Friday, October 15, 2010

You're Out (Maybe)

There have been several theories that I have heard over the years for why instant replay has not been in favor in baseball.

First among these is that it will slow the game down too much. Has anyone noticed that games now seem to last somewhere between 3 hours and eternity? What's another few minutes? There may be many ways to speed up the game, for example, actually enforcing time limits between pitches, or not allowing batters to perform their maddening 'rituals' after each pitch. As with football, or even tennis, there can be a limited number of successful replay challenges allowed. In addition, as suggested by Mr. Rosenthal ('The Umpire in the Sky') there can be a clock on those reviewing the play.

In addition, it is has been suggested that there is a certain romantic mystique in allowing umpires to make mistakes, much as ballplayers might. Those espousing this belief, state that it is all part of the essential fabric of the game. They would ask you to believe that to take this away, would redefine the sport itself. I am not certain why this is so. When the game can actually be determined by the players and not the umpires, shouldn't that be the goal?

While we are at it, let's make sure that any replays are shown on the scoreboard so that all those in attendance can be made aware of what the review looks like, and can make their own judgments on what the outcome should be. This information should not be cloaked in secrecy. This is entertainment, not national security.

Will there come a time when we find that umpires are unnecessary impediments to the game? Will technology one day be deemed the only path to follow? That may be so, but that is an argument for another moment. For now, let's not get rid of the umpires, only their bad calls.


Bruce E said...

Bob--you've got your hands full with October baseball and pre-election campaigning to blab--I mean blog about. Keep it up. I will keep on responding.

Robert said...

I will continue to blab away. thanks for taking the time and effort to read and answer.