self-affirming thoughts.

And though many of those assholes who were standing on soap boxes last year, preaching the virtues of instant replay, assured us that replay would eliminate the long, on-field discussions between manager and umpire, and thus, counter-intuitively speed up baseball games, it has now been made abundantly clear that this is not going to be the case. Terry Francona and Mike Winters had prolonged discussions both before and after the inevitable verdict was beamed in from New York: “the umpires were right the first time.” And Tito still hadn’t used his challenge. Perfect.

After Tuesday night’s game was rained out — rain outs are also not eligible to be reviewed, as it turns out — the Indians and A’s were back at it on Wednesday. Indians’ starter Corey Kluber was getting absolutely Klobbered by the A’s lineup when Josh Donaldson hit a routine groundball to Carlos Santana at third base. Derek Norris made a bad read and broke from third, and Santana threw him out at the plate. OR DID HE?! Only the eight Replay Gods, in a lower Manhattan office, operating a spaceship that doubles as the MLB Instant Replay Booth, could possibly know the answer. So Bob Melvin came running out onto the field and challenged the call. Five minutes later (literally, five minutes later) we had our conclusion: IT WAS INCONCLUSIVE! Play stands as called, because umpires are super good at their jobs (as it turns out).

And later that night, the Indians and A’s were at it again in the nightcap of their doubleheader, and Mike “Fuck That Shit” Aviles (I love Mike Aviles and picture him working that phrase into every other sentence) was being thrown out trying to steal second base. He was out by a mile. The only problem was that Nick Punto never tagged him, as displayed by all of the replays we enjoyed then and now:

I actually have a problem with this play being reviewed. Sure, as an Indians fan, I’m glad they reversed the call. As an Indians fan, I’m glad replay existed so that we didn’t have to watch Mike Aviles get ejected for yelling “Fuck That Shit” at the top of his lungs for several minutes — you can even see a moment in that video where Aviles realizes, “wait a second, we can challenge this! I don’t have to scream at this dude.” And all that is great. But Aviles was out. The throw beat him, the tag was there, he was out. I know this sounds stupid, as you probably just watched the same replay I did and saw that he never got tagged, but how different is a tag play from a “neighborhood” play? And I know, where you draw the line is far too subjective — you can’t just say, “close enough” to every tag play. But would Aviles having been out really have changed our lives for the worse? As baseball fans? As human beings? Also, why did this play take two minutes to be reviewed? Every time somebody talks about replay they remind us that the replay officials are looking at every play as soon as it happens. So our trusted replay officials needed to look at this play more than once to realize he was never tagged? If it was going to be reviewed at all, it could have taken twenty seconds to review and overturn. It took two minutes.

And then, last night, a bigger flaw in the new replay system was exposed by A’s manager Bob Melvin. The A’s had moved on to their series with the Seattle Mariners. Sam Fuld hit a scorching line drive to center field and Abraham Almonte played it as bad as a centerfielder could play it, letting it bounce under his half-assed attempt at diving to catch it and all the way to the wall. Fuld circled the bases, went for the inside-the-park-homer, and came up about ten feet short. He was tagged out. It wasn’t close. But Bob Melvin had a challenge to burn. So, why not, he must have figured.

This play might have been a little closer than my initial “out by ten feet” assessment, but I have yet to see a replay that made me think anything but “he was definitely out.” And the MLB’s bravest and finest Replay Men looked at this replay for five minutes, only to conclude, once again, that umpires are really good at their jobs.

I have accepted that replay was an inevitability. I really have. And at some point it will help the Indians win a game — though, it will likely cause them future losses as well. And it will help all of us sleep better at night — umpires, players, coaches, and fans. As everybody knows, we sleep better when the moral fabric of the earth is sewn so tightly that no bullshit from the abyss is able to cut into it, infecting the minds of children everywhere. I just know I’m going to miss a lot of that bullshit.

Sorry kids, but I guess I’m the old guy now, preaching about the days before replay. Those really were the good ole days.