Thursday, August 15, 2013

Major League Baseball is taking my advice

Back in May I wrote a blog suggesting that MLB should have a "replay office" in New York that rules on all disputed calls in every game simultaneously.  My theory was that people who's job it was specifically to watch footage and get the calls right, with the best available technology (and knowledge of how to use it) at their finger tips, would be much more accurate than the on field umps viewing monitors in the stadiums.  Today baseball announced expected changes to their video review system in 2014, including this:
"All replays will be reviewed by umpires at headquarters in New York, with technicians available to provide the necessary video."
Well done MLB, thanks for listening to me.  Managers will now be given challenges (just like in the NFL), one in the first 6 innings, and two over the final 3.  My gut reaction is that three per game for each team seems like a lot, but we'll see.  One interesting sidebar to the new system is that managers will no longer be allowed to argue on plays that are reviewable.

The time honored baseball tradition of managers and umpires screaming in each others' faces won't go away completely though, as arguing will still be permitted on plays where instant replay doesn't apply.  Managers will also be allowed to ask the umps to get together and see if anyone saw things differently; which is something I've always been shocked doesn't happen on every single controversial play already.

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