Friday, August 16, 2013

What Does Joe Torre Have Against Baseball?

First he almost single-handedly ruined the All-Star game. Now he helps come up with this dopey replay system. I don’t understand it.

Really, I have one main complaint with the proposed use of replay.

Why does getting the call right have to be a managerial tactic?

Why do we need to “challenge” a call in order to get it reviewed? Why do we make the manager decide whether or not this is going to be the worst call against him?

Teams get to challenge one play per game prior to the seventh inning. So, let’s say it’s the bottom of the first with two outs, and there’s a close play at first. It’s fairly clear that the batter was called out when he should have been safe. Does the manager challenge? If he does, and is wrong, he can’t challenge another call until the seventh inning. What if in the third inning with the bases loaded and two outs, the ump completely blows the call at first and robs them of a run? The manager better save his challenge in case that happens. So, even with the ability to make the right call on that play in the first, the wrong call will stand because the manager didn’t want to risk it. Why would we still allow that to happen?

According to MLB, these reviews should take around a minute. Can’t we decide most wrong calls long before that? If there’s a bad call in a game, doesn’t the replay on TV expose it before the guy gets back to the dugout? Why do we need to go through the process? A team’s going to have a guy in the clubhouse, now, watching all the replays, right? And the manager isn’t going to challenge unless his guy already knows he’ll win right? So, why have the challenge system? Just have someone making the correct call right off the bat. Just have the guy in NY watching the game and correcting the calls as he sees them. Just buzz the ump, and say hold on…reverse that call. Aren’t we looking at 10-20 seconds to get that done? In other words, well before the next pitch is thrown? And, nobody is getting hosed because they already used their challenge, or are saving their challenge. The correct calls are just being made. How is that hard?

It’s also weird that there will be more challenges allowed after the sixth inning than there are before the sixth. Do umps get sloppy as the game progresses? Does MLB think a run in the third inning is less important than a run in the eighth inning?

Not every play will be reviewable either. The rationale given was that overturning something like a HBP could be too difficult when it comes to reconstructing the inning. But, a manager is welcome to argue plays that aren’t reviewable. (They can’t argue a reviewable play, other than issuing a challenge.) So, an umpire can overturn a HBP because of a manager’s argument, but not because of replay? Or is MLB admitting that there’s no way a manager will change an umpire’s mind?

Obviously I’m thrilled that MLB is finally expanding replay. I love the fact that more correct calls will be made. It’s possible that nobody will ever need more than the one challenge. It could all work great.

But, why does it have to be so difficult?

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