MLB owners recently voted unanimously in favour of an expanded instant replay. Managers will be awarded one challenge per game, and if successful, will be given another. Base calls, foul balls, hit batters, even fan interference, will now be reviewable.
Despite being a fan who appreciates baseball’s human element, I see this rule change as a positive for the sport. The technology is in place and in use in other major sports already. As a fan, I want the right calls to be made, and as good as Major League umpires are, they do make mistakes. Why not give them the opportunity to get some help?
Imagine some of the plays in the past that could have been different if this type of replay existed in the past? Derek Jeter’s home run in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS is probably ruled a ground rule double, or maybe even an out, due to obvious fan interference.
Armando Galarraga, in 2010, would get his perfect game, while pitching for the Detroit Tigers and Jim Joyce would be able to sleep at night. Or, how about the 2007 National League Wildcard Tiebreaker game between San Diego and Colorado? Matt Holliday clearly missed the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning but was called safe, sending the Rockies into the playoffs, and, eventually, the World Series. If reviewed, that game would have continued, and history may have been changed.
Oh, and don’t forget the Toronto Blue Jays! In 1992, they would have completed one of only two triple plays in World Series history (1920, Cleveland Indians), after that spectacular catch by Devon White and diving tag of Atlanta’s Deion Sanders by Kelly Gruber.
The debates will be entertaining over the coming weeks, and throughout the season. Games will likely be a bit longer, but missed calls should be corrected more often than not. And that has to be good for baseball.
Photo credit: @everythingmlb
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- By jon.empringham
- January 17, 2014