Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Flaws of Instant Replay in Major League Baseball

The expansion of instant replay has been an interesting transition into Major League Baseball. You can follow @MLBReplays on Twitter to see every play that is being reviewed. We are about three weeks into the season and people have different opinions on instant replay. Obviously, Major League Baseball is trying to get all the correct calls, however even with replays they have still botched a few calls. John Farrell was the first manager to get ejected over arguing an overturned call. He thought there was not enough conclusive evidence to overturn the initial call. This got me thinking whether or not expanded instant replays should have been part of Major League Baseball but there is no turning back now. They implemented it and now it will be here to stay. There will definitely need to be some tweaks to the system. Here are some things that bother me about instant replay.

When they go to replay and STILL get a call wrong. This happened in the Red Sox vs Yankees game as they didn’t overturn an obvious call after going to replay. After the game Major League Baseball said that the crew in the instant replay place in New York didn’t get the same angle that people on television saw. I don’t understand how this is even possible. You set up this fancy place JUST for instant replays and you still don’t have every single angle known to man?

The slow trot out by the manager. It really bothers me when managers take the walk out to the umpire slowly until they turn to their dugout to see if they should challenge or not since all teams have some sort of team working on replays. Obviously everyone wants the right call but it’s kind of ridiculous that for every close play the manager has the right to go out and talk to the umpire before deciding on if they want to challenge the play or not. Won’t the time managers do the trot out for the whole season be longer than the couple heated arguments they get into if there were no replays?

The transfer rule and the blocking of the home plate rule are two areas that are a bit dicey. The transfer rule happens to be the worst because they changed it so the player who catches the ball has to transfer it to his throwing hand before it can be considered an out. If the player drops the ball taking the ball out of his glove, the runner will automatically be ruled safe. I think this is something that needs to be changed. If it is clear that the player catches the ball and drops it while transferring the ball to his throwing hand, it should be an out. There have been a few cases where that was not the case and this is something Major League Baseball have been talking about so they change this rule. No one really fully understands the blocking of home plate rule either, not even the umpires.

After three weeks with the changes to instant replay in Major League Baseball, it is already a big topic of discussion. Major League Baseball is trying to improve the game, but is replay good for baseball? Personally, I don’t like it as it somewhat eliminates the human element as well as the entertaining arguments that have gone on in the past. What’s next for baseball? A machine for determining the strike zone? 


Alan Liang is a junior Drexel Sport Management major with minors in Marketing and Business Administration from West Windsor, NJ. Alan scores baseball games for Baseball Info Solutions and is currently on co-op with the Philadelphia 76ers in the camps department. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanLiang29. 

Connect with Alan on LinkedIn.

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