It was only a matter of time. Good or bad, instant replay is now part of baseball. While there are many valid arguments for and against using instant replay, it will help get the calls correct, which is the objective, right?
How frustrating is it watching a game on television, seeing the umpire made the wrong call, the manager comes out to argue for 5 minutes to no avail and the incorrect call stands. While instant replay will not be a perfect science, it will definitely help get a majority of the calls correct.
So, how does it work? Well it is actually not too difficult. Other than balls, strikes, check swings, and a few other exceptions, most plays can be challenged. Each manager is given one challenge per game. If they challenge a play and are correct, they will receive another challenge to use if necessary. From the seventh inning on, challenges can be initiated by either an umpire, or a manager if a team still has a challenge available.
Each team will have five preseason games where challenges will be “tested’ and a few challenges have already been made. In each of the them, the stoppage in time was about two and a half minutes, a lot less than a manager coming out and screaming and yelling for five minutes. Once the season starts, challenges will be reviewed by the MLB office in New York and the decisions will be relayed to the umpires on the field, which should aid in keeping things moving.
While no one wants the games to drag out any longer than they already do, instant replay will help make sure the important calls are correct, and give managers control to challenge a close call that could change the outcome of an inning or a game. As long as it does not take longer than two to three minutes to get the calls correct, it should be a welcome addition. Since there should not be more than a few challenges in any given game, it will be worth the wait to get the calls correct and it gives managers an option other than going out, cursing out the umpire, putting on a show and getting thrown out of the game without the call being reviewed to verify it was indeed the correct call.
What are your thoughts on instant replay and the way it is being instituted by Major League Baseball?
What would you do differently, if anything?