For those that have been clamoring for MLB to expand its instant replay system, it appears that time may be closer than originally thought. MLB executive vice president Joe Torre recently acknowledged baseball’s intent to expand replay very soon, saying that “we’re pretty confident we’ll have it in place by 2014,” and that “we’re still in the tweaking stages and we’re not limiting ourselves.”
At this point, proponents of instant replay will take anything they can get, but it sounds like there might be some serious changes coming. Right now the home run is the only reviewable play, which just isn’t enough.
I’m not going to expect a vast expansion in 2014, but there should be a significant increase in what types of plays are reviewable. Any scoring play should definitely be reviewable, and heck, what’s wrong with giving each manager a couple of challenges like they do in football?
The point is that MLB has to start getting things right. They’re still dealing with the performance enhancers mess, so I believe a new ‘review era’ so to speak, would help to progress the game along from its PED nightmare. Baseball needs something to make it feel different, and a new replay system would be just the ticket.
As Torre said, there are going to be a lot of tweaks and things to iron out, but you have to give MLB credit for finally taking this step. The main obstacle is going to be the time spent on these replays, which could seriously increase overall game times. That’s not going to do anything to solve the fan engagement problem, so MLB has to be very careful on how they approach their new system.
It’s been a good week for baseball so far, and this encouraging news will continue to drive up the game’s stock.
More to come as details of the proposed additions to replay become available.
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