Tag Archives: Instant Replay

Instant Replay in MLB in here!

It took more that a decade, but it is finally here…. no it is not a new Star Wars movie. It is instant replay in baseball. It took longer than it should with the ARRP competition committee who moves at a snail’s pace. Finally baseball has taken the needed step to move into the modern era and address the concerns of incorrect calls that do occur from time to time on close plays. In the end instant reply will do what it is suppose to do, get it right.

One thing that amazes me in this whole saga is how for years upon years, the 30 Major League managers spoke out against instant replay, but the minute Selig announces this change in the rules, they all do a 180 and are all in favor of the system. At least I know that Selig does have control over something in baseball.

Hopefully this will now not become a drawn out process. There is much debate how to handle most situations. If MLB wants to make this simple on themselves, employe the system that little league uses today.

Whatever MLB decides to use, I just have to say, replay is here!

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S.O.S to Major League Baseball and Bud Selig

This post today is an S.O.S to MLB and Bud Selig to fix the slowly sinking ship called baseball…. If you have not seen it by now, there was a conversational play in the Tampa Bay/Texas game on Monday night in which Marty Foster called Ben Zobrist. In one of my previous posts here, I talked about how Bud Selig is out of touch with the fans and implementing new technology and this incident proves once again the need for instant replay in baseball.

We have a commissioner in baseball that cares more about some fantasy image of baseball as it was in the 1960’s than the progress of the game today. Selig thinks that people will plop down $50+ minimum including all costs to watch the games calls get botched. He would rather hear baseball get bashed in the media for 2 days with bad publicity and shave 2 minutes off the game now without instant replay than get the call right.

Would you go to a bank that does not use a computer system to keep track of the books? Would you go in there and open up an account if you saw someone working all day with a pencil and ledger paper? This is how Bud Selig has run baseball, like bank that is behind the times and has not caught up with the times, without modernization, there are bound to be big mistakes.

I’m really unsure what the big fear is about instant replay, you get the call right, you don’t have controversy and it takes some stress off the umpires. Personally, I would not be asking to replay every single play in the game, give each manager two replays a game which would only add 8 minutes maximum and everybody goes home happy.

Peoples livelihood’s are the on the line with each and every missed called. There are large amounts of money that gets moved with each and every play whether on the betting counters or on the playing field, someone gets affected by the wrong code. It is essential that baseball should take every realistic step to ensure that no call is blown.

I have said it before, and I will say it again, it is time for Bud Selig to step down as commissioner of MLB and find someone who will relate to what the fans are saying, relate to the younger generation and keep the integrity of the game. I know being the commissioner of MLB can not be an easy job and I would not want the job, but how much more will the fans endure before they stop showing up at the ballpark?

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MLB losing touch with fans

A couple of days ago MLB approved a couple of rule changes for the upcoming 2013 season as explained in this article.Normally when I hear about rules changes, I’m ready to jump right into the article and update my knowledge of the rules in the sport. With this article, I was also struck by a sense of disappointment as MLB once again proved to me that they are out of touch with the fan’s and their expectations of the game.

Frankly, I don’t care about banning the third to first move or adding the seventh coach to the dugout during the game. Along with the on field interpreter rule, if those are the only rules that MLB could come up with this season, they are more out of touch than I ever thought. There are so many other problems that are holding up the progression of the game in America to worry about the assistant hitting coach being in the dugout.

We have been for about five years that MLB continues to look into the use/expanded use of instant replay, but yet we continue to hear week after week during the season about blown close calls that could have been easily and quickly reversed with replay.

The NFL went through the same kind of issues with incorrect calls on close plays back in 1997. The NFL was able to implement an “experimental” system for the preseason in 1998 with full implementation in 1999. It only took 1 year to put in a replay system, yet we are waiting year after year for MLB to get their act together to modernize the game. This modernization of the NFL coincided with major increase in popularity of the game while baseball continue with their slow downward trend.  Most every other sport in the world uses some form of reply in their top tier professional league with the exception of soccer, but they are even investing in goal line technology. The young and middle aged people now a days know that these game are judged by the human element and that nobody is perfect, but if the technology exists to quickly correct the play/call, it should be used.

The main argument against instant replay from the anti-replay people is “The game is already running long, this will make the game run longer”. My reply to that is, the game is already being held up by the manager auguring the call, replay would take 2 minutes or less to correct the call which would be far less than the time the manger spends yelling at the umpire.

Another argument against instant reply is that “It will interrupt the flow of the game”. That is another weak comeback as the flow of the game has already been ruined when the player or manager is arguing the call.

Proponents of instant replay are not talking about stopping the game every five minutes to use instant replay. We are talking about 1-2 calls a game at most that need to be reviewed. Just give each manager 1 challenge per game just like in Little League. MLB seems like they would rather save 2 minutes during the game from not using replay and would rather receive negative publicity for 2 days on all the major sports cast shows.

People who are against replay do not truly care about the game and its future. They care about a past vision of the game, they are trying to hold onto something from their past and not look into the future. They want to remember the game for the black and white images that they see from time to time, but those images are in the past and can never be recaptured.

Another rule that needs to be changed is the DH rule between the two leagues. Most people want the DH to be used in both leagues, but personally I don’t care how MLB want to address the issue as long as the rule is consistent between the two leagues especially since there is an odd number of teams now in each league.

It is time for Bud Selig to step down as commissioner. The game has passed him by, he is dragging the progress of the game down while other sport continue their rise in popularity. It should not take to genius to make the needed rule changes in a quick manner to help the game.  He always says there are logistical and financial issues with these types of changes, but it has not stopped other sports from quickly put in similar major rule changes. If your focus is on the first to third move or how many people are in the dugout, the game has passed you by and you need to past the reigns to somebody else.

This will not be the last time you will hear me talk about MLB rules, instant replay or Bud Selig, as long as the game continues to fall behind other sports. All I can do is hope that someday baseball will wake up and listen to the fans as they walk away from the game.

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About Football (A.K.A Soocer)

In my first post of this blog I want to talk about a sport that is emerging here in American as the fifth sport behind the established Baseball, Basketball, American Football & Hockey. That sport is…. Soccer or in the rest of the world …. Football.

Today, I got up early to watch the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton on ESPN with Ian Darke and Steve McManaman with the call. In my opinion, Ian Darke is the best Soccer announcer around that calls games for America. His ability to relate to the experienced fan and novice fan without talking down to them makes him the best in the business.

Overall this was a great 2-2 draw and a great comeback from Everton in the first half with exciting disallowed Liverpool goal at the end of the game. With that disallowed goal (which was an incorrect call), I’ve thought this would be a good time to put in words some ideas to  “modernized” the game of soccer and take the game from the 20th century to the 21st century.

A great step to modernize the game was taken place in the 20th century with the implementation of the Taylor Report and the formation of the Premier League in 1992, but watching Soccer now for the last 10 years, I’ve got a few additional ideas to ensure that the game is played and refereed correctly.

  1. The use of a instant replay system. Now this could be completed in two phases:
    1. The implementation of goal line technology to determine if the ball has completely crossed the goal line. This has been talked about lately with the possible use of GoalRef and Hawk-Eye. In my opinion, this should be implemented in time for the World Cup in Rio to avoid any more unnecessary and conversational calls. In this modern age of computer technology, I still don’t understand why this has not been implemented. That would be like saying “We have computers, but our Bank is going to continue to track our customers with pencil and paper”
    2. The implementation of an expanded replay system for other on the pitch calls. After the technology in sub point one is put into place for a couple of years, there should be a expansion to other areas of Soccer. Give the ability for each manager to challenge lets say two calls per game within a set amount of time (15 seconds of incident?) by informing the fourth official. This could be used for throw in’s, corner kicks, goal kicks, foul in/out of the box, ect. I’ve too many games adversely affected due to an incorrect call that could be easily and quickly correctly.
  2. The stopping of the clock during throw ins, after goals, injuries, ect. Since the start of soccer there has been a continuous running clock which, in my opinion, is an outdated function of the game. Back in the early days of soccer, it was a necessary function, due to the clock management technology of the day, but now a days time can be stop, started, added, subtracted with ease. This would resolve the issue with how much injury time to add to the game since the clock will not be running during these stops in the game. This would also relive the issue of players falling down with fake injuries late in big games since the clock will not be running during these blatant attempts to run out the game.
  3. Give the referees PA mics. There are usually a few calls a game that leave me wondering “What was that call?”. This would be a good time to give the referee a mic to announce to the crowd the call similarly to American  Football. This would take the mystery out of the close calls and could avoid some adverse reactions from the crowd in the long term if they understand the officials reason/call
  4. Two referees on field. In American football, there is seven officials for 22 on field players. In basketball, there is 3 officials for 10 on court players. In baseball, there is 4 umpires for 10-13 on field players. In hockey, there is two referees for 12 on ice players. In soccer, there is one referee for 22 players…. one referee and with a playing surface as large as soccer, that is too difficult in today world to see and correctly call the plays on the pitch. It is time to add another referee to the pitch to get a different angle of the close plays. There can still be a “5th Official” which is today’s 4th offical. American football, basketball, baseball and hockey have all expanded their number of officials over the years since the inception of their professional leagues, now it’s time for top flight soccer leagues to do the same. They owe it to the players, coaches and most importantly, the fans.
  5. Awarding more Yellow Cards for barking at Ref’s. One thing I have noticed since watching soccer is the amount of complaining to the referees for calls/no calls. Not only does this look bad, it holds up the game. It is time to start issuing more cards for questioning the calls on the field by the use of loud verbal language or gestures. In American Football, if you bark, you will be out of place for the next play due to the play clock but officials do eject players for touching officials. In basketball, you get a technical foul. In hockey, you get a 2 minutes unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. In baseball, you get tossed out of the game from the over-zealous umpire, but that is a subject for a another blog post.

I would think that with any of these changes, the game would move towards the 21st century and make the game more enjoyable for the players, coaches, officials, and fans.

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