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Let's See That Again: Replay in Major League Baseball

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 24:  Umpires Chuck Meriwether #14 and Bill Welke #52 emerge from the tunnel after having reviewed a call on replay for the first time in Mariners history during the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Safeco Field September 24, 2008 in Seattle, Washington. The review delayed the game for 2 minutes and 28 seconds. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Jason LempertCorrespondent INovember 27, 2009

Fair or foul? Safe or out? Home run or in play? These are some of the critical questions that umpires in Major League Baseball are faced with several times in a game, all season long. Over the past few seasons, much had been made about implementing a video replay review in baseball (similar to the NFL and NHL).

In the summer of 2008, the leaders of MLB deemed it acceptable to have instant replay in the game, but only to determine whether a ball was hit out of the park, or if it was still in play.  And so far, it has been pretty successful, I think.

But I still feel there is a way to improve this feature in baseball.  I have had this suggestion since instant replay was put into the game, almost two seasons ago, and I think it still warrants review (pun intended). My suggestion:

Give both managers a certain number of replay calls (be it 1, 3, 5, etc.) which will last them the entire game.  A manager can elect to use their call at anytime in the game, for any disputed call, not just for a home run call.

First of all, this adds some more strategy into the game.  A manager will have to be absolutely certain that the call on the field is inaccurate and should be reviewed. A manager may be reluctant to use their call early in a game, or in the middle of a blowout. 

But they may be more apt to use it in the top of the eighth inning, down 2-1, or some similar scenario.

Furthermore, it may reduce the number of blown calls in the game even more.  MLB, especially after the 2009 postseason, should want to take any actions it can to ensure that the right calls are made on the field, even if it takes another look.

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