A review of MLB’s instant replay

Oh, to be A-Rod in a tight situation
Game 66: Take another series (with first pitch at 6:30 p.m.)

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Click the image above. It gets very big, and I promise it’ll open in a new window. The play is a bit of a blur, but what do you see?

I see Mark Teixeira with his glove firmly around a strong throw from Alex Rodriguez and his foot planted on first base. I see Cristian Guzman still in the air above first base. I see unequivocal evidence that Guzman was out, and yet, a split second later, the umpire called him safe.

For a blown call, it was both monumental and underwhelming. It was monumental because Nick Johnson, the next hitter for the Nationals, blasted a two-run triple (not helped by a ill-conceived dive by Melky) that plated Cristian Guzman. It was underwhelming because, while the bleachers saw the replay and booed, it generated what looked more like a polite protest rather than a heated discussion from Joe Girardi.

Generally, when the umpires get it wrong, they don’t do so in such an obvious fashion. Bang-bang plays, slightly missed tags, balls that are just foul or kick up maybe a milimeter’s worth of foul line chalk — those are tough to see. This one, on a routine play at first, isn’t, and considering that umpires often listen — for the ball hitting the glove, for the foot hitting the bag — to make this call makes this worse.

Last year, Major League Baseball became the last major sport to institute instant replay review. It drove the purists nuts, but MLB had to embrace what has become a day-to-day technology in every broadcast of its events. When regional sports networks can replay bad home run calls to death, something has to give.

The way they implemented it, though, was entirely arbitrary. Only home run calls — fair, foul, over the fence or not, fan interference — would be subject to review. In a way, MLB modeled review after the NHL’s review of disputed goals, but the analogy lays bare the problem with it. Home runs may lead directly to runs, but baseball is a sum of its parts. A bad call at first base can be just as important as a home run. Why should one get special treatment while the other is subjected to bad calls?

Last night’s play at first base was unavoidable, and while critics of instant replay bemoan the time it takes to review plays, that is simply a red herring call. I got home, fired up the game archive on MLB.tv and zipped ahead to the 5th inning. Twenty seconds later, I had that screenshot and an unequivocal view of an obvious out that an umpire ruled safe. While Joe noted that the game probably unfolds differently if Guzman is out, we can’t dispute its impact on the Yanks’ loss, and I’d be happy to sit through a short 20-second review in exchange for the right call.

Right now, I don’t have a better solution. MLB can’t open instant replay to every ball and strike, to every close play. But when an umpire gets something so wrong and it changes the game, something has to give.

Oh, to be A-Rod in a tight situation
Game 66: Take another series (with first pitch at 6:30 p.m.)
  • UWS
    • Bob C

      clearly safe

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    If the manager is going to come out and bitch about a close play at a base, be it a steal, a tag up, a bang-bang play, whatever it is, review the damn thing. In the time it takes for the managers to have a tantrum, one ump could go in the back and get a better look at the play to get it right.

    • MattG

      And this is why managers will start arguing more plays if there is instant replay. Right now, a manager knows the ump’s call is final. Can you imagine how many plays would be argued if the ump’s call is NOT definitive? This is a huge argument against expanded replay rules.

      • Bryan

        MLB needs a challenge system just like the NFL has. If a manager can throw the red flag on 2 plays a game it would be worth it. I have the mlb extra innings package and I usually flip between the yankees and red sox games. Well, last Friday going between Yanks-Mets and Red Sox-Phillies, I saw a would be walk off homerun for the Phillies called foul. Seeing the play live I thought it was a fair ball and on seeing the replay it appeared the ball went directly over the foul pole more to the fair side then the foul side. Charlie Manuel came out to argue that point but the umps decided not to check the replay. But wait, isn’t that why they have replay now to check on homeruns being fair or foul? So why in that instance was replay not consulted when that’s the very purpose of it? The bias yankee fan I am it seems they just didn’t want to take away a game from the red sox on replay but had they looked at it the call would have been obvious and the red sox got a gift as they won later in extra innings. It’s a flawed system right now and MLB needs to look at it to get the calls right.

        • George G

          How do you penalize the manager if he throws the flag and the play stands? there’s no time outs in baseball.

    • Zach

      every double play at 2nd will have to be reviewed

      • JeffG

        Good point.

  • Tony

    I like instant replay in it’s current model. Although it can drive you crazy when a call goes against you – the human error aspect is part of the game. Overall they hopefully balance out.

    I just dont want the game slowed – and if you open it up for more plays – I feel that it will take away from the flow of the game.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Human error was a historical part of the game because no better way existed. Now that the technology is there, why not use it? It doesn’t impact the integrity of the game any more than adding two more umpires to the crew for the LCS and World Series does.

      • MattG

        Why not use it?

        I can only think of two valid reasons:

        1. I think it is still possible to get a call wrong with instant replay, and that is doubly egregious

        2. I think it will certainly make watching the games less enjoyable, as managers start arguing more plays, umpires become less definitive, extra delays creep in, and everything generally becomes less game-like, and more “technical.”

        I will give you an example: in my softball game this weekend, there was a play at the plate. The batter struck the glove and ball with his knee. Even from where I was standing, at SS (I made the throw! Bully for me!) the ball visibly moved in the catchers glove, but it did not pop-out.

        The other team tried to argue that the catcher juggled the ball. To the umpire’s credit, he said the ball did not come out. I don’t know the rule, but I wonder if the runner wasn’t technically safe.

        But that’s the sort of technicality I don’t care for. I just want to see the players play. When you slow the game down to stop frame, and look for bobbles and so forth, I know I will find the games less enjoyable.

        • Chris

          1. You’re going to get far more right with instant replay than you would without it.

          2. I have no idea what you mean by less game-like. If you’re referring to the fact that fewer mistakes would be made, then that’s clearly a good thing. Also, if you limit to 1 challenge per game, then you shouldn’t get a lot of frivolous challenges.

          • MattG

            You’re not the first one to not understand what “less game-like” means, but I for some reason haven’t been able to explain it.

            It seems clear to me that when a fabulous catch in real speed is overruled because stop-frame reveals the ball was actually jostling a little bit is just too technical, and not in the spirit of athletics. Athletics are played at break-neck speed, and at that speed, marvelous, perfect things happen. When you slow it down and reveal those things to be less than perfect, you are making it more technical, and less like a game.

            Sports are about competition, entertainment, and beauty. Fair play is crucial to preserve the competition part of this, but instant replay diminishes entertainment and beauty. For me, (in the NFL) what you gain in one respect is at too great a loss in another. In baseball, which is a much easier game to officiate, I don’t think the trade-off is worth it.

            • JeffG

              The rhythm and tempo of the game that now exists would be altered for video replay that would be a great change from what we know.

      • JP

        I agree with Ben. I think more instant replay is a good thing. I think you can experiment with different ideas, but an NFL type system where managers get to argue a limited number of a certain menu of plays is a good idea.

        It shouldn’t have to delay the game too much. I know it does, now, but geez with all the technology today, there should be a monitor on the field at all times cued up and ready to go to show us any play. If the TV networks can do it, the league should be able to. One umpire makes the call, to avoid delays in “commisserating,” maybe.

        Plays on the bases would definitely be in my list of reviewable plays. Balls and strikes, no.

        For balls and strikes, I like the idea of what the league was doing with Questec (sp?)…I hope they are still doing it.

  • Dennis

    Baseball should take a page from the NFL and have a replay challenge system. This way teams can have 1 challenge per game. Girardi would have challenge the play at 1st base last night and the umps would have overturn the call on the field and call Guzman out.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      I thought about proposing that, but how do you penalize a team for challenging a correct call? You can’t penalize them a trip to the mound or an out as you can a time out in the NFL.

      • UWS

        How about the runner on base advances one base if the call had been correct? (a la balk)

      • Chris

        If a manager challenges and his wrong, then he’s ejected and a team can’t challenge again. Also, only the manager can challenge, so if he’s already been ejected then you lose the right to challenge.

        This may have the added benefit of preventing some of the hissy-fits we’ve seen from managers.

        • mvg

          That’s too extreme. Then you have no challenges, period, from managers like Torre who rarely get themselves tossed. Same with the “balk” idea, which wouldn’t work if you’re arguing the guy was safe, anyway.

          But does there have to be a penalty? Would a two challenge limit with no penalty be the end of the world?

          • Chris

            More likely, Torre would challenge calls and get ejected when he’s wrong.

            Also, I don’t think that the manager has that big an impact on a game anyway, so losing him for the rest of the game isn’t a big penalty.

            • mvg

              A manager only wants to get tossed for two reasons: to fire up his team, or to prevent a player from getting tossed instead.

              As per manager impact: sure, and I probably agree with you on that. But do you really thing a manager, making millions, is going to? Hell no, he, and the other 31, need to show that they are invaluable, or else their pay rate goes down. If they continually are getting tossed, owners are going to start asking why they are getting paid so much.

      • yankeegirl49

        I might be wrong here, but isnt the penalty in the NFL so a team doesn’t arbitrarily challenge calls in order to get extra time outs?
        Do we really need a penalty in baseball for an incorrect challenge if we give managers just one or 2 a game?

        • donttradecano

          I believe your correct, you dont necessarily need a penalty.

      • JP

        Right…you don’t need the penalty in baseball.

    • MattG

      that just makes me want to barf. now we have delays while they look at it in the booth, and “strategy” for challenges, and so forth. I’m not prepared to articulate it, but the thought of challenges, in MLB, NFL, or where ever, just insults me.

      This ain’t scrabble. It’s athletic. I want the players to play, the umpires to keep it fair. I hate rules that have nothing to do with the game on the field creeping into the picture.

      • Chris

        Except these rules have everything to do with the game on the field. We’re not asking them to review whether the beer man made the right change when you bought a beer.

        • MattG

          Challenge rules have nothing to do with the game on the field. They have to do with the rulings on the field. Players play, officials rule. Challenge rules are given to players to mitigate the official’s power, and have nothing to do with the game.

          • Chris

            They have to do with getting the call right, which was part of the game last I checked.

    • NYY22224

      Maybe not taken from the NFL but from tennis, each player in tennis gets 3 challenges per set, if they are right they arent penalized and retain the number of challenges they had, if they are wrong they lose the challenge, and the point. If baseball were to do the same thing, say give each team one or two challenges per game, if you are right you keep the challenge and its a home run or an out or a ground rule double or whatever, if you are wrong then you lose your challenge. That way you allow managers to challenge anything (except a called strike or ball, i think you should be able to challenge check swings but thats just me) and the game moves on.

      • MattG

        That’s actually not terrible–but it would have to be instantaneous. The manager would have to come out right away, and the umpire would say, “Do you want a review? If not, park your keister.”

        I don’t want managers waiting for the call from the booth.

  • MattG

    1. Umpires get 99% of calls at first base correct

    2. Instant replay is boring

    3. Instant replay will not be 100% accurate. Sometimes plays are too close to call even on stop-frame.

    4. Eventually, there would be a lot of reviews, as managers will begin arguing plays that aren’t really all that close

    My enjoyment of watching a baseball game would be diminished. I would rather have the one blown call every 10 or 15 games.

    • Evan NYC

      Agreed. We don’t complain when the call goes the other way. I think they all even out in the end. Last night sucked, but you know what, we had 2 opportunities in the 9th to negate that decision and we didn’t make them. The umpire didn’t help the cause but neither did we. Pena makes the tag on Posada’s throw and Melky doesn’t dive for a ball he had no business diving for and it’s a different game.

    • Jamal G.

      1. You pulled that number out of nowhere.

      2. I didn’t realize it was created to hold entertainment value.

      3. It will be more accurate than a human being making a decision in a split second, I guarantee you that.

      4. Keep it how it is now: the umpires decide when to review, and only them.

      5. Yeah, I wouldn’t.

      • MattG

        I didn’t realize it was created to hold entertainment value.

        Baseball? Uh, yeah, it is.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          He means instant replay.

          • MattG

            Yeah, I realize, but why on earth would you add something to an entertainment product that makes it less entertaining?

            Instant replay IS devised for entertainment purposes, because it is meant to preserve fair play, and let the people watching feel as though they are getting a true outcome unaffected by incompetence or bias. If people did not care about the outcome, there would be no reason for instant replay at all. It is for entertainment. Everything about the industry is.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              Replay tends to make calls more accurate, thus making the game more fair, thus making it more entertaining. How is making the right call bad entertainment?

              • MattG

                I’ve actually answered this question several times throughout this thread, so if you’re really interested you’ll find the answer. The bottom line is what you gain in accuracy you lose in other ways, so unless you really believe officiating is a problem, instant replay can hurt the entertainment value of the game.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  Getting the call right is more important than appreciating the beauty of a play.

                • MattG

                  It sure as hell isn’t in football. It is ridiculous that a guy will make a phenomenally athletic play on a sideline, and have it ruled incomplete because on stop frame they determined there was a bit of air that might mean the ball was only 95% secured.

                  You’ve seen those calls, and you know they’re moronic.

                • JP

                  If they did other things to speed the games along, we could tolerate another 1-2 stoppages per game, at the most, for instant replay reviews.

        • mvg

          He meant the instant replay value, not the sport as a whole…

          • mvg

            why the hell did i type value? time for more coffee…

    • Nickel

      I’m going to have to agree with Matt and Evan on this. I can recall several occasions where the Yankees benefitted heavily by blown calls by the umpire, a few even in the post-season (and I’m not even really talking about Jeff Maier. I seem to remember a play in Game Six of the 1996 World Series where Jimmy Key threw a pitch that got away from Girardi, and a Braves baserunner- I can’t remember who at the moment- tried to take second and was called out, even though he was obviously safe). I think that when all’s said and done, the wrong calls even out over the course of a season. Don’t get me wrong, I was yelling at the ump last night through my TV like many other Yankee fans. An ump blowing a call that badly to me is inconceivable, but the Yankees lost not because of the blown call, but because John Lannan pitched a heck of a game. Whether that was because Lannan was really that good or because the Yankees showed no patience and never made him work is an entirely different debate.

  • Evan NYC

    If they started using a system similar to the NFL, where an coach can throw a flag and challenge a call, baseball games would be 5 hours long. I think the video replay needs to stop on a HR, something that is guaranteed to impact the score of the game.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Ok. This is a red herring. Complete and utter red herring. NFL coaches have two challenges per game, and the reviews are short. As I said, it took me literally 20 seconds to review this play. That doesn’t add anything substantial to the game. This argument is far worse than Matt’s faux-traditionalist argument above you.

      Every blown call impacts the game. The real question surrounds what level of impact is acceptable.

      • Evan NYC

        THIS play only took 20 seconds because it was blatent. Posada’s HR replay took 10 minutes and led to Bruney getting injured, as he said. To me that is substantial.

        I am all for the HR replay because it DIRECTLY impacts the score of the game. The call is either a HR or not.

        Every blown call does in fact impact the game, but every blown call does not result in the score of the game changing directly.

        IMO, the level of impact that is acceptable is the one that directly impacts the score of the game, the HR replay.

        • Rick in Boston

          Your thinking would require a bunch of other plays then to be open to review: double down the line with a runner on first: that runner could score if the ball is fair. Any play at home. Leaving it just at the HR is too limiting.

          • Evan NYC

            No it wouldn’t. Double down the line could/should score the runner but you never know. Maybe he misses 3B trying to score from second. The only GUARANTEED scoring play in baseball is the HR.

            • Chris

              Maybe he misses 3B running around the bases on his HR and doesn’t score. There are no guaranteed runs in baseball.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          THIS play only took 20 seconds because it was blatent. Posada’s HR replay took 10 minutes and led to Bruney getting injured, as he said. To me that is substantial.

          The vast majority of plays that I would allow to be challengeable are of the blatant variety. Posada’s was a different beast, and Bruney got injured because he was throwing too much. He backtracked on the complaints about the review.

          The easy solution is to limit the time for a review. It doesn’t need to take much longer than 2-3 minutes. If the umps can’t see anything conclusive after 3 minutes, the call on the field stands.

        • mvg

          The NFL does have a time limit to this, one minute. Put in a time limit. Two challenges per team. max four minute delay to a game that takes ~3:00 hours in the AL. 2.22-repeating percent increase in game time if all four challenges are used to the max. amount of time in a game that takes a “typical” amt. of time. Not a steep price to pay for getting calls right.

      • Count Zero

        As I said, it took me literally 20 seconds to review this play.

        That is also a red herring. Because it took you 20 seconds to find this replay on the net long after it happened, doesn’t mean that’s how much time it will take to conduct a review of it during the game. Based on NFL, NBA experiences, it will take a lot longer than that.

        I’m not calling for or against the replay on that basis — just pointing out that your basis here is just as false as his.

    • MattG

      “baseball games would be 5 hours long”

      Evan, you ain’t helping those of us who hope to intelligently argue against instant replay.

      • Evan NYC

        Maybe it was too simply stated. I think that not every call is going to be 20 seconds as this one was. This was cut and dry, and if every replay were so then fine. But not every replay is going to be as basic as this one. We had the perfect camera angle, the perfect freeze frame, etc.

        I’m more concerned with the plays that are going to take 4-5 minutes to decifer.

        And what happens if the “challenging” coach is wrong? Do you give his team an out? Do the runners move up a base if his team is in the field?

        I don’t think there is a clear cut answer to these questions.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          See this response.

          How many plays per game actually take 4-5 minutes to review? You watch baseball on TV. How long do the broadcasts dwell on a replay to get to the correct call? Definitely not 4-5 minutes.

          • Evan NYC

            The broadcasters have the advantage of being in the booth and watching the play live on TV in the first place and instantly have the replays at their fingers. The coach would have to come out, state what he is arguing to the umpire, the umpires would get together or not, review the play, come out and make a final call. All that and then have them resume play. I doubt that would take 2 minutes.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

              I doubt that would take 2 minutes.

              Really? It’s not like the umpires are 4 miles away. You’d be pretty damn surprised at how little time that whole process actually takes.

              • Evan NYC

                Well if they ever decide to let these type of plays come under review I guess we will see how long they really take. Until then, I am content with them reviewing HRs.

      • donttradecano

        Do you complain that NFL games are close to 4hours every single time out?

    • Chris

      Why would a manager challenge a call when they wouldn’t argue with the ump about it?

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    Everyone complains when replay takes a few minutes but no one complains when Lou Pinella or Girardi or Bobby Cox or anyone stands out on the field for 3-5 minutes getting into a shouting match with the umpire.

    • radnom

      I’m going to reword that for you

      “No one complains when something boring happens but no one complains when something entertaining happens.”

      Yeah….people suck.

    • Whozat

      That’s because there’s an old man on the field having a conniption and that’s funny.

      Here’s the answer…manager challenges are ok as long as the manager screams and kicks dirt the whole time. It’s like a filibuster: as long as you can keep yelling, the challenge may continue.

  • Russell NY

    The Yankees have been damned with bad calls more often than not over the past few years. This is nothing new. MLB’s conspiracy against the Yankees.

    • Russell NY

      Just to follow up. I would have no problem making every day “ping ping ball day” at the stadium and replaying all the umpire bad calls as they unfold, letting the angry mob get on an umpire who fails to do his job right.

  • Rick in Boston

    If we opened up replay in anyway, we might see a decrease in double plays. The “phantom straddle” that you see 2B make and SS do in order to help avoid runners that umpires give them now would be a thing of the past.

  • Russell NY

    Actually, here’s a solution. MLB could make this the easiest thing in the world. Have 1 person at every MLB game feed video of the replay to a little pocket screen that the home plate umpire holds. Give each team 3 arguments to refer to the HP umpire so he can get the feed from upstairs. Problem solved, that should take no more than 30 seconds. 30 pocket screens would cost $6,000 for good ones.

    • donttradecano

      Not a bad idea.

  • Russell NY

    Good point Rick. And that shouldn’t be allowed either.

  • nirzhor

    these kind of close plays could be made mandetory for the umps to check with the replays. it would take 10 secs tops and would decrease questions about the umpires.and a lot of sports have this rule so it won’t be something brand new

  • mvg

    How about an official (let’s say, a second scorer or someone of that variety) calling down to the field for replays? If a manager argues, the guy in the “booth” can make his own determination if there’s merit to the argument, and tell the home plate umpire or crew chief to look again. One minute time limit a la the NFL.

    • mvg

      A little clarification: a manager arguing should not be the determining factor. Just one example of what could happen and how it could be used.

  • donttradecano

    I marvel at how people could be against instant replay to weed out the bad calls, something that takes away from the integrity of the game. Its like not wanting PED testing, why would you not want something that will improve the game?

    • MattG

      Because it can make the watching the game less enjoyable. Why is this hard to understand?

      Football is a very hard game to officiate. The integrity of the outcomes was very much affected by difficult officiating circumstances that would arise far too often.

      Baseball is another animal. The only place where the integrity of the game is affected, night after night, is on balls and strikes. Plays at first are not missed that often, and even when they are, do not necessarily impact the integrity of the game.

      If you want to add technology to improve the integrity of the sport, the first bandwagon to climb aboard is expanding the uses of QuesTec as an official part of the game.

      • donttradecano

        How could getting the calls right make it less enjoyable????

        Yes football is hard to officiate, but how is baseball not? Just like you cant replay penalties in football, you cant replay balls and strikes, BUT you should be able to replay safe calls, which would be similar to catch/no catch in the NFL.

        Missed calls at first dont affect the integrity of the game? If Guzman gets called out, the Yanks probably win that game. If the Yankees were to miss the playoffs by a game because of that blown first base call, how is that not affecting the integrity of the game???

        • MattG

          How could getting the calls right make it less enjoyable????

          I really am at a loss to explain why people insist on twisting my words into this simpleton concept. Trying again:

          1. Instant replay affects the entertainment value of the game. This is indisputable.

          2. Instant replay improves accuracy of officiating, improving entertainment value.

          3. Conversely, instant replay creates delays, mitigates the authority of the umpire, introduces the opportunity for technicalities not in the spirit of athletics, becomes a tangential, largely boring storyline, introduces the need for new rules and strategies, further removes the game from what we play at other levels, and so forth, reducing entertainment value.

          4. It is not unreasonable to postulate that the entertainment value, improving in one way, declining in another, would overall decline.

          Missed calls at first dont affect the integrity of the game

          Every bad call affects the integrity of the game. There are not many bad calls. Not every bad call affects the outcome of a game. It is not unreasonable to suggest that the poor officiating in baseball is not sufficient enough to risk the potential downsides of instant replay, described in point 3, above.

          • donttradecano

            “3. Conversely, instant replay creates delays, mitigates the authority of the umpire, introduces the opportunity for technicalities not in the spirit of athletics, becomes a tangential, largely boring storyline, introduces the need for new rules and strategies, further removes the game from what we play at other levels, and so forth, reducing entertainment value.”

            Technicalities not in the spirit of athletics? So getting the right call on whether a guy is safe or out isnt in the spirit of athletics?

            • MattG

              So getting the right call on whether a guy is safe or out isnt in the spirit of athletics?

              I can’t imagine where a play on a force out would be better off for the game if it is made wrong, no. But you are looking at one point, and ignoring the rest.

              In other instances, there are technicalities not in the spirit of athletics, and I can think of no better example than the juggled sideline catch. Far too many sideline catches have been overruled because a juggle, invisible at game speed, was perceptible in slow-motion. In some circumstances, it is silly to judge a game played at high-speed with slow-motion.

              I do not know what the baseball equivalent of this would be, but install instant replay, and I am sure we will find out soon enough.

              • JP

                …sideline catches have been overruled because a juggle, invisible at game speed, was perceptible in slow-motion.

                I always assumed that the team making the challenge had some reason to believe the catch wasn’t made. Maybe the juggle was not apparent to the official near the play, but maybe someone on the sideline or a defender saw it, and requested the replay. But I’m not sure, even if you were asking for the replay just on the hunch you might get it overturned, that it’s not in the spirit of athletics to challenge that.

                A receiver knows if he juggled it or not…but since golf is the only sport where you call penalties on yourself, he’s never going to ad mit it. I think there’s nothing wrong with using replay to find something like that.

                • MattG

                  I always assumed that the team making the challenge had some reason to believe the catch wasn’t made.

                  The reason is some guy on their coaching staff that sees it in slow motion, and lets them know.

                  Here’s a pithy phrase: If you add technology, the game will get more technical. I think we’re all better off enjoying what happens at full speed, and moving on to the next play.

  • MattG

    I think, maybe, they can go with a 5th ump that sits in the booth. No one can request a replay except the crew chief on the field. Much like a checked swing, the guy in the booth keeps his opinion to himself until asked by the crew chief. There is no argument with the booth umpire’s ruling.

    I think this is the closest thing to the way officiating is currently done. If the ump wants help, he asks another ump. The manager cannot demand anything. Plus, it would be just about immediate, and the booth umpire can review while the manager comes out to argue. What do you think?

  • Val

    It would take a 5th ump watching replays 3 seconds to be a backup and get every call 100%

    • A.D.

      Yup just have a guy in the booth and have them automatically review calls. Thus the 5th guy is watching the Yankees game, could immediately radio down to the home plate ump and say Guzman was out, Girardi wouldn’t even need to come out of the dugout.

  • Blog poster

    Instant replay for MLB would be ridiculous. Five hr. game, anybody?

    • andrew

      Nah, probably not. Thanks for stopping by though.

      • Blog poster

        Think about how long these hr calls take now, let alone replay a=for all (or at least most) close plays baseball game.

        The games are long enough already. Bad calls are part of it.

  • Tubby

    It’s like the law of the dry cleaners. Sometimes you get someone else’s slacks…sometimes somebody gets your Joe Pepitone jersey. It all evens out in the end.

  • JeffG

    I’ve added some comments above where I can see the point of how stopping a game for constant review would not be optimal.

    Matt made a good point where managers could call far too many replays in plays in question and thus really hault the action.

    I think a simple solution for us would be a big snap shot on the jumbo HD screen of a clearly missed call. Ump looks over his shoulder and see that he was wrong – perhaps right there on the field they could make a quick decision. Then again, you’d run into the conflict of the home team trying to show the best angle to prove their case. But in some cases just a quick view might do the job when it is so obvious.

  • T

    One challenge per game per team. They don’t have to use it, but if the manager feels the call was wrong they can. It would only take a minute or two and would ensure a correct call. Seems reasonable to me.

    • http://riveraveblues.com/2009/06/a-review-of-mlbs-instant-replay-13350/ crazycall

      ok, here is the flippin’ solution, a team has one challenge per game, if they get it right, they keep the challenge (they can challenge again), if they get it wrong, they lose the challenge (they can’t challenge again). As long as they are challenging correct, they can keep challenging, as soon as they mess up, no more challenging. It makes them use their challenges wisely, and it punishes them, sort of, if they don’t get their challenge right.

      hopefully you understand that

      now, as far as interrupting the flow of the game, there is no flow to baseball. Have you ever watched a game? Baseball games can be like 3+ hours, no one cares if it takes longer to review a call, they just want good calls.

      As far as the beauty of the game and whatever someone was talking about, if you want beauty, watch the highlights, real baseball is a long, hard battle, and things get ugly more often than they get Beautiful.

      Baseball is America’s game, and America does everything fair… (lol sure) so it is a no-brainer, they need instant replay challenges

  • JP

    So many stupid things delay baseball games, I’m always surprised that people complain about a delay that would help correct bad calls.

    Managers waste time arguing calls, for no other reason than having to “show”, for their players, or to try to work the umpires. Batters call time, over and over, and are granted it, every time. Pitchers have to do a 30 second pre-shot routine between every pitch. Managers can delay the game shuffling new pitchers into the game multiple times per inning. Pitchers have a bullpen for warming up, but they get to delay the game by throwing an additional number of warmup pitches on the mound when they come in.

    If the “founding fathers” of baseball saw how the game was played right now, they’d enact a bunch of rules almost immediately to speed the game up.

    One clever observation that someone made or implied above about replay is that it might actually speed the game, not slow it. If managers have the option of having a call reviewed, then there should be no need for arguing. You argue and delay the game, you’re ejected, period. Use the time to do a replay.

  • http://www.robotsareeverywhere.com Erin Wilson

    I’m not sure what you’re seeing in this picture. When I click on it and blow it up, there is no ball in Teixeira’s glove. If you look closely, you can see the glove just above the edge of the dugout. Hard to see at first glance, since it’s in front of a lady wearing a white shirt (the woman sitting pretty much directly above the glove, to our left of the guy in the striped shirt; the ball is in front of her right shoulder), but it’s definitely the ball. And it’s definitely not in the glove. Guzman’s foot isn’t on the bag, either, but this just looks like evidence that it was, in fact, a close play, and not an obviously blown call.

    • JP

      I think that’s part of her shirt. If that were the ball, he’d have missed it and it would have ended up in the stands or dugout.

      I think the ball is already inside his glove, which is closed. You can’t see the ball because the glove is closed around it.

      • http://www.robotsareeverywhere.com Erin Wilson

        But the glove isn’t closed. It’s clearly open. That’s why it’s so big, and you can see the dark spot in the middle. Are we looking at the same picture? It’s definitely not part of her shirt, because when you look closely, you can tell the ball is in front of her. And it seems unlikely that she would have some weird ball-shaped thing on her sleeve.

        • http://www.robotsareeverywhere.com Erin Wilson

          Also, the ball isn’t behind him. It’s just slightly above his glove. I didn’t see this play live, but it looks like all he would have to do is raise his glove two inches to make the catch.

          • JP

            I don’t know what you’re seeing, but if you’re talking about a white blob directly above his glove, at the speed a thrown ball moves, it would be impossible for him to have caught it if that were, in fact, the ball.

            His glove looks blurry to me. I don’t know how you can be sure it’s open. The leather may be a bit darker on a portion of it, or it’s flexed and there’s a shadow. I don’t think it’s clearly open; and I don’t know how you can say it isn’t closed.

  • Bo

    Who isn’t in favor of getting every call right? Adding 20 min to every game helps YES sell more tv ads.