MLB is Making the Instant Replay Decision Far More Complicated Than it Should Be

Ken Rosenthal wrote maybe 3,500 words on MLB and instant replay, and at every turn, another question popped up. It was as if he spoke to MLB brass about the subject, and they kept telling him they don’t want it. Rosenthal doesn’t even weigh in himself – too close to MLB to say “get it done?” – which is kind of sad for a columnist of his caliber. [UPDATE: Rosenthal has passed along this column he wrote in Sept. 2010, imploring the sport to get instant replay.]

Yet, commissioner Bud Selig remains wary of slowing down games, and opponents of replay fear a “robotization” of the sport that eventually would extend to ball-strike calls.

The sport needs instant replay.

The complexities stem not just from the necessary investment in technology, which would be sizable no matter which system baseball introduced.

Agreements must be forged with both the players’ and umpires’ unions. Pace-of-game concerns must be addressed. And new rules must be adopted to address the fallout from changed calls.

The sport needs instant replay.

Can baseball institute new rules and technology without dramatically altering the pace of games?

Yes, the NBA and NFL have done so. Baseball can, too. The sport needs instant replay.

Say a call on a tag at home plate is changed from safe to out. Say the catcher had fired to second after the play at the plate and thrown out a runner trying to advance to second. If the runner at the plate is out, is the runner at second still out? How does that work exactly?

Of course he’s out. The sport needs instant replay.

How far does the sport want to go?

Nobody asking for balls and strikes. They just want the right calls. The sport needs instant replay. [Fox Sports]

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