This past offseason, Major League Baseball announced it will expand instant replay for the upcoming 2014 season. Instant replay was introduced to MLB in 2008 but was limited to just home run calls. Now, reviewable plays include fair/foul and safe/out calls. However not everything will be reviewable, such as balls and strikes and interference calls. Click here for the details on MLB’s expanded instant replay.
I believe expanded replay will benefit MLB. My only concern is that since baseball games are already too long, replay may lengthen games even more. Still, expanded replay will largely decrease incorrect umpire calls and hopefully eliminate them altogether. Too many games are influenced by incorrect calls, such as the one on June 2, 2010, when a blown call at first base ruined former Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga’s perfect game. There also have been several controversial calls in the postseason, including when Joe Mauer had his obvious base hit ruled a foul ball against the Yankees, where games are extremely important and one blown call can make the difference between a team winning the World Series and being eliminated from the postseason. Click here for more controversial calls.
In addition, expanded instant replay will most likely take a little pressure off umpires to make the right call, especially on close plays. Even though umpires get calls right for the most part, replay will benefit them a lot as well. It will be interesting to see whether instant replay has a positive impact on MLB! I think it will!
Written by: Sam Graves