Good buddy ShysterBall has posted a few entries dedicated to the possibility of Instant Replay in baseball and there's been a good, spirited debate by the commenters, myself included. I wholeheartedly recommend a visit.
I'll try to keep it brief and summarize my thoughts here:
- I'm entirely concerned about the slippery slope if IR is adopted for boundary calls (HR fair/foul, over the wall or not, fan interference on HRs). I do not want it used on safe/out or worse, ball/strike. Period.
- I think it will speed up the games, not slow it down.
- I think the ump's would rather have help to get it right than be subbornly wrong. That was the attitude back in the 50's, not today.
- This IR idea was proposed to Selig during the most recent off-season but Selig himself shelved the idea. So for those who claim --erroneously-- that the only reason this is an issue today is because it happened 2x this week at Yankee Stadium, you are incorrect. The three incidents (the third being in Houston) this week were merely accelerants to have the proposal re-examined by Bud.
- I don't think the cost will be material at all, at least not with respect to the revenues earned by MLB ($6B last year!).
- I think the ump's union can be assuaged with the hiring of one more ump for each crew, and the rotation includes a night per rotation as "video judge". More jobs for umps makes umps and their union leaders happy...just guessing.
- The NFL has restricted use of IR to only certain plays; MLB could and should do the same.
- The NFL and NHL has proved the concept of IR to be both successful and welcomed by players and fans alike.
- I firmly believe, and I've yet to hear a cogent argument to the contrary, that fans would rather have a pause in the action to get the call right than to have the call left wrong for eternity. Instant replay would not have reversed the Denkinger call back in 1985 but that's OK. It would have changed the outcome of the infamous Jeffrey Maier play back in 1996. It would NOT have changed the outcome of the Bartman play.
- I hope MLB changes its normal pace of action and this doesn't take a major blown call in the playoffs to enact change. We've seen the other leagues change their rules quickly. NHL changed a rule mid-playoff series. The NFL righted a wrong in the immediate off-season. The MLB would benefit to follow the leads set by their peers.