All Things Astros and a whole lot more
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.