It’s the 21st century, MLB

Next season the MLB will be enforcing a new replay system that includes challenges

Video off of YouTube

Armando Galarraga's almost perfect game destroyed by what would have been a reviewable play

Armando Galarraga's almost perfect game destroyed by what would have been a reviewable play

Baseball, America’s past time, might catch up with present time starting next season.

The MLB had a meeting in early October to propose an expansion on instant replays, currently limited to home run calls. The issue will be voted on in the next meeting in November.

“[This is a chance] for baseball to dramatically reduce the number of incorrect calls that are made in any game that impacts the outcome of that game and hence the outcome of division races,” committee of Braves president John Schuerholz, who has been studying the issue, said at the press conference. “We believe that not only is it historic, but it will be impactful and very meaningful and useful.”

Some of the new rules of the system would include:

A review of a play may be reviewed if the manager wants to challenge it. Managers will be allowed one challenge in the first six innings and two more from the seventh through the end of the game. If the manager wins the challenge, he keeps it, but the challenge does not carry over from the first six innings to the seventh through the end.

Not all plays are reviewable.

If a manager disagrees with a reviewable call, his only recourse would be to use a challenge. Managers would not be able to argue a reviewable call in a bid to get it overturned without the use of replay. A manager could still argue in situations not open to review.

The instant replay will cut down on an estimated 89% of missed calls, the other 11% fall under the non-reviewable category, which is where a manager can argue.

There is no provision to cover the possibility of a blown call late in the game if the manager has used all his challenges.

The MLB has yet to announce which plays will be reviewable. Foul balls is said to be a definite along with calls involving base running.

The obvious argument against the expansion of replay is that it will slow down an already slow moving game.

“Now our replays take three minutes and four seconds on average,” Schuerholz said. “And we expect now that [future] replays will take a minute [and] 15 [seconds].”

The MLB replay will not necessarily speed up the game, since each team has challenges, it could actually slow the game down a few minutes. But a baseball fan goes into a game knowing they will be sitting there watching for a few hours, that another five or ten minutes will be worth making a right call, which could potentially change the outcome of a season. Along with that, it has been said that there will be an entirely new system for the replays in order to make the process faster.

The instant replay could have changed the outcome of the October 1, 2007 National League Wild Card tiebreaker game between the Padres and Rockies. Rockies’ Matt Holliday scored the game-winning run in the 13th inning even though the TV replays showed him never touching home plate.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga could have had his June 2, 2010 perfect game if not for the worst call ever.

The MLB umpires are the best umpires in the world, but they are only human. Instant replay would eliminate human mistakes that could be made by anyone caught up in the heat of the moment. The instant replay isn’t supposed to make the umpires look foolish, but give the players and teams the correct call.

These changes are not final; it is more of a test run next season. The MLB said they will go back after the season and see what went well and what did not and make adjustments to help better suit the system.

This historic and drastic change to the America’s past time will only help the game not hurt it. What is ten extra minutes to an already three hour game? Who doesn’t want more baseball?