Sorry, dinosaurs. Party’s over. Major League Baseball to expand instant replay

Commissioner SeligI remember having a debate with my uncle about a year or so ago.  My old uncle Alex is a lifelong baseball fan and a consummate purist, a stark contrast to his otherwise sensible nature.

Arguing with him about whether baseball should expand its use of instant replay was like talking to a wall.  No matter how logically one presented an argument, he’d retort with the same tired excuse that human error is and has always been an inherent part of the game.  We used to have public executions and no polio vaccine in this country as well.  Over time institutions evolve, just not those called Major League Baseball.

Happily, an announcement came from the ever-modernizing office of Bud Selig that dinosaurs are one step closer to extinction.  Next season, baseball is going to expand its use of instant replay by allowing managers to challenge questionable calls, a rule the NFL adopted ten years ago.  Congratulations, baseball.  It only took you a decade to get with the program.  Electricity in locker rooms will soon follow.

Assuming the vote is passed this coming November, this will be good news for the sport and shouldn’t be viewed any differently.  Not only will more calls be made correctly, and umpires held more accountable for their actions, the challenge system will add an entirely new dynamic to the sport.

If and when this goes into effect, managers will get one challenge within the first six innings and two more for the later innings.  Just like NFL coaches, managers must apportion these challenges wisely.  Challenged calls will be reviewed by the league office in New York City, I’m guessing instantaneously.  One can only assume this will take minutes but then again we’re talking Major League Baseball here.  Anything is possible.

NFL Instant ReplayIf implemented properly, baseball’s new challenge system should go off without a hitch.  There’s no reason baseball shouldn’t get this right on the first try.  We’re not talking brain surgery here.  The NBA, NFL and even tennis have all effectively implemented instant replay to ensure the correct call is made.  Precedent has been set.  It’s unfortunate that nobody wearing a baseball cap was paying attention.

Hey, at least the sport is making progress.  The commissioner should be commended (says SportsChump clenching his teeth) for finally getting this on the docket, although it had probably been buried under a pile of papers on his desk for years.

For so many reasons, our national pastime has lost its relevance.  From drug use and escalating salaries to work stoppages and a cancelled World Series, Bud Selig’s tenure has seen baseball take a giant step backwards.  Instant replay is a small step in the right direction.  Fans should embrace that change.  Trust me, the sport needs it.

26 thoughts on “Sorry, dinosaurs. Party’s over. Major League Baseball to expand instant replay

  1. Chris

    ,Selig takes himself far too seriously and believes is legacy as baseball`s commissioner is equal if not superior to his predecessors . Unfortunately , for Bud Selig , the vast majority of fans do not believe that to be the case . The commissioner , much like his legacy , is about as popular having a colo-rectal exam be performed by a plumber .


    There are far more acute issue in the game to be dealt with but this moron believes instant replay is now a must ?
    . How about his dumb @ss dealing and tackling the rampant use of steroids head on, rather than being as usual , all too reactionary ? More players at the Minor League Level have been busted than at the Major League Level . Yet, he still believes that the game has the strictest testing policy in all of baseball ? Idiotic ! Selig still asn`t addressed wy Manny Ramirez as not served is mandatory 100 game suspension . Who the hell takes this guy (Bud Selig) seriously , other than the @ss kissing idiots who pay homage to baseball`s hierarchy and the owners themselves ?

    So Ryan Braun was in denial and that was the reason why he felt it unnecessary to tell the truth and the reason behind why he lied about his use of steroids ? I was hoping he`d use the PFC Bradley Manning excuse and state that he had a gender identity crisis and now wants to become a woman . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    tophatal ……….

  2. The NFL is the best run league in sports for many reasons.

    Its product fits television perfectly, from the rectangular shape of the television screen to the relative dimensions of a football field and includes explosion of action much more often than does baseball.

    Baseball perseveres because of history. Revered history, undeserved as it is because of recent drug use.

    Baseball must implement replay to make up ground lost to football. It has no choice. It is going to be awkward,,cumbersome and grudgingly accepted by the recalcitrant uncles of our families but so were seat belts.

    I shout “play reviewable ball” and in the process eliminate the phantom double play.

  3. Al…

    Selig should probably have nothing to do with this whatsoever. Just hire the best minds and technologicians in the sport and have them put it all together.

    I do slightly worry about the implementation, however. How many people are going to be employed by this office and how many will be watching games at any given time? Let’s say there are twelve games going on at once. Are there people assigned to each game or just a group of spectacle-wearing, donut-eating techies watching games in a studio somewhere? And how do we hold them accountable?

    Hey, I’ve got plenty of . The commissioner’s office just hasn’t called me. They must have heard I’ve been talking bad about him lately.

  4. Jimboree…

    Rozelle still gets all the credit for expanding the NFL into what it is today. In contrast, I feel Selig’s tenure, even years down the road, will be met with a bunch of skepticism. As it should.

    Think about it, in the 70s, all there was was baseball. Not so much nowadays as it failed to keep up with the Joneses.

    I agree with you. The sport has relied far too long on the fact that its our national pastime. Meanwhile, it took advantage of the fans.

    Now, their San Diego chickens are coming home to roost… and rightfully so.

  5. Nice, triple SC…replay is well needed indeed and I’m a hard core baseball fan.

    Your quote of …”Congratulations, baseball. It only took you a decade to get with the program. Electricity in locker rooms will soon follow…” Well, that got me thinking of fried chicken and beer” !! LOL! Hmmm….maybe that’s just proof of too much fun during my girls night out at the beach tonight if all I’m continuing to think of at this hour is food and beer!

    And I’m giving kudos with clenched teeth right along with you. When can we say So Long, Selig? Not a moment too soon, but at least we finally got replay option.
    Cheers,
    DeeDee

  6. Cris

    The moment tat Bud Selig knew Alex Rodriguez would appeal the suspension . Why did he not seek an immediate hearing wit the National Mediation Board ? Now the appeal itself , will not be held until after the postseason as ended . The player`s involvement in the game by playing for the Yankees has sullied the landscape and is likely to affect the playoff race . See my comments to Al Clements on this , in my most recent baseball piece . Also I responded to your comments concerning Freeman , Romo and Sanchez . Let me know if your opinions differ any ?

    Feds watching

  7. Dee Dee…

    Selig has become that rash that just won’t go away. Can we please get some cortisone for this guy already?

    Don’t forget to get in my NFL futures contest. We can always use the female perspective, chicken wings or not.

  8. Al…

    Fortunately for baseball, I don’t think that ARod’s presence in pinstripes will in one way or another affect their success or failure.

    He’s washed up. Just like Selig.

  9. So washed up that Brian Cashman and and the Steinbrenners are now looking for ways to get out of paying A Rod the $104 million h e is owed over the next four seasons .

    The Yankees` organization has a litany of lawyers at their disposal and you`re telling me that they can`t find a way to void his contract in light of previous and obvious current infractions ? WTF is going on in baseball ? Fans are now getting their rocks off , because there is going to be instant replay next season ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!!

    tophatal ……………

  10. Al…

    I’m actually surprised the Yanks haven’t cut him entirely. They can afford it. That just goes to show you how bad their third base situation is.

    He went 0-fer last night against the Rays, bringing his average down to .262. Let’s see if he can get anything together the rest of this series.

    Tonight he’s going against Price and tomorrow afternoon against Cobb so it won’t be easy, although it never is against Rays pitching.

  11. Maddon has stated that his pitchers will be instructed not to throw at A Rod . That`s a damn same ! Does that mean that fans will be allowed to throw something instead ?

    Don`t look now but Vince Young will be Aaron Rodgers` backup in Green Bay , as they are likely to cut Graham Harrell, who was Rodgers` #2 for last season .

    If only JaMarcus Russell could use that as an inspiration to make a successful comeback to the NFL . LOL,LOL,LOL !!! First , Russell would need to lose at least 60lbs off his girth.

    Bills` QB Kevin Kolb suffered a concussion and is likely to miss the rest of the preseason and possibly first two games of the team`s regular season schedule .

    Urban Meyer believes his Buckeyes can make serious run at the national title this season . Your thoughts on that ?

    topatal ………………………

  12. Al…

    ARod gets enough grief from the fan bases he visits. I don’t see why opposing teams feel the need to throw at him. Douchiness is not enough of a valid reason.

    Does it really matter who the back-up quarterback is in Green Bay? He’s not going to see any playing time.

    I do think the Buckeyes have a legit shot at maybe facing ‘Bama this year although don’t you think ‘Bama’s due for a slip-up? Their dominance has gone on for quite some time.

    And what’s up? No Revis tonight? What was the final word on that?

  13. Chris

    When I think douchiness , all I see a feminine hygiene product . Equates with A Rod ?

    If Young was good enough to beat out Harrell, then Mike McCarthy must`ve seen something .

    If bama slips up then it will be in a conference game .

    Revis` injury ? How serious was it ? He wasn`t shot in the @as was he ? ,

    Geno Smith is putting on a terrific performance for Jets . Those three picks (INT`s) against the Giants have been priceless. LOL,LOL,LOL !!! . Mark Sanchez must be laughing his @ss off and thinking they drafted this guy to do what ? Jets` fans must now regret the decision made by the front office to get rid of Tebow .

    Jay`-z says …. 99 Problems and a #itch ain`t one. . No , it`s actually Geno Smith . who is the problem

    tophatal …………………

  14. No way to endear yourself to me better than using a particular adjective in front of my name. :-)

    Here’s my ever-so-brief argument against instant replay: Baseball is really two different things: a meandering affair that is punctuated by small doses of high-paced action (sorta like being a cop, I guess), and also a highly stats-driven sport in which otherwise-normal people spend inordinate amounts of time poring over arcane averages and playing compound what-if games . To me, it is the balance between these two that makes the sport so great, and different from any other. Instant replay is a concession to the stats junkies who want it all ‘correct;’ who feel that someone being robbed by a bad call is a preventable anomaly rather than a part of the game. Although I haven’t done the analysis (and I’m not aware that it has been done at all), I suspect that the sample size is large and arbitrary enough that bad calls work themselves out over the span of a year: for every one taken away from your favorite team, there’s probably another that went their way.

    I’ll concede that it may make sense to up the ante for playoff games, only because the sample size is too small to expect bad calls to even themselves out. But if your assertion is correct, and baseball needs instant replay to become relevant once again, what legitimacy do you expect replay to bring about? And to your core assertion: is baseball really losing relevance at all?

  15. Al…

    The Jets now have more than 99 problems with Ryan taking heat for putting Sanchez back in that game and putting him at risk to injury.

    Whoops!

    I imagine the New York media had a field day with that one. If you read any solid pieces bashing Ryan, which shouldn’t be hard to find, feel free to send me the links.

  16. Unc….

    In the words of Jules Winnfield “Please allow me to retort.”

    To see that baseball is losing its relevance, or at least its popularity in comparison to the other two major sports, one need only look at the ratings for those sport’s biggest games. If a small market team, or at least one that’s not in Boston, New York or St Louis (and perhaps L.A. this year) are not in the World Series, nobody watches.

    People in this country eat, live and sleep NFL. It wasn’t always like that but it is now. And LeBron’s Finals last year garnered huge television ratings.

    Sample size, shample size. I’m not buying it. If a call is blown, a sample size of one, and we have the means to correct it, why don’t we just do that?

    Like Aero said, it’s about time… and he’s old school.

  17. Chris


    Misery loves company and the Jets are
    , and have been miserable.

    The Bucs can`t sell out for their final preseason game ? Sad and damn pitiful ! More of the same during the regular season from the Tampa Bay Bucs` fans as usual. All talk , but no real support and the continued excuses about loyalty . If only they knew the exact meaning of the word ?

    tophatal …………………

  18. Chris

    If we could could get Joe Redner (Mons Venus owner) to offer some pre and half-time entertainment at the Ray J for the male attendee members , then I believe we would definitely see a spike in the attendance . Kids would ave to be relegated to playing in the parking lot or something during the entertainment provided . .

    Matt Leinart is now with the Bills ? If his luck holds out , he could end up on the roster of all thirty-two teams in the role of an NFL backup QB . From Heisman trophy winner to an also ran in the league and stealing money , every step of the way .

    New dime drop …… entitled I told you so …..

    tophatal ………..

  19. Unc…

    That makes three people here (Aer, Bleed and Surface) who said the exact same thing, which is ‘about time.’

    There’s nothing wrong with tinkering with the sport a bit to make it a little better, more modern.

    I understand they want to do so carefully. Nobody is suggesting they do so willy-nilly but if there’s something they can do to improve things, then why wouldn’t they just do that?

    Right, guys?

  20. As long as they don’t get too crazy with what they are doing, I think it’s the right move. There have been too many errors that have cost teams games this year. Just find other ways to not slow the game down more, while still adding the necessary replay changes. I’m for it, if they do it right.

  21. Chris

    Still believe that the Yankees can`t make the postseason ? The Rays are now doing their very best to assist them with four straight losses coming into Monday night. Now what ? Maddon and the guys are 3-7 in their last ten games .

    The six game insurmountable lead that Maddon and his players had over Joe Girardi`s team is now <a href=http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/c_id=tb s down to tree games . When the two teams meet at Yankee Stadium , that series will be of the utmost importance as a great deal will be riding on it .

    Left you a response on my two most recent pieces .

    tophatal ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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