So often we hear of the tradition of the game of baseball. I understand the people who believe in it. I agree with them on some things, like getting rid of the DH, but I digress on others. I’m sorry baseball purists; I’m going to have to give you a little shot in the gut on one issue, instant replay. My position: have replay for home run (fair or foul) calls only.
The HR replay system would be great because it would create a nice balance between people who want nothing reviewed and people who want everything reviewed. I hear about the slippery slope argument, that once home runs can be reviewed, then balls and strikes will soon follow, and baseball will descend into a chaos of mechanical insanity. HR replay would be different from base replay and pitch calls because it directly affects whether or run is scored.
The biggest problem with that argument is that umpires have a much better chance of making the proper call with base plays than home run calls. It can be difficult for an umpire to get a great look at a potential home run ball because he is so far away from it. This is different than on a base call when the ump is right on top of the play. The fact that there have been so many missed calls (for home runs) the past few weeks proves that it can be a very difficult call for the umpires. I find it silly that there would be "less emphasis on training" because of a HR replay system.
This can also be seen in the NHL where a replay system occurs for goals. This only happens because people realize that it is very tough for an official to always correctly see where the puck is and if it goes into the net. The same can be said for fair/foul calls...they can be tough to tell, especially for a person 150 feet away. Let's help them out and make the right call! This would not undermine the umps.
The replay system in the NFL has done very well, and while there is still controversy, we must admit that most of the time the system does its job. Why not bring it to baseball? The NBA doesn't review fouls, the NFL doesn't review certain calls, why can't baseball only use it for home runs? Even World Cup soccer has replay! People call it “The Beautiful Game”, and it has replay (on goals scored)!
Now keep in mind I am completely unaware of the potential costs of a home run replay system. If it ended up being a staggering number, then I would consider not adopting it. If not, then bring it on!
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