Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
After watching Rays’ manager Joe Maddon get bent over by an umpire yet again, one can’t help but ask why replay is still not being implemented in Major League Baseball the way it is in other professional sports. Last night we saw a pitch that was a good six inches out of the strike zone get called for strike three to end the game in a loss for the Rays. This same umpire has been making horrible calls against Maddon for a while. Now here the MLB sits, having both out of control umpires and a method by which they could be reined in, and baseball wants nothing to do with replay. This makes the MLB look like a collection of clowns and I’m flat out sick of it! Replay needs to be brought into Major League Baseball immediately!
From what I’ve read and heard, everyone’s biggest worry seems to be that replay will slow the game of baseball down. Pardon me, but I think baseball is already moving at a snail pace, will anyone really notice? The only sport that is more boring to watch than baseball is golf, and even Tiger has a time limit. I’m with Cowherd on this one (yes, I know…that’s blasphemy to some of you out there). If baseball has time for sausage races and the seventh inning stretch, then it has time to make sure the games are officiated properly! Let’s be serious here. Would throwing a challenge flag and reviewing the play over on the monitor really take more time out of a game than this (http://youtu.be/7VO8MAnS4tM)? Surely not.
Baseball is one of the few sports where the officials can so directly decide the outcome of the games. At least one official is involved in every pitch. Football is the only other sport that comes close, and the NFL has realized that letting officials decide games is bad for business. It’s time for Bud Selig to catch up, because baseball is quickly becoming a joke due to bad umpires.
So by this point you’re probably thinking, “Well this guy sure is convincing me, but how do you put replay into baseball anyhow?” If you’re not, just play along as if you are. Either way, I figure baseball has two options. They can either bring in the challenge flag or bring in a booth umpire.
If they decide to go with the challenge flag, then I figure each manager should get one challenge to use on whatever play they deem worthy. If the manager wins the challenge, nothing happens. If the manager loses the challenge, then they are ejected. This sounds severe, but I’m guessing that most managers would be ejected after losing the challenge anyways. If you don’t agree, I refer you to the example above.
If they decide to go with the booth umpire option, then you would have an umpire stationed in the booth to review all close calls...much like the Big Ten does in football. Not every single play is reviewed, but anything that is close gets a once over by the man up in the booth. Most baseball calls are much more cut and dry than football calls, so the time spent reviewing would be minimal. In fact, I bet that most calls would be finalized before the next batter steps into the batter’s box.
Come on Mr. Selig, would it really be that hard to give the home plate umpire an earpiece so the booth umpire could tell him if they botched the call or not? Absolutely not!
Replay will not ruin baseball. Period. In fact, I believe that replay will solve the problem that has been ruining baseball for years…the human element. All you old time, Babe Ruth lovin’ purists are holding my beloved sport back! Knock it off!