The layman fan sitting on their couch has access to high definition, super slow-motion replays on their movie theatre sized television. MLB umpires are under tremendous scrutiny in the post-season with access to only one look at a play with a fraction of a second to process their decision to make the right calls.
It is unfair to the players, the viewing public, and the “best interest of the game” for critical plays ruled incorrectly to determine the outcome of post-season games.
The current replay system only includes boundary calls such as home runs and over the outfield wall fan interference (i.e. Jeffrey Maier in 1996 ALCS).
The answer is simple. Expanded replay should consist of every play except balls and strikes. I propose a seventh umpire is stationed in the television booth with access to instant replays. The additional “eye-in-the-sky” wears an IFB earpiece (reporters and anchors wear these during telecasts) to call down to the crew chief after a disputed call. Within moments, their decision will be rendered accurately and the time-honored tradition of the manager storming out of the dugout will be muted on such plays.
During Game 2 of the ALCS, replays clearly showed Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano applying a tag on Detroit’s Omar Infante. However, umpire Jeff Nelson, ruled the runner safe despite being in the right position to call the play.
Instant replay would have overruled the decision and ended the eighth inning. Yankees manager Joe Girardi proceeded to make four pitching changes while being tossed from the game for arguing the glaring error in judgment. The simple reversal would have saved everyone twenty minutes of their life.
Baseball is a traditional game with many charming features but it is time to maximize the advancement of technology on the field.
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