Whether you want it to or not, instant replay will be expanded in Major League Baseball. The only question is: how much?
There are two main sides to the argument, with one being the baseball purists and the other being proponents of technology.
The purists want absolutely no replay in baseball, to keep the human element of the umpire the same way it's been for over a century. They do not want replay expanded from where it currently is.
On the other side of the argument you have the people who want full replay. They want the game out of the umpires hands and controlled by the technology that we posses.
When baseball first began in the United States, batters used to be able to tell the pitcher where to throw the ball. If it wasn't to their liking, they wouldn't swing. Thankfully, that changed.
When pitching dominated in the 1960s, and players were winning batting titles with .300 and .301 averages, they lowered the mound to give the hitters a chance to compete with Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax.
The game is being played faster than ever. Not the pace, but the actual game speed. Although the steroid era is over (hopefully. but not likely) players are more athletic. They throw harder, run faster, and hit it harder than ever before.
Many umpires, like Jim Joyce, have been calling games for over a decade (in Joyce's case 22 years). Last time I checked, the umpires aren't getting faster, and they're not taking any vision-enhancing supplements.
Although I lean to the side of baseball purists, I admit that just like in the past, the game needs a little tweaking to stay relevant.
So here's the solution: Challenges
Just like in the NFL, when a coach disagrees with a call, a MLB Manager should have the opportunity to challenge a play. However, there should be some guidelines.
A team only recieves two challenges per game
No extra challenges are awarded in extra innings, only two per game
Even if a team wins a challenge, they cannot use more than two.
Balls and strikes are not to be challenged.
If a play has already been ruled with replay (ie: a homerun) then it cannot be challenged.
These simple rules would keep a steady pace and not add too much time to what are already long games.
There is no way baseball can expand to full replay, but at the same time things need to change. Even a person who likes the human element like myself realizes that technology needs to be used.
I think I have found the common ground for both baseball purists, and the people who favor technology. Both sides love baseball, both sides want to see good games and very few blown calls.
So what do you think? Should baseball adopt a challenge rule?
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