The New Yankee Stadium has quite a large video screen out in center field. It’s 58-by-103 feet, and you can bet we’ll see highlights of Alex Rodriguez home runs and Joba Chamberlain strikeouts on it all season long. Yet there’s something the high definition screen cannot show us: replays of close plays. Phil Miller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press relates this sentiment in relation to the Twins’ new Target Field, but it applies just the same to Yankee Stadium.
Major League Baseball prohibits teams from showing a replay of any play that could incite either team or the fans. And despite fans’ thirst for another look at a close play at the plate or a bang-bang call on the bases, no high-def technology will change that.
I’ve always been a bit miffed when there’s a close play and we can’t get another look at it. The folks watching at home on TV see it from every conceivable angle, yet those of us at the park have only our memories to draw from. I get that MLB wants to avoid having umpires influenced by a replay unless it’s an officially sanctioned one, but don’t they allow this in other sports? Don’t they show close plays on Jumbotrons during NFL games?
This likely won’t change until baseball fully institutionalizes instant replay. That’s a shame for teams with high-def screens. What better use for them than to show replays of close plays? For the time being, we’ll just have to wait until we get home and can watch the highlights.