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Joe Chacon's Blog
MLB: Should Baseball Adopt the NFL Instant Replay Rules? Stuck
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 01:12 PM.

Yes, the runner was called out on this play.

Chances are your team has been hit with the umpire bug at some point this season.

What's the umpire bug you ask? To put it nicely, it is when the umpire completely loses focus of what he is doing on the field and blows a call that could directly change the outcome of the game.

I'm usually on the umpire's side. As television viewers we get the K-Zone to see exactly where the ball crosses the plate (although that looks off at times), as well as replays in super slow motion on our high definition screens.

With that being said, if an umpire cannot tell if a ball is fair or foul then he should be able to call for a review in the same way the NBA reviews who last touched a ball during certain periods of a game.

I consider myself a traditionalist. I don't care much for interleague play, I hate how the All-Star game winner determines home-field advantage in the World Series, and seeing home teams wear a solid colored jersey irks me.

While I try hanging on to the MLB as we once knew it, even I can see the league needs to utilize the replay technology that is available.

People argue that more instant replay will slow down the game. A problem the casual fan has always had with baseball. Frankly, I don't understand how it would extend the game any further.

Take, for example, the incident during yesterday's game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.

In the bottom of the sixth inning Elian Herrera flied out to Sox right fielder Alex Rios. Matt Treanor tagged from third and scored to tie the game at one.

That was until the Sox appealed Treanor's tag and third-base umpire Jerry Meals agreed that he left early and called him out.

Replays showed conclusively that Treanor did not leave early and he should not have been called out.

Although the Dodgers ended up winning the game in extra innings, this blown call could have put a check in the loss column for the Dodgers.

So how do we fix this?

I propose MLB adopts the NFL's replay system. All scoring plays are reviewed by a replay official in the booth. Secondly, the managers get two challenges per game to argue things such as fair/foul balls or close plays at first base.

I know what you're thinking, this would turn a three hour game into a regular four hour marathon. I don't think that would be the case.

When a manager or player is upset with a call they end up walking onto the field to argue the call. These arguments can last anywhere from 30-seconds to a few minutes depending on the situation. Instead, with replay, the manager can throw a red ball out on to the field to contest the call.

In the NFL, the coach's lose timeouts if they are wrong with their challenges. In MLB they would lose visits to the mound. If a manager loses a challenge they would lose the luxury of being able to come out to the mound unless it was to make a pitching change.

The time being lost due to reviewing the plays would be made up by less manager/umpire arguments and the potential to have fewer trips to the mound by a manager who loses a challenge.

Lastly, the amount of time it takes to review a play needs to be decreased dramatically. If you and I can see if a call was blown after looking at one slow-motion replay in a half-drunken state, then surely a replay official can decipher the correct outcome in less than a minute.

Do you have a plan for instant replay that you would like to see in MLB?

Joe Chacon is a Staff Writer for Operation Sports and a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. You can find him on Twitter @JoeChacon.
# 1 jmik58 @ Jun 18
I completely agree with the idea of giving a coach's challenge. The sad thing is that the collective bargaining agreement included an agreement for replay expansion this year -- obviously that didn't happen.
# 2 jhendricks316 @ Jun 18
I agree with expanded replay, but managers shouldn't have to pay via a "challenge". I bet it would be easier on an umpire to have it requested from a manager, rather than a cursed tirade in front of thousands of fans, and potentially millions of viewers. We should care about WHAT IS RIGHT, before all the time issues, etc. However, I would support an official who oversees all close plays and can also prompt for a review.
# 3 shadia147 @ Jun 18
I think that maybe the Managers could have one replay appeal per game, But, those appeals should not be on Balls and Strikes. Fair/Foul Balls should be covered.. Plays at the bases should be covered. However... What happens in the case of a Double-Play? Sure the First base call is obvious, but what about at second base? In most double plays, the second baseman merely has to cross the basepath. This is due to injury. Should replays be on the "Phantom" Double-play???
# 4 teebee @ Jun 19
If by off with Pitch-FX (ie KZone) you mean less than an inch error margin than sure, that's waaaay off
# 5 Bryzine21 @ Jun 19
I for one would like to keep the classic arguments between manager and umpire. That's just part of the game to me. I am for leaving the replay system as is. That is only to tell if a hit was home run or not.
# 6 dmslapped @ Jun 19
they could use a replay for about every call in baseball
# 7 JBkiLLa25 @ Jun 19
No leave out instant replay. Only use it for homeruns. I rather enjoy the arguments between umpire and manager, Lou Pinella was great entertainment including Ozzie. Does it suck when a call doesn't go for my team? Yea but that's baseball. One play does not lose you the game bc you could have done things before it to where that missed call wouldn't matter.
# 8 gigadkc @ Jun 19
@JBkilla: so why use it for homeruns then? Your arguments don't make any sense. If one play doesn't lose you the game - like you said - then they shouldn't homers either. Who cares if the grand slam of team A was ruled foul, right!? It's just one play that doesn't lose you the game, right!?
# 9 gigadkc @ Jun 19
edit: ... shouldn't REVIEW homers ...
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