Baseball replay is a logical step…as long as it doesn’t get carried away

The new baseball replay rules could radically alter the game. Or not.

Will it slow the game? It shouldn’t. Will it change the outcome of a game? It could. Will it get the call right? Sure, just like the NFL and other sports who use any type of replay.

Is it a perfect system? No. All agree that it isn’t. And, just like the NFL and college replay systems, you can expect tweaks along the way. And, unhappy campers.

The consensus, however, is that it will actually help speed up the game and make right the obvious, possibly game-changing calls.

Many believe that the new system eliminate or greatly reduce arguments from managers. It may be designed that way, but with only one challenge per the first six innings (two at the most), the manager will want to debate a call as long as possible without having to use his challenge, if possible.

So, if there are multiple blown calls before the end of the sixth inning, though, you’ll continue to have arguments and ejections as usual as a manager will have no other means to “challenge”.

What does this process get right? The best facet is that a controversial play could actually be “reviewed” before it’s challenged.  For example, on a close play at first base, the replay specialist in New York could take a look while the manager is determining whether he’ll actually challenge or not.

By the time he gets to the plate, has a brief exchange with the umpire and officially declares the challenge, the replay guy in New York will have had time to see the play a few times.

What does it get “wrong”? Not a lot, but it is at least curious that the replay officials in New York — and not the umpire crew on the field — will determine where to put runners, etc. if the call is overturned.

While I’m still pretty much a purist at heart, the new system is only a logical step in such a technological age where fans and players can see the “right” call instantly, but umpires are forced to watch replays after the game and answer reporters’ questions about why they blew it.

Now, if they start using replay for balls and strikes and other such things that take the human element out of the game, I may have to find another sport to watch.

Of course, the only question that Armando Galaraga is asking this morning is if the new rule is retroactive.

  • Do you like the new rules?
  • What’s your biggest beef with them?
  • Will it slow down an already-slow game?

13 comments on “Baseball replay is a logical step…as long as it doesn’t get carried away

  1. My objection is that it continues the trend of not being the game I once knew. DH, free agency, TV god, PED’s, interleague, terrible pace, instant replay.Angel Hernandez. All ruining real baseball.


    • oldpro, I feel your pain. If they went back to the two divisions and lost the DH, I wouldn’t mind. Wouldn’t also mind a true Game of the Week. But I’m old school. I’ve passed the denial stage though and accepted the fact that so much has changed over the past 20-25 years, including my favorite past time.


      • oldpro and Chip I feel y’all’s pain, too.

        I especially appreciated Chip’s comments about his passing the denial stage…and his disdain for the DH. So, ipso facto, he hates the move to the AL? Chip, go on, you can say it, you DO mind the state of baseball (esp in Houston) today.

        It’s certainly not the same — can we say ruined?

        oldpro, your points are valid and poignant (except maybe free agency, that was bound to happen in a free imarket). Interleague, I kind of like. But the rest, collectively and progressively, adding a heap of Jim Crane sleaze on top of it all, is indeed objectionable. I feel ya.

        Yet, how y’all remain positive and optimistic about the Astros future is truly commendable.


  2. Should have left it alone. The only thing I’m in favor of this year, is the deliberately trying to kill the catcher, when trying to score. NOT cool.


    • Becky, I too found the entire process interesting. Apparently he and Altuve have the same agent (at least that is reported to be the case). So I just assumed a similar deal with Castro obviously making more money. So Castro does get more this year, but not sure long term what happens.


    • If he remains at catcher he is very valuable. If he has to move to DH or 1B he is not as valuable. I suspect they are wanting to evaluate him more before offering a long term deal.


      • devin_ nailed it. As a 1B, Castro’s bat no longer carries plus value.

        I bet money is so tight that committing to a 2-year deal was too risky. No TV-deal equals no money. Bottom line.

        Then we look at a ridiculous $210mil deal for the Dodgers lefty stud, and we start to realize that…


    • They gave Altuve a long term deal. We had no great 2B in our system.
      They gave Castro a one year deal. Speaks volumes about how they feel about the catching in our organization. I’m just sayin’ what I’m seein’.


  3. When we can sit in our living rooms (assuming the game is televised) and immediately play back events that take place on the playing field, then replay has to be introduced to the game in some measure. With todays technology, that’s simply the way it has to be. Better that than everyone knowing a blown call has impacted the outcome of a game, with no corrective measure allowed to fix the obvious blunder. But what if a crew blows four calls in a game? Either you have a review system in place that can correct every contested call, or you don’t have one..

    Castro is a bad catcher with a solid bat against right handed pitching whose wheels might not hold up for an entire season. 2.45 for one year seems fair to me.


  4. I’m in favor of expanded replay, but fear umpires will change how they call games (like when QuesTec went into place) on close calls. Maybe it will benefit us, or maybe it will force at least two delays per game.

    At first I was against the replays being done in NYC for all games, but hope this will yield consistency. Obviously the official scorer in each ballpark does not yield consistent results.

    Eliminating collisions at the plate needs to be done. Taking it a step further, MLB needs to invest more R&D money into helmets and protective gear for pitchers, batters, and possibly catchers.


  5. My first reaction is that as long as Angel Hernandez has a job – one – or possibly two challenges – are not enough.
    I’m torn – I do like the fact that they will actually allow the crowd to see replays – that was totally missing in my ballpark experiences. I would say I would rather have it stay in human control – but boy it sure seems that the umpiring has been on a decline.
    Anyways – I will watch and see what happens – no control on my side as usual.


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