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Selig against instant replay

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Postby Apollo » Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:44 pm

I hate it when people say "it's been this way forever" or "bad calls are part of the game."

Sure, bad calls are part of the game, but that's not a good thing! That's what's BAD about the game. If it's possible to improve the game by getting rid of the bad calls, they should do it!

To arbitrarily get up and say "I'm against instant-replay wholesale because bad calls are part of the game" is absurd. It's like saying "I'm against vision-impaired umpires wearing glasses, because bad calls are part of the game."

Now, maybe there isn't a workable solution for instant replay. Maybe it would make games drag on too much. But they should at least be looking into it. Experiment with a few different systems in select minor-league games next season. See what works, get some hard data on how it affects the length of games, instead of arbitrarily saying that "games will drag out forever." If there's a chance to make the game better, they should be looking for it.
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Postby baseball6791 » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:26 pm

Apollo wrote:I hate it when people say "it's been this way forever" or "bad calls are part of the game."

Sure, bad calls are part of the game, but that's not a good thing! That's what's BAD about the game. If it's possible to improve the game by getting rid of the bad calls, they should do it!

To arbitrarily get up and say "I'm against instant-replay wholesale because bad calls are part of the game" is absurd. It's like saying "I'm against vision-impaired umpires wearing glasses, because bad calls are part of the game."

Now, maybe there isn't a workable solution for instant replay. Maybe it would make games drag on too much. But they should at least be looking into it. Experiment with a few different systems in select minor-league games next season. See what works, get some hard data on how it affects the length of games, instead of arbitrarily saying that "games will drag out forever." If there's a chance to make the game better, they should be looking for it.


Comparing not allowing instant replay to not allowing umps to wear glasses is just as absurd. I realize that I am a bit of a purist here, but I believe that it adds a dimension to the game that is unique to baseball. With that said, I do think that there are certain instances where there may be a place for instant replay, maybe limit it to only calls such as was a HR fair or foul, did it actually go over, or special instances such as runner interference where it is hard to tell the intention of the player without looking at it on replay (for a situation like the A-Rod ball swatting play). I think that things would get out of control if you allowed instant replay for safe/out calls, ball/strike calls, and fair/foul calls.
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Postby Amazinz » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:35 pm

I think we would all love a perfect game where no bad calls are made but that's not realistic even with instant replay. Take football for example. There are still bad calls that do not get overturned due to inconclusive evidence. The same thing will happen in baseball. So will the benefit of a few corrected calls offset the elongation of every game played? Not in my opinion.

Another point is that there are only a couple of instances where instant replay would be useful: safe/out plays at the base and HR/foul balls. Are supporters of instant replay suggesting that human judgement isn't good enough to call a play at the base but it is good enough to call a strike zone for an entire game (a couple of hundred pitches)? What's next? Automate the strike zone?
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Postby bronxxbomber » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:39 pm

DK wrote:I don't know how I feel about instant replay but the idea that "it's been this way forever and we shouldn't mess with it" is inherently ridiculous. It's the rule (not social) equivalent of the owners in 1938 saying "Well, we've never allowed black players before, and the game hasn't imploded, so let's not mess with it." Change is inevitable, and as the game sees fit to change it should.

That said, I'm in the middle of the road on instant replay. I see the arguments on both sides (length of games too long as is vs. blown calls, especially at crucial moments) but both problems can be solved with alternate methods. Steps can be taken to shorten games, such as limiting pickoff throws, time in between innings, etc. and better, more developed training for umpires. It's hard to tell what will work out for MLB in the end but whatever they do it'll be criticized by someone. Lose-lose.


I don't think it's that dramatic ;-7, but it's something that should at least be discussed.
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Postby Coppermine » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:44 pm

Instant replay in baseball: :-t

Part of the element of baseball is it's human error. I can understand football, a relatively new sport compared to baseball and a lot of questionable calls, plays and penalties... but baseball is all about the humanity.

An umpire screws up a call? Deal with it, that's baseball.

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Postby SaintsOfTheDiamond » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:52 pm

DK wrote:I don't know how I feel about instant replay but the idea that "it's been this way forever and we shouldn't mess with it" is inherently ridiculous. It's the rule (not social) equivalent of the owners in 1938 saying "Well, we've never allowed black players before, and the game hasn't imploded, so let's not mess with it." Change is inevitable, and as the game sees fit to change it should.

That said, I'm in the middle of the road on instant replay. I see the arguments on both sides (length of games too long as is vs. blown calls, especially at crucial moments) but both problems can be solved with alternate methods. Steps can be taken to shorten games, such as limiting pickoff throws, time in between innings, etc. and better, more developed training for umpires. It's hard to tell what will work out for MLB in the end but whatever they do it'll be criticized by someone. Lose-lose.

I think DK and I are pretty much on the same page on this one. It is a problem in my mind, and it needs to at least be addressed somehow. I'm not sure if replay is the answer or not, but a more sound way of selecting post-season umpires would be a good start since no one's quite sure how they're chosen now. As for replay, something I've never understood is why it takes soooooo long. Most of the time, TV viewers half a continent away can tell within two or three replays whether it was a good call or not, so why does it take a referee/ump consulting with three guys in a booth five plus minutes to make a decision? That's always been my biggest hang up in football and my only real reservation when it comes to implementing it in baseball in some form or another.
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Postby SaintsOfTheDiamond » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:55 pm

Coppermine wrote:An umpire screws up a call? Deal with it, that's baseball.

That's another argument I don't get. We jump all over players when they don't perform at crunch time (or any other time for certain players manning a certain hot-corner), but it seems that the people using this particular argument are giving umpires a free pass when they screw up because of this overly romanticized "human error" when it comes to officiating.
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Postby Coppermine » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:59 pm

SaintsOfTheDiamond wrote:
Coppermine wrote:An umpire screws up a call? Deal with it, that's baseball.

That's another argument I don't get. We jump all over players when they don't perform at crunch time (or any other time for certain players manning a certain hot-corner), but it seems that the people using this particular argument are giving umpires a free pass when they screw up because of this overly romanticized "human error" when it comes to officiating.


I definitely understand your point... I think it comes down to consistency really. If an umpire screws up a lot (just like if a shortstop keeps booting balls) they're gonna lose their job. But, isolated incidents do happen and that's just how baseball is and has always been.

I think that the postseason this year was something of a fluke, with so many bad calls. I wouldn't expect it to happen again.

Also, only the best, most experienced umpires should be doing the post season work.
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Postby Apollo » Sat Nov 12, 2005 4:16 pm

Comparing not allowing instant replay to not allowing umps to wear glasses is just as absurd.


Well, I was just trying to be ridiculous for the sake of making a point. There was a tongue planted firmly in my cheek when I made that statement.

But that said, I wasn't comparing "not allowing instant replay" to not allowing umps to wear glasses. I was comparing "arbitrarily ruling out instant replay altogether for the sake of maintaining human error" to not allowing umps to wear glasses. As in, both are pretty stupid (I realize you are not one of the "ignore instant replay altogether" crowd, of course).

All I was saying was that we should look into it.

I realize that I am a bit of a purist here, but I believe that it adds a dimension to the game that is unique to baseball.


I dunno, the New Orleans Saints lost a game a few weeks ago when a player had been tackled and was laying on the ground and a Rams player took the ball out of his hands and ran for a touchdown. That was definitely human error in fooball.
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Postby warrick95 » Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:23 pm

I think it's complete bull to not want improvement. Just because some element, such as umpire error, has been around for a long time doesn't make it right or good. I think errors made by umpires have only been part of the game because they have had to be part of the game. There was never any other alternative and thus people have had to compromise by accepting it.

Simply put, it is unfair for teams to get screwed out of a big situation just because the umpire makes a mistake. It may be part of the game, but it is still wrong. Shouldn't the game be as fair as possible? Shouldn't the winner deserve to be the winner? Shouldn't the game be played on a level ground? I believe that errors by umpires detract from the integrity of the game. Drama is not the main goal of the game, unfortunately.

The same abstract can be transplanted to other facets of life. Horse buggies are perfectly capable of transporting people, right? So why bother with inventing cars? In my opinion, implementing instant replay would be a definite step forward. The argument is also rather naturalist. Because say, cancer is a natural manifestation in society, should it be left untreated, because that's the way it's always been? I hope not.

Length of the game doesn't warrant too much of an argument in my book. In football or basketball, yes it does. But in baseball? Come on, the game is already slow with the length between patience. Nobody with ADD is watching the game now anyway. The impact of a 1-2 minute review will not strongly affect the length of the game, but could very well affect the outcome of the game, hopefully in the right way.
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