Two days after Chris Young’s possible game-winner may or may not have hit the foul pole, Major League Baseball has decided to try and expand instant replay in 2014 to more than boundary calls for possible home runs. Joe Torre, executive VP of baseball operations, has said many times that “Life isn’t perfect and this isn’t a perfect game,” but with the technology available presently, it would be foolish to not improve the game where we can.
Now just because instant replay is being brought to the center stage doesn’t mean that it will become the same as the NFL, although certain viable aspects do seem somewhat similar. The new system would allow managers to have one challenge in the first 6 innings of play, and two challenges from the 7th inning to the end of the game, but like in football, not all plays will be reviewable. It is still unsure which plays will be classified as unreviewable pending an owners vote in November, but team managers will still be able to argue any and all calls they feel are incorrect.
Managers and players arguing and being tossed for sticking up for their players and teammates is a fun part of the game to get the fans into the spirit of competition, and removing that aspect isn’t what the MLB is hoping for. The MLB is looking to avoid incorrect game-changing calls or even career-changing calls as with Armando Galarraga being robbed of the first perfect game in Detroit’s history back in 2010. And no one felt worse after that call than umpire Jim Joyce, and he responded the following day with a tear-filled apology to Galarraga and the Detroit fans.
Imagine how many plays are called incorrectly in football and how bad the game would seem without instant replay. MLB umpires are ready for a little support on their side and they players will be glad that the game is finally being called properly beyond question.