For years and years I have been just like Bob Melvin. The manager of the Oakland Athletics has been against instant replay in Major League Baseball. Recently, within the last year or so he has changed his view and now is in full support of the expansion of instant replay in baseball. The key is the way they have changed how it would be done. Instant Replay can take forever in a baseball game that some already complain about being too long. The way they have it now would please Melvin and he supports it completely.
I think he is right in that support for a few reasons. The main point is that it would not be left up to the umpires to make the call. The manager would challenge a call up to a few times each game. Then the decision would be made by a MLB official watching the game at a central location elsewhere. That takes care of so many instant replay problems it’s amazing no one proposed it before this season.
First of all the on-the-field umpires are taken completely out of the replay equation. That is good because they are partial to their decision. This was displayed in what I would like to call the Angel Hernandez factor. Hernandez is easily one of the worst umpires in baseball when it comes to reversing a ruling or admitting a mistake. More to that point his guys under him would never say his call was wrong. Oh, no can’t do that. In this situation the manager challenges, the official makes the call and Hernandez gets to just like it.
This also will speed up the process as well. Melvin likes it for all of these reasons and I fall right in step with him. I only hope it can go into trial use before this postseason so a terrible call like last season’s “infield-fly-rule incident” between the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals can be avoided. Melvin is right. It wasn’t good at one time but in the current form, it would be great for the game.