It has been an awkward transition for MLB as the organization is finally entering the realm of instant replay and is doing so with one foot in and one out. As America’s pastime I understand the hesitancy, but replay is definitely the way of the future and the cautions will soon subside.
Baseball fans have been outraged at the recent ineptitude from umpires with Adam Rosales‘ home run turned single even after a replay clearly showed the Oakland Athletics‘ shortstop went yard versus the Cleveland Indians. Unfortunately, this is an instance in which the umpires simply gaffed and all of the replays in the world couldn’t help them.
Either way, a new and improved replay system will only help a sports league that has been struggling to attain new fans. The loyal crowd will not be disappointed with the new replay scheme despite the common argument that constant camera reviews will slow the game down. I fail to understand how getting the call right and avoiding conflict will delay the game — if anything the pointless umpire vs. manager debacles will be avoided.
All of the other major sports have adjusted on the fly to extended instant replay and especially the NFL where they make changes with little to no lasting effects. Following the model of the NFL, baseball should be smart about the instant replay decisions they make and incorporate them into the game rather than drastically change the flow of the contest.
Moving forward, the “adapt or die” motto that was made famous by Athletics general manager Billy Beane fits quite well with this replay dilemma.