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.
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