Thursday, July 23, 2009

Replay in baseball

Major League Baseball should expand its instant replay review rules. Right now they can only go back and see if a home run is a home run. But this weekend's game between the Minnesota Twins and the Oakland Athletics proved that it needs to change.

If you missed it, the Twins' Michael Cuddyer was called out at home when it was obvious he was safe. It was the last out of the game and the Twins were down 14-13.

Baseball will probably fight this. The argument is it would slow the game down too much. That is a necessary sacrifice to get the call right.

Besides, there are a lot of ways we could speed the game up to make up for the extra time taken to review plays. Baseball could stop letting relievers throw more warm up pitches once they get to the field. They throw so many pitches in the bullpen, why do they get more on the field?

Umpires could stop letting batters fiddle with their gear after every pitch.

We could stop managers from arguing for five minutes on calls they disagree with. First, replay would help with this. If managers can just throw out a red flag, they will not have to come out and look like idiots.

Second, why can managers do this in the first place? Do you ever see NFL, NBA or NHL coaches run onto the playing surface without being penalized? Coaches are usually penalized in football and basketball if they go too far onto the field or court. Hockey coaches would just fall if they tried.

MLB managers risk getting thrown out of the game, and if they are really silly, they might be suspended a game or two. Why not penalize the team with an automatic out the next time they come to the plate?

Do not tell me that the arguing motivates a team. If you need a guy like Bobby Cox yelling at another man to pump you up at this level, I am not sure you should be in the game in the first place.

Another argument baseball and purists will use is tradition. Baseball is about tradition more than any other sport. But the sport should change with the times if it helps the games. Especially where technology is concerned. I'm pretty sure they only played day games until stadium lights were developed and allowed for night games.

I do not want every ball and strike challenged, that is more of a judgment call. Different umpires have different strike zones. But any call at the bases, home runs and foul balls should all be fair game for replay review.

If you are still not sold on the idea, imagine Joe Buck and Tim McCarver debating if the right call was made. Wait, that would be torture.

Use Somebody - Kings of Leon


  1. I always felt that in baseball since there are 162 games, all the missed calls and all the breaks will even out in the end. As a baseball purist, I really want replay to stop at home runs, but it wouldn't be the worst thing that happened to baseball to get the calls right. The night game analogy was interesting, but you know that this is a much bigger deal in terms of game play.

    I really think it's weird that when people suggest a replay in baseball, they always say, "everything but balls and strikes." Do people not realize how important balls and strikes are or would this just take too much time? Of all the changes that baseball could make, I hope that soon a home plate umpire's job is to relay what QuesTec called on the pitch and make calls at home plate. Balls and strikes are NOT a judgment call and different umpires should NOT have different strike zones. There are clearly defined rules as to what is or is not a strike. Sure they may have about an inch on each side to work with, but different umpires stretch that area to whatever they feel like.

    The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of replay in baseball is Don Denkinger. Look him up if you've never heard of him, it was awful. But the next thing I think of is game 5 of the 2008 World Series. I may be biased because I hate the cesspool of Philly, but Scott Kazmir had many pitches that were incorrectly called balls. This led to two first inning runs for the Phillies that turned out to be the difference in the game that clinched the World Series for Philadelphia. That single game turned me to the dark side of replay because the best team did not win that game and that's just not right.

    By the way...I have yet to comment on a song but I can't believe you like that one. When he says "Use Somebody" like 15 times at the end, it makes me want to pull out my eyes.

  2. I really like Kings of Leon and enjoy that song. I don't really care about your eyes.

    Not sure the calls even out in the long season. Especially one as bad as the Cuddyer play.

    I see your point about balls and strikes, and I understand a 2-1 count is much different than a 1-2. As long as the replays are limited to three, like in tennis, I could change my mind and would wants balls and strikes challenged.

  3. Everyone likes Kings of Leon. That's what I don't understand. Eiffel 65 had more talent.

    I don't really want to see balls and strikes challenged, I would want to see every pitch called by QuesTec. This will probably never happen though.

  4. I will give them a listen.

    Shocking that a baseball purist wants a machine calling balls and strikes. What's next, war between us and the machines? Would it be more like the Matrix or Terminator?

  5. Hahaha that Eiffel 65 comment was a joke. They sang that song "Blue" that just goes "da ba de da ba di." However, since you were actually going to give my suggestion a listen, my song of the day is:
    Rodrigo y Gabriela - Tamacun

    QuesTec just kind of makes sense to me. You have sliders cutting the corner at 90 mph, the umpire has like .4 seconds to follow the path of the ball. It's impossible for him to get some of them right. If he blinks, he misses it!

    I would call it the Terminator because the name QuesTec kind of reminds me of Skynet.