Instant Replay in the MLB

Alan Pearson


The most American and traditional game has finally made its way into the 21st century: baseball finally has instant replay review.

Unlike the other major sports, such as football or basketball, baseball has fought against replay for a very long time. With complaints like it will slow the game down, and it makes an already long game even longer; the MLB decided against it. But with technology getting faster, the league had no choice, but to include instant replay.

A lot of critics are saying that in ruins the natural feel of the game. I can respect that. Baseball is all about professionalism and seems so pure. But the fact of the matter is that we have the resources to make sure that every call is right, so why shouldn’t we use them.

It is not a long process at all. If a manager decides to challenge a call, he must alert the umpire that he is challenging. If the manager gets the challenge correct and the play is overturned then the manager will get his challenge back. If he decides to use this second challenge, then he will no longer be able to challenge for the rest of the game.

From the seventh inning on, the manager no longer has the option to challenge a play. That is decided by the umpire crew. Once a challenge is made, a center in New York examines the play and is ultimately the one who makes the call on the play. The message is then relayed to the crew chief and the game resumes.

Overall, use of a replay system does not take very long. No replay has taken longer than five minutes. As compared to other sports, it seems to take the same amount of time as it does in basketball or football. It is not easy to make a call without checking every angle to make sure you have made the call correctly.

Baseball just gets a bad reputation because of the era we live in. We are constantly spoiled with everything moving so fast that we need all of our information now. Baseball is a slow paced game, but lasts the same three hours as a football game.

The fact is that umpires are getting the calls right. It does take extra time, but it is better than the umpires making the incorrect call and causing a team the game. The system could stand to be tweaked a little bit, but for the small sample that we have I believe that is a great thing for the sport.