MLB Expanded Instant Replay: Bring It On

The human element. - Jim McIsaac

MLB is considering expanding instant replay. The more the better.

Word on the street is that MLB is considering expanding the use of instant replay during games.  The current proposal would allow managers to have three in-game challenges, along the lines of the NFL.

Currently, umpires can initiate instant replay for home run calls, but that's it.  The current labor agreement allows for instant replay for trapped balls and fair/foul balls, but the umpire union has not approved that yet.  The manager-initiated replay proposed rules are unclear, but probably would expand to include outs on the basepaths but not balls or strikes.

This is certainly going to generate a lot of discussion.  My position is very simple, as I'm a purist: the more instant replay the better.

Wait, that's not the purist position you expected?  Baseball purists accept the human element of the game and are loathe to change?  Well, that's not purism.  That's stubbornness and an acceptance of incompetence.

I'm a purist - a purist for accuracy.  As a purist for accuracy, I want my baseball team to win or lose based on what the players on the two teams on the field actually did.  I do not want my team to win or lose because of an incompetent or, simply, a mistaken umpire.

The human element I, as a purist for accuracy, want to see is the human element of the players.  Let me see the beauty of a Domonic Brown home run.  Let me see the brilliance of a Cliff Lee dominant outing.  Let me see the sadness humor in Michael Martinez batting.  Let me see the patheticness of [insert Phillies reliever's name here] pitching.

But what I don't want to see is some inaccurate call by an umpire sloughed off as just another aspect of the "human element" of the game.  The umpires are not the humans we watch games to see.  They are there to make accurate calls when the players are playing the game.  Inaccurate calls hurt the game and sap the enjoyment of it.

Kudos to MLB for joining the quest for purity in baseball - purity for accuracy.

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