Instant replay expanded by MLB

I honestly wasn’t sure this day would ever come, but it’s now here. A full and detailed instant replay program will now be part of Major League Baseball games, starting with the 2014 season. All 30 MLB owners voted unanimously to approve it and the MLB Players Association and umpires’ union is also on board.

In one sense, I will miss the human element to games and the variations of outcomes you might get from game-to-game. On the other hand, it’s great that plays can be viewed and corrected. At the end of the day, the calls will be right and that’s fair to everybody. It should eliminate controversies such as Armando Gallaraga’s missed perfect game that sparked the increased cries for a better system.

As for the time delays reviews might cause, having an umpire at the command center and direct communication with the ballpark should speed the process. Is it likely to perfect? No. Will there be bumps along the way, especially in the beginning? Yes. But replay is here and I’m suspecting most fans and players will be pleased.

Click here for the MLB.com story on replay expansion being approved.

The following play types will be subject to review:
• Home run
• Ground rule double
• Fan interference
• Stadium boundary calls (e.g., fielder into stands, ball into stands triggering dead ball)
• Force play (except the fielder’s touching of second base on a double play)
• Tag play (including steals and pickoffs)
• Fair/foul in outfield only
• Trap play in outfield only
• Batter hit by pitch
• Timing play (whether a runner scores before a third out)
• Touching a base (requires appeal)
• Passing runners
• Record keeping (Ball-strike count to a batter, outs, score, and substitutions)

3 Comments

Why not the base tag on a double play??????Man may belong on 2nd a single
leads to a run — out come of the game is directly affected—–umps are not perfect!!!!!

No, not at all.

I chose “not sure” because I’m hopeful that replay won’t be as bad as I’m afraid that it might be. I’d be more interested to see an automated ball/strike-calling system put in place. If such a system could be proven completely accurate (and I think that’s very doable with current technology), then it would change the game for the better. Haven’t they experimented with something like this in the Minors or Winter leagues or something? To me, it’s frustrating that the BEST pitch (barely catches the plate before moving out of the zone) is the one that’s most likely to be called a ball. It doesn’t seem fair at all.Think about it – no more “he’s been wild for the last two innings, so he’s unlikely to get those calls on the edge” or “this ump has been calling the high strike all game” nonsense. No egos, reputations, or “the way he looked at the ump after the last call” to consider. It’s a ball or it’s a strike. Nothing to argue.
It might change the game TOO much! Ball/strike calls have a lot more impact on correctly determining a game’s winners and losers than the calls that will be reviewed by the system that’s going to be implemented. I’m afraid that all this is going to do is slow down the game and suck any excitement out of close plays. Rather than following the football model of instant replay (which just adds more time for commercials), I think baseball should look more closely at tennis, where the game has been improved by technology that can see a fast-moving ball much better than any human.

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