The replay debate continues

Not enough $$$ for '09?
Giese to the DL, but neither Phil nor Carl will start yet

According to an ESPN report, Bud Selig and the baseball owners are prepping for instant replay prior to the end of this season. This move — years int he making — comes after a few high-profile blown calls earlier this season and an increasing belief that it’s far better for the umpires to be right than to keep up some semblance of “baseball tradition.”

But, as with any major baseball decision, this one is not without controversy. Dan Graziano sums up the problems:

I spoke with somebody from the players’ union, and with a few players, a couple of months ago about this. The union’s position is that baseball should wait on instant replay and make sure to do it correctly, rather than rush it. The players are concerned about the idea of a season played under two different sets of rules (i.e., why should a home run be overturned in September when it couldn’t be in May?), and they’re very concerned about the logistics.

There are legitimate questions about how replay would work and how it would be administrated. Would it all work out of some central office in New York, the way hockey runs its replay calls out of Toronto? How much would depend on camera work by team-owned TV networks, and how can those be certain to be impartial? How would they reconcile the differences in the number and locations of cameras from park to park and game to game, given the differences between games that are televised nationally on ESPN, Fox and TBS and the games that are only televised locally? And what of games that aren’t televised at all?

In short, there are a lot of reasons to wait on this until all of the questions are answered. I’m with the players on this. It would be better to test this system out next year in the World Baseball Classic and spring training — games that don’t actually count for anything — and work out some of the bugs in time for the start of the 2009 regular season.

I have long been on the record in favor of instant replay, but I have to agree with Graziano on this one. In an effort to implement something that doesn’t really need to be put in place until next season, Major League Baseball is going to jump the gun on this one and create more problems for this proposal than they will solve. But that’s the way the Commissioner’s Office has long operated.

Not enough $$$ for '09?
Giese to the DL, but neither Phil nor Carl will start yet
  • E-ROC

    The MLB should wait ’til next season so they can try out the instant replay in spring training. That would give them opportunities work out the potential problems that will follow when implementing a new system.

  • Rayblay

    I have always been a HUGE proponent of instant replay. I just cannot fathom why you WOULDN’T want it. But you all of a sudden realize after a few years that you need it and then feel that it is necessary to implement it ASAP, without tests, knowing exactly what the plan will be, etc.? I don’t think they’ve had enough “brainstorming” time to come up with an exact plan that wouldn’t just help a few calls. Plus, they should probably get some fan insight, because I’ve seen a bunch of fans with some great ideas, and from what I’ve heard of what their particular plans are, they don’t have as reasonable and (seemingly) effective a plan as one would hope.
    And my bigger problem is that the season will be played partly with it, partly without. That is quite nonsensical, if you ask me. You change the rules in the middle of a season and expect no one to have a problem with it, and for everyone to understand what is going on? What is an umpire screws up? You need to practice and review this thing until you have it exactly right. For a team to be hurt by a bad call at the beginning of the season and then have a similar call go a different way once instant replay is implemented, that would be just plain frustrating.

  • Chris

    Why wait? When everyone at home knows the Umps blew the call, shouldn’t the umps know too? You could make it real easy and just play show the TV broadcast of the play on the jumbo-tron. If they can’t make a call based on that, then it shouldn’t be overturned.

  • Jamal G.

    And what of games that aren’t televised at all?

    Are there really Major League Baseball games that are not televised at all?

  • dkidd

    no instant replay! baseball is a human game. anyone who has watched i.r. grind football games to a halt should know better