On Instant Replay in Major League Baseball
I am a baseball purist. I never needed the wildcard. Interleague plays upsets me. The DH rule disgusts me. I hate steroids, mostly because they’ve damaged small-ball and baserunning. The sound of aluminum on baseball makes me cringe, and I think wooden bats should be introduced to the college game.
Nonetheless, I support the use of instant replay in baseball.
Watching last night’s opening game on the YES network, announcer Ken Singleton (former Expo), Al Leiter and that other guy debated the issue. Singleton, who I like and respect, worried it would slow the game down. I share his concern, and think time between pitches should be limited, as should time spent stepping out of the batter’s box. But that’s another story. Here are ways I think Instant Replay should be implemented.
1) Only in the post-season. Over 162 games, bad calls even themselves out. Not so in short series.
2) Don’t allow it on balls and strikes. Umpiring home plate is more about consistency than accuracy. As long as the ump is being consistent, he’s doing an ok job. Having said that, I’d love to see the de facto strike zone narrowed, but also raised (calling the high strike more). But on close calls on the basepaths, and fair and foul balls, instant replay will be very useful.
3) Give each manager two options to use the instant replay, and one more if the game goes into extra innings. The umpires can also use it at their discretion.
With instant replay, bad calls will no longer tarnish the post-season. What do y’all think?