No close plays on the big screen

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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.

Baseball Intellects' Top 15 Yankees prospects
Verducci: "Joe Torre does not rip anybody in the book."
  • jim p

    Well, being in a crowd of 50,000 people in high passion, some of them drunk, and some of them wearing the wrong uniform, is very different than watching it at home.

    That would matter, I’d think.

    About other sports vs. baseball: In other sports the whole game they move up the field, they move down the field, and repeat that forever. Personally, I’d never compare baseball to those other games.

  • inman

    since i live upstate i only get to maybe 1 game a year. one thing that annoys me is when the opposition makes a nice defensive play yankee stadium wont replay it on the screen. maybe i’m wrong???

    • UWS

      Nope, you’re correct. Iimagine that’s not just at Yankee Stadium, though.

  • John

    what a waste (sort of as its not being used to its fullest extent) techonology!

  • Phil McCracken

    Yes you’re correct about NFL games. They do show close plays on the screen.

    • John

      of course they do…thats how coaches decide quickly to challenge (and of course people upstairs help too)

  • Manimal

    Lame. I love booing Umps.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    There’s a bunch of things to consider here

    1-The umpire’s don’t like it, and with good reason. The fans get to decide something with 3 angles at slow motion which they had to do in real time. Its really piling on unfairly.

    2-When teams get to decide, they only show the close plays that go against THEM, not the visiting team.

    3-Security concerns on inciting either team or the crowd, as stated above.

    As a fan, I’d love to see ALL close (and exciting) plays again in slow motion. But I understand why MLB doesn’t want it.

  • Yankeegirl49

    I understand why as well, doesn’t mean I have to like it.
    Im at 40+ games a year and during everyone of those games at one point or another Im sending a text msg to someone watching on TV that says “safe or out?” It would be nice to see it for myself.

    • Jake

      Why would you text someone safe or out? Wasnt the umps call clear enough?

  • jsbrendog

    that’s what baseball tonight is for. hopefully tho thats what mlb network’s version will be for because if i have to listen to kruk and steve philips go back and forth again ill vomit. plus harold reynolds was always the best analyst on that show anyway.

    looks like it all worked out for harold “come over here and give me a hug baby so i can slap your ass” reynolds”

  • Jake H

    It is weird that you can’t have that but understandable. The umps could be attacked by some drunk fans.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
  • Matthew

    Teams actually get fined by mlb, and written up from the umps if they show close plays/home runs/ect….it’s always been the rule.

    The NFL is the only sport that does…NHL doesn’t show any of the plays that go to Toronto, and who really cares what the hell they do in the NBA.

  • Sciorsci

    For what it’s worth, this is also SOP in MiLB as well. We had a game ops guy that we brought over from Arena Football a few years ago, and in his first homestand he showed a few replays of close plays – he was instructed immediately not to do so anymore.

  • Lets Talk About Tex Baby

    I assume it stems from the umpire’s union. You can understand why the umps wouldn’t want fans to see close calls, but come on it’s 2009… if you blow the call you can stand there and get ooed. I’m not saying show a replay of every ball and strike call as they do on TV, but I think the fans have the right to see a reply of a bang bang call on the bases. The other irritating thing is that sometimes on unorthodox calls, lets say catcher’s interference, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on from the stands so a reply would help clarify things.

    Also I wonder if the Yankee radio booth is going to have a monitor in the new stadium.

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