FanPost

FPF: Replay replay

This is my first fan post, so I guess I should introduce myself first. I'm from the Springs but have been living in Japan for eight years now. Always been partial to the Rox but really became a fan when I came to Japan in '09 and sprung for an MLB At Bat subscription as something familiar from home. I work in the evening, so I got into the habit of watching the game every morning (perfect timing, usually, but day games are way too early for me). I found Purple Row as something to tide me over during those horrible winter months devoid of baseball, and I read it every day, even if I'm not one to comment much!

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What I'd really like to see is a complete rethink of the replay system. I think avoiding really bad calls is a noble cause, and there's certainly some role for replay in baseball, but last year's implementation had some serious faults:

  1. They're time consuming. Some of the longer reviews take several minutes of dead time. Clubs also have to decide whether to challenge each play, and this wastes extra time on plays when they ultimately decide not to review.
  2. The challenge system undermines what is surely the point of reviews: getting the call right. If a club is too circumspect they might not challenge a call that actually was incorrect, or if they lose their challenge, they may not be able to challenge a later incorrect call. In either of those cases, they system doesn't actually accomplish what it set out to do.
  3. It totally kills the action. My favorite plays are the incredible stop followed by the crazy throw followed by the incredibly close tag... and then we wait. And get bored. And go make a cup of tea.
  4. The calls that get challenged are often legalistic, i.e., did the runner come a micron off the bag?
My suggestion is this: review every play. Automatically. With strict time limits. Every reviewable call on the field starts a review clock. The reviewers have 15 seconds to confirm the call. If they can't confirm, they get a further 15 seconds. If they can't confirm or overturn within 30 seconds total, it's "close enough" for the call to stand.

Is this perfect? No. Not every incorrect call will be overturned. Sometimes we'll hate the reviewers. But the times are short enough that they won't delay the game while at the same time, all the really bad calls can be corrected. And besides, hating the umps is a glorious baseball tradition; we wouldn't want to get rid of it completely, would we?

What do you think?

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. But the above FanPost does not necessarily reflect the attitudes, opinions, or views of Purple Row's staff (unless, of course, it's written by the staff [and even then, it still might not]).