Instant Replay in the MLB. There are two very distinct sides to the argument about instant replay being used in Major League Baseball. The younger technology driven generation makes a case for the use of instant replay standing on the platform that if we have the technology and ability to get a call correct why not use all the tools available to do so. The older more traditional generation of baseball fans argue that baseball has been played this way for years and that human error is part of the game.
Currently boundary home runs are the only play that can be reviewed. I want to discuss whether or not the MLB should expand the use of instant replay. (Ken Rosenthal). Many well known sports writers such as Mark Kiszla from the Denver Post, and Jim Caple from ESPN. com have made arguments to expand the use of instant replay in baseball and have gone so far as to point out every incorrect call in the 2009 post season they believe could have been corrected if the umpires were allowed to review a controversial play.
Many base ball writers and fans that discuss this subject on the internet believe that there are more and more “bad calls” in the league now than there has ever been before. Baseball enthusiast and traditionalist Jeremy Foster whom I interviewed about this subject said sports writers and fans only dispute the calls of umpires and believe there are more “bad calls” now because we can watch the disputed played over and over again with technology like digital video recorders and slow motion replay by the broadcasting network. Jeremy Foster) To reiterate that point an American League executive said “Umpires aren’t missing more calls, but the widespread use of technology just makes each mistake more obvious to the world” when surveyed about expanded use of replay in the MLB. (Jerry Crasnick) Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig was quoted by Ken Rosenthal, a senior baseball writer for FOXSports. com saying “I’m quite satisfied with the way things are. We need to do a little work, clean up some things. But do I think we need more replay? No.
Baseball is not the kind of game that can have interminable delays. ” And “I don’t really have any desire to increase the amount of replay — period. ” (Ken Rosenthal). Many people feel expanding instant replay will affect the length of the each game and interfere with the flow of the game. Baseball purists feel that a pitcher has an advantage because he controls the tempo of the game and instant replay will take this advantage away. I find it funny that some fans worry about replay causing delays in a game that does not have a clock that dictates exactly how long a game should be.
Mark Kiszla makes a compelling point when he wrote “If you’re going to introduce instant replay to your sport, shouldn’t there be an obligation to use the best technology available? ” (Mark Kiszla) What is wrong with using the technology we have to make sure the correct call is made? With how competitive major league baseball has become in this day and age and how any play can make the difference between winning and losing and the difference between winning and losing can monetarily be worth millions of dollars, some feel every effort that can be made to improve the game will only have a positive impact.
Many fans argue against expanded replay by saying where do you stop. Will every ball and strike be reviewed? This is a bit of an over exaggeration of the discussion. What plays to review and how far to take the review process should be left up to the MLB. This doesn’t mean if they come up with a replay system that it can’t be revisited after the league finds out what works or doesn’t work. The NFL has an instant replay system and it wasn’t perfect when they first introduced it. They have made changes and have even made some plays non review able.
Several MLB team executives favor a system similar to the NFL’s challenge system, where each team would have the ability to challenge a play at any point but they can only do this a limited number of times each game. (Jerry Crasnick) From researching fan opinions posted on internet blogs and polling everyday fans that I know, most traditional baseball fans that don’t want instant replay to be used say this because baseball is Americas favorite past time, and it is a traditional game that has rules that for the most part have not changed since the games conception.
I believe that argument to be a little skued because baseball is the only major sport not played on a uniform playing surface from stadium to stadium. The distance between each base is the same on every baseball field but the distance the homerun wall is from home plate is different on every baseball field and can even be different on the same field in regards to left, center and right field. Because instant replay is already in use by the MLB there would not be any added cost to each baseball team by expanding the use of replay to more than just home run calls. Wikipedia) Each team already has a monitor system in the dugout that the umpires can use. In fact the argument had been make that replaying more plays would generate more revenue for the league and each team simply because there is the possibility of more commercial breaks. This would also give each team more opportunities to have sponsors for more advertisement time or be able to have more sponsors pay for advertisements.
Passion is a very powerful emotion and whether you support the use of instant replay in baseball or not you can’t deny the fact that baseball fans are passionate. This makes the decision about expanding instant replay very hard. What ever the MLB decides to do they need to understand the fan and take their view into account when making the decision about expanding the use of instant replay. Works Cited Crasnick, Jerry. “Executives chime in on offseason topics. ESPN. ESPN, 9 Nov. 2009. Web. 11 Nov 2009 Foster, Jeremy. Interview. 7 Nov, 2009 Kiszla, Mark. “A call to fix baseball’s instant-replay technological difficulties. ” Denverpost. com. The Denver Post, 11 Aug. 2009. Web. 7 Nov 2009 Rosenthal, Ken. “Selig: I have no desire to expand instant replay. ” Foxsports. com. Foxsports, 15 Oct, 2009. Web. 8 Nov 2009. “Major League Baseball. ” Wikipedia. Wikipedia. com, 11 Nov 2008. Web. 8 Nov 2009