Open Mic: Is There an Alternative to Instant Replay in MLB?

Joe WillettSenior Writer IMay 25, 2008

Instant replay has been a large part of the discussion among baseball fans during the past few weeks.

Should they make it more fair?  Is this hurting the integrity of the game?  Shouldn't the umps be able to make the calls right by themselves?

Every argument has valid points.  Baseball is America's past-time and there hasn't been cameras for over 100 years, but shouldn't every sport take advantage of modern technology.

The baseball Gods seem to be demanding instant replay, as in the span of just a few weeks, there have been three questionable calls on home runs.

First, Carlos Delgado hit what looked to be a fair home run.  It was even originally signaled as a home run.

However, the call was overruled (which is very surprising seeing as nobody had a definitive view of the ball) and through the magic of video, we were all able to see what they umpires couldn't.

Shouldn't baseball umpires know something that the fans know, I mean, which is more important to the game being played out fairly?

The next day, after looking at the tape, the umpires said that they made a bad call.

Shouldn't that admission come within a minute of the event occurring?

Then, just a few nights later, Alex Rodriquez hit a questionable ball.  There was a lot of controversy in New York that night.

The call was correct, but there questions surrounding the incident for the 20,000+ fans at the game as well as Rodriguez thinking that the umps made yet another bad call.

Shouldn't all those fans know right away whether or not it was a home run?

Sure, those brought up the question of whether or not instant replay should be added to baseball, but neither of the events determined the outcome of the game because both games were won by blowouts.

Then, earlier today, Luis Rivas hit a deep ball that was called a home run.  After reviewing the play on TV, the ball was not a home run.

But the umps didn't have that luxury, and the ball remained a home run.

Sure, Soriano preceded to drop a fly ball that could have ended the game in the ninth, but that game was changed by a first inning home run that shouldn't have been a home run.

This is the first time this season that there is an argument that a bad call completely changed a game.

But for those of you nostalgia buffs that don't want instant replay, the umpires can still have full control of a call.

As I was watching the 1st inning of the Cubs game today, there was an interesting idea proposed.

Instead of instant replay, add 2 umpires against the wall in the outfield.  This would give them a much better view at home run calls instead of somebody running down the line trying to see where the ball lands.

This would also help to solve the problem of bad home run calls.

Either way, something needs to be done to bring more certainty to the game of baseball, seeing as we already have steroids to be uncertain about.

I'm Joe W.

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