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Major League Baseball Needs To Implement Instant Replay ASAP

Submitted by on October 16, 2012 – 11:32 amOne Comment

The New York Yankees have no one but themselves to blame for the 0-2 hole that they are in right now in the American League Championship Series. They can’t hit the ball. They’ve struggled to manufacture runs. And, the Detroit Tigers took advantage of those two things en route to two big wins at Yankee Stadium. But, the Yankees do have the right to complain about one other factor that contributed to at least one of their losses—umpiring.

Now, normally, I don’t like to hand out passes for teams who blame the umpires or refereeing for their shortcomings. But, during Game 2 of the ALCS, one umpire made a call that was so bad that I’m willing to overlook that and let the Yankees hand the umps some of the blame for their loss. With New York trailing 1-0 in the top of the eighth inning, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano tagged Tigers second baseman Omar Infante out at second. It was clearly an out. And yet, the umpire called him safe, and the Tigers ended up scoring two more runs in the inning and won the game 3-0. It was enough to get Yankees manager Joe Girardi to speak up about the possibility of Major League Baseball installing instant replay sometime in the near future.

“Let’s have instant replay,” he said. “And not just home run fair [or] foul [calls]. Let’s have instant replay.”

Yes, MLB. Let’s have it. After all, the other major pro sports have adopted it. In the National Football League, instant replay plays a huge role in helping the referees get calls right. In the National Basketball Association, it often helps refs determine possession at the end of games. And, even the National Hockey League uses it to see whether or not goals are good. So, why doesn’t MLB have it?

Well, it does have it…but only for home run calls. So, it needs to implement it for other calls, too. Not balls and strikes. That would be too much. But, it would be helpful for umpires to have an extra set of eyes watching close plays out in the field. Did a center fielder really make a catch? It could be reviewed. Was a runner really safe at first? It could be reviewed. Did Cano really tag Infante out? It could be reviewed. That’s not to say that everything needs to be reviewed. But, similar to the NFL, MLB could implement a system that allows baseball managers to “challenge” calls made by umpires. It’d help make sure that bad calls don’t affect the outcome of a game.

Would it slow the game of baseball down? Slightly. But, baseball is a game that was built to be played at a slow pace. After every single pitch, pitchers and batters go through an entire routine that takes up time. So, why not force them to play a little quicker and use some of the extra time they’d gain to implement instant replay? It’d help the players. It’d help the umpires. And, it’d help the fans enjoy the game more.

Sooner or later, MLB will need to implement instant replay. So, why not do it now?

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