Friday, January 17, 2014

Play it Again!

Major League baseball officially adopted expanded instant replay. As you can imagine (since I’ve said it
many times before) I’m all for it. I can’t think of any case in life where being wrong is better than being right. Can you?

That being said, I HATE the fact that coaches need to issue a challenge. Why does correct application of the rules need to be a coaching decision? Tony La Russa and Joe Torre, who were on the committee, hinted that it’s just like any other managerial decision. When to use that challenge is just like when to use a pinch hitter. But, we’re talking about the rules. It’s a coaching decision to decide when the rules should actually be the rules?

“Whoops, the umps just gave the other team an extra out. But, the bases are still empty. Do I challenge that, and run the risk of having them screw me even worse next inning? Or do I get them to make the correct call and hope they don’t do it again.”

Why can’t we just agree that if the umps make a terrible call, it should just be fixed? Dealing with bad calls shouldn’t be a strategy. Bill Belichick shouldn’t have needed to save a timeout, just in case the refs hosed him on a fourth and two call. The wrong call should just have been fixed. Can’t we learn from that?

The other part of the ruling from MLB is that teams will be able to show replays of every play on the scoreboard. While this is interesting, I’m not sure it’s the “big” change it’s being made out to be. I don’t get the feeling that I was missing anything by not having those plays shown. Sometimes they’d show the start of a play, and you knew they’d cut out before the end because it was a close play. I didn’t get too worked up by it. It was just the way it was. It’s not going to make me go to any more games because of it. I’m not sure that making being at the park more like watching the game on tv should be the goal. It’s different being there. That’s understood. Otherwise I’d be watching the game in a movie theater.

Even with the many faults, I’m glad to see this step in the right direction. Hopefully with not too much time, they’ll refine this process so we can get all the wrong calls out of the way.

Until then, this is a great start.


  1. I listened to Bob Brenly harp about this for several years on Cubs broadcasts and always agreed. It's long overdue. MLB seems flexible about making changes in the future so I say let's see how it goes. Whats a few more minutes added to a three hour game. I'd rather have a key call made right. The so-called "human element" should be the perfomance of the players not the umps.

  2. Completely agree. Never understood the "human element argument. Why is being wrong a part of the game I want to preserve?


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