As baseball locked in a new CBA that will keep the players and owners at peace for the next few years, they have finally opened up to the possibility of expanded instant replay.
While nothing has been finalized yet, there are discussions about using instant replay on trapped ball and fair foul calls.
While Commissioner Bud Selig seems to finally be entering the 21stcentury as the MLB has been behind every other major sports league in its use of replay, and while changes are typically slow to come, it’s still ridiculous that the MLB is so far behind.
There’s no question that replay could help the game. People still talk about Joe Mauer’s “foul” ball against the Yankees in the playoffs and as replays on homeruns have shown, the umps aren’t always right.
But even if the MLB institutes it for these calls, why not be able to replay out/safe calls on the bases; that would have granted a well-earned perfect game to Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga after Jim Joyce made a call that was worthy of placing him on the Three Blind Mice squad.
Although every type of play shouldn’t be reviewed, the NFL has already shown that a challenge system can be effective and then it’s on the coaches as much as anyone to make the calls.
Even within baseball, there is split support.
Giant’s player Aubrey Huff said, “We make mistakes, they make mistakes. You’re talking big home runs, that’s one thing. You’re talking out or safe at home, then why have umpires?”
He went on to say:
“Let the cameras make the calls. It’s just stupid”
Perhaps Huff is just remembering that the Giants might not win the 2010 World Series if not for an obviously blown out/safe call when Buster Posey stole second in the NLDS.
And it’s not just World Series history that could change, I’m sure that Galarraga would like to have his perfect game. A simple solution (like coaches challenges on anything but ball/strike calls) could fix that.
The MLB is making progress, and fair/foul calls would definitely be an improvement over the old system, but as we move forward it’s ridiculous that in the high stakes MLB, a simple blown call can cause so much havoc when it doesn’t have to.
Are you listening Mr. Selig?
Used with permission of the author.
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