Clarity has been given a bad rap the past week.
It all started last Friday night after returning from a high school football game.
Knew the Atlanta Braves' season had come to an end after losing 6-3 in a wild-card playoff game with St. Louis and also aware of a delay which interrupted the bottom of the eighth inning for 19 minutes. Not exactly sure why. Just assumed inclement weather arrived in Atlanta.
After Friday's newspaper deadline, I checked e-mails and on one internet site noticed a headline prompting a quick look at a video replay of an infield fly called by umpire Sam Holbrook stationed along the foul line in shallow left field.
Once he recognized Cardinal shortstop Pete Kozma raising his arms in the air as if to signify his confidence of catching the fly ball, Holbrook ruled an infield fly even though the fielder was well beyond the infield dirt.
In fact, Matt Holliday in left field was in better position to make the play as the ball fell to the grass between the two fielders. Instead of having bases loaded with one out, Atlanta batter Andrelton Simmons was called out.
Chaos ensued as Braves fans began throwing every piece of trash imaginable onto the playing surface. As a Braves fan, I agreed with their disgust. On the drive home, I felt cheated.
It wasn't the one-and-done format that bothered me. I understood the penalty for not winning the division, but to see what I thought was a blown call was another story.
To borrow a phrase from football referees, "after further review," the proper call was made. However, I don't agree with the interpretation of the rule.
If an infielder really wanted to make his case, he could sprint to the outfield warning track with his arms raised signifying he is camped under a fly ball and that would warrant an infield fly. A modification of the rule is in order.
Clarity also stood on shaky ground at Tuesday's Wood County Middle School Tennis Championships at City Park.
Middle school athletic director Bill Vincent figured he was making the right call in case Jackson and Marietta finished in a tie atop the girls team standings. If one developed, he would declare them co-champs.
Guess what, it happened. Several discussions transpired over the course of the next 10 to 15 minutes. Some civil, some not-so-civil. During the awards ceremony, two grown adult males nearly engaged in a physical altercation.
Fortunately, level heads prevailed as the head coaches from the two programs involved mutually decided to issue the first-place plaque to Marietta and runner-up honors to Jackson.
Upon returning to the office, I learned all middle school sports in West Virginia are governed by the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, and their protocol for breaking a tiebreaker for tournaments similar to yesterday's middle school format have the number of individual champions as the first criteria. Marietta won four titles, compared to Jackson's three. Now that's clarity.