Thursday, August 9, 2012

Master Debaters Installment 1: Replay in Baseball

MLB fans will remember this blown call for a VERY long time. Could replay have prevented it?
The folks here at MKYSports would like to introduce you all to our newest series of articles: Master Debaters. Every now and then-actually pretty much all of the time-sports fans find themselves in a disagreement. Many times, this disagreement has nothing to do with a rivalry or like/dislike of a certain player or anything of that sort. That's the case here.

In this first installment of Master Debaters, Ryan and Dj debate the increased use of replay in baseball. we go.


Replay has been added into all of the major sports. Challenges in football, goal reviews in hockey, and verifying buzzer beaters in basketball. Even baseball has added the use of replay to verify that home runs truly did (or did not) leave the park. Yet, could more be done? I believe so.

Easily, replay could be incorporated into soccer to prevent blown goal/no goal calls like this one:

This OBVIOUS goal was called a no-goal due to a ref being out of position.
A little more complicated would be the incorporation of replay to argue foul/penalty calls in the NBA and NFL. For instance, this was obviously a foul (or two, or three, or get the idea), yet none was called (apologies for poor quality, this video best shows the drive):


However, an in depth discussion of where replay could be added into ALL sports is for a later date. The most pressing issue, right now, is baseball.

Blown out/safe calls are running rampant, allowing foul balls to win games (the announcer is obviously blind, ball hits the batter's knee), ending rallies that could change the course of a game, and awarding no-hitters to undeserving pitchers despite later evidence showing the calls were truly blown.

Why would you NOT increase the use of replay in baseball in an effort to rid the game of these ridiculous calls? Use a tennis style system. Give the managers 2-3 "challenges" a game. Once those challenges are gone, they're gone. Maybe if you are correct on all 3 challenges you are awarded a 4th. Find SOME WAY to make it work. There is no reason for this to be happening in 2012, where a person's fate can be changed due to video surveillance used as evidence in a court of law, but an out can be blown because we don't want to take human error out of a sport. Fix it, MLB. Get the calls right. Otherwise we end up with these for the rest of our lives:

Baseball is a remarkable sport, and also a sport of anticipation. The pace of the sport allows for players, managers, and fans to fully analyze the situation. It's one of the few sports that, through it's evolution, has mainly remained unchanged. Sure, they've moved the mound back and lowered it, but that's because athletes have become better and pitchers would have a distinct advantage over batters at the old specs. Baseball has always had a crew of umpires who officiate the game. They are trained to watch the play and these guys are professionals. No one in any sport will ever get every call right and that's the way it's been for well over a century. Human error is part of the game, and I believe baseball in it's truest form should remain that way.

Bad breaks and lucky bounces are a reality in just about any sport. Baseball has four umpires during regular season play. They are called a crew and are able to discuss what happened, and most times, make the right call without the assistance of video replay or computers. After all, baseball is not only a sport but a booming entertainment industry. Bad calls create drama, which fuels controversies and buzz about baseball. Rarely does a blown call cost a team a game. There are 2,430 games played every year in the MLB, what percentage of those games could someone say were "blown" by a bad call? I'll take those chances. Baseball should remain the same, because it is America's pastime and should be left alone.

That's like Abraham Lincoln saying, "Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers had slaves. It's our past time, so we should still have slaves." Ok, obviously the slavery issue was infinitely more important than this one is, but we're using the same logic, here. Bad calls are part of America's pastime so they should stay there? Come on now, Dj. If that's the case, put the mound back where it was, put two line passes back into hockey, and tell Kobe Bryant he's not allowed to jump when he shoots.

Changes have been made to sports because it improves the sport. Baseball, in it's PUREST form, is a game where the better team wins. A blown call ruins that. And, sure, not a lot of games are won/lost based on a blown call; but wouldn't it be better if ZERO games were won/lost because of a blown call? How does that not improve the game? How does that not make it pure?

Utilizing replay changes the game less than moving the mound. In fact, it doesn't change the game as it is played at all. It simply means less managers throwing bases across the field (hmm, maybe I DON'T want replay added).

Utilizing the technology that we have is smart and resourceful. We don't still ride horses everywhere. We don't still think the world is flat. We don't still have switchboard operators connecting our calls. Let's use replay, and improve the game of baseball.

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