Is time really the only thing keeping MLB from expanding instant replay?

If time is the only reason why baseball won’t use instant replay for close calls like the one Jim Joyce regrettably got wrong on Wednesday night, then Bud Selig should be embarrassed. (He should be embarrassed for a lot of things actually, but let’s just stick with this instant replay topic.)

Think about it: the biggest argument against expanding instant replay to calls around the base paths is that the game would be slower than it already is. But that can’t be a genuine argument, can it? If Joyce and the rest of the umpire crew had another 30 seconds to check a video monitor underneath Comerica Park, then Armando Galarraga would have a perfect game on his resume.

Thirty seconds. One minute – whatever. It doesn’t take long for umpires to use instant replay to figure out if a home run was actually a home run and it wouldn’t take long for them to determine whether or not a runner was safe on one of the base paths. The league (and some fans for that matter) is so concerned that a game would take too much time to complete that it’s willing to live with a wrong call like the one Joyce made.

That’s almost laughable when you think about it. If it takes three hours and forty-five minutes to finish a game with instant replay and three hours and thirty minutes without it, does the extra 15 minutes matter? Would an extra 30 minutes matter? If it does, then whom would it matter to? The fans? It’s not like they’re being strapped to an electric chair and held at gunpoint to stay for an entire game. If they want to leave, they can leave. If they want to turn to another channel, they can turn to another channel. It shouldn’t really affect them in the end.

Getting the calls right should be the only thing that Selig and baseball should care about. And if time is the one thing that is holding MLB back from expanding instant replay, then the league is in luck because time just happens to be endless.

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Instant replay coming to MLB by end of week?

The Associated Press is reporting that Major League Baseball might implement the use of instant replay as early as Thursday.

Major League Baseball reversed its long-standing opposition to instant replay and will allow umpires to check video on home run calls in series that start Thursday, a person familiar with the announcement told The Associated Press.

The start date comes nearly 10 months after general managers voted 25-5 to use the technology, and following MLB agreements with the unions for umpires and for players.

For now, video will be used only on so-called “boundary calls,” such as determining whether fly balls went over the fence or whether potential home runs were fair or foul.

Video will be collected at the office of Major League Baseball Advanced Media in New York. If the crew chief at a game decides replay needs to be checked, umpires will leave the field, technicians at MLBAM will show umpires the video and the crew chief will make the call.

Hopefully this is an immediate success and MLB brings instant replay back for a full season next year. Getting the calls right should be baseball’s highest priority – not whether or not the games will be dragged out longer.

Baseball could add instant replay within two weeks

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Minute Maid Park will have an instant replay system up and running within the next week.

McLane, who recently returned from the owner’s meetings in Washington, said he expects baseball to begin using instant replay for questionable home run calls within the next two weeks.

“The commissioner makes the decision,” McLane said. “(The teams) get back to him and tell him when they’re ready, and he’ll get with the umpire and give them their instructions. It’s not far away.”
Instant replay was a hot topic at the owner’s meetings, where baseball commissioner Bud Selig outlined his proposal to the owners.

No vote was required because adding replay is not a rules change.

Baseball general managers voted 25-5 last November in favor of replay.

Under the commissioner’s proposal, the umpires would decide which calls get reviewed via replay and a decision would be made by the crew chief after consulting the replay.

Each ballpark will have monitors and phones installed near the field.

The main argument against instant replay is that it will slow down the game. Even if that’s true, what’s the difference? What’s the difference between a three-hour game and a three-hour and fifteen-minute game? Getting the calls right should be the most important thing for the league – period. And with all the technology at our fingertips these days, why not have instant replay in all the parks?

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