Skip to comments.Morosi: The rule change that saved baseball — in an instant [instant replay]
Posted on 01/17/2014 9:44:37 AM PST by 1rudeboy
In a trying month for baseball, this was a good day.
For much of the week, it seemed as if Alex Rodriguez was intent on shattering two decades of relative peace in our national pastime. But here was one achievement even Rodriguez couldnt smear: Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association, and the World Umpires Association decided collectively to expand instant replay, and they did it the right way.
It took years of thoughtful evolution on the issue from commissioner Bud Selig and others and then months of intense work from the triumvirate of John Schuerholz, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, and MLB executives Peter Woodfork and Chris Marinak.
The best part? As MLB officials spoke during a Thursday news conference, they did so with complete candor about the systems strengths and limitations.
It is not perfect, they cautioned. It could (and probably will) change after the first year. The game will be fairer, because umpires have more resources to get calls right, and more transparent, because fans inside stadiums will see the same replays as the umpires when calls are challenged.
(Excerpt) Read more at msn.foxsports.com ...
This is the reason I enjoy recording (or "tivo") my favorite shows and football. I can fast forward over the extra-loud commercials and watch the event in half the time.
And THAT is the primary concern driving the use of replay. Getting it right so the game is fairer? BS.
Follow the Benjamins.
Oh, and two more things; the umpires will be discouraged from making controversial calls (for fear of being proven incorrect), and the rules will be “relaxed” during the playoffs.
Just check the NFL Network schedule. They replay games on Tuesday through Thursday with very few commercials and no huddles. Football game in one hour. Sometimes 90 minutes.
As if watching some overpaid athlete adjust their package for 2-3 hours is watchable?
NFL games have too many commercial timeouts added in, in my opinion. There are natural breaks after scoring plays, which is fine to use for commercials. But too often, right after the kickoff, they stop play for no reason other than to squeeze in another commercial.
To be fair, I was listening to someone on the MLB Network yesterday who said Triple-A had been experimenting with this for some time with generally positive results, and no real game lengthening.
At first, wasn’t the NFL replay rule limited to 90 seconds to review the call? I believe the ref looked at the replay and after 90 seconds the camera shut off, something like that. It’s gotten out of hand, splitting hairs over getting the call perfect. Hope this doesn’t happen in baseball.
I thought $30billion in new stadiums “saved” baseball.
I thought the 1998 “home run race” between steroid junkies “saved” baseball (it certainly provided “look a squirrel” cover for Bill Clinton during Fornigate).
If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.
I am always amazed at how often even the replay challenges get the calls wrong. You know the announcers are discouraged from making disparaging remarks about the referees and yet, they sometimes have to. Indy got crushed in the playoff game the other night against New England. But before it got out of hand (Luck did throw 3 interceptions), there were 3 significant calls (2 were actually no calls for tripping and pass interference) that killed 3 drives and changed the course of the game.
I will rarely to never blame the results of a game on the refs, especially when you have 4 turnovers. But there have been some games still decided on bad calls even with the NFL replay rules (think back to Green Bay with the fill-in refs).
“NFL games have too many commercial timeouts added in, in my opinion. There are natural breaks after scoring plays, which is fine to use for commercials. But too often, right after the kickoff, they stop play for no reason other than to squeeze in another commercial.”
That’s why the 4 pm games start at 4:35 now and run until almost 8 PM
I posted a piece from a sports economics blog (yes, they exist) a while back that purported to show how NFL referees, by strictly calling pass interference penalties during the regular season, but doing the opposite during the playoffs resulted in defensive backs engaging in behavior that, again, made the game arbitrary and unwatchable.
Better keep that foot on the bag during those routine 1st base outs.
And that would be a change...how? I honestly don't know how this will impact the game. I'm afraid it might make the Umpire calls even more important, and that would not be a good direction to go.
The games are already too long.
Not much of a change for the latter, but with regard to the former: “I think the runner was safe, but I was overturned on a similar call last week, and I’d really like to remain a MLB umpire without a rep for being overturned.”
I wish Judges in courtrooms were even half as concerned about being overturned. But I do get your point.
I think more use of replays will make that aspect worse, and will cause the games to drag. And no matter what, rules change in playoffs. It’s true for every sport that requires officiating.
The danger is always, “This will make [x sport] like Basketball, where the officials are the ones who decide who wins.” To me, “professional” Basketball has as much legitimacy as “professional” wrestling.
Instant replay will save baseball...
- it lowers ticket prices
- it introduces players who love the game for the game
- it eliminates the use of PEDs
- it brings in owners who build new stadiums without public funding
I can hardly watch an NFL game anymore.
The number of commercials and in some games, the penalties drive me nuts.
I do have a proposal that I believe would greatly reduce the number of penalties in a game.
The Ref. announcing the penalty to the fans should simply add a little more information:
“Holding, number 68, Offense, name John Doe, from Sarasota Fla, Mothers name Mary Doe.
Great, so now an already slow game can become even slower as challenges drag on forever and ever.
I will also add (for no reason other than I’m bored) that, depending on jurisdiction, most if not all judges are less concerned with losing their jobs than MLB umpires.
I’d wager that’s true in almost all jurisdictions. There isn’t a bunch of people more insulated from the consequences of their decisions than Judges. And that includes Rat politicians.
(I’m a little bored too.)
“Managers have one challenge for the first six innings, which they keep and are able to use once more if the challenge is successful. From the seventh inning on, the umpire crew chief is the sole arbiter of when replay is used. Thus, a new element of strategy has been introduced into the game. This is good for second-guessers. In other words: all of us.”
I’m not seeing too much of a problem. I guess we’ll have to see how long it takes. I wonder what the most common replay request will be in the first 6 innings, close plays at first with less than two outs?
I have been to a few NFL games (as a guest, I assure you!) and found them excruciating as there are seconds of action followed by literally minutes fo players standing around waiting for the signals that the commercial is over.
IIRC the average time the ball in “in-play” n an NFL game is about 8 minutes, and yet it take 3 1/2 hours to play a game. I find myself increasingly not even watching the game when it is on as background while I work.
8 minutes... lol
This is actually a surprise. I was sure that the bullying umpires union would have quashed it, as MLB seems to live in fear if it.
You want long? Not long after I moved to just outside Cleveland, the Indians made the playoffs. I love baseball, and that includes sitting in the stands, watching every play carefully, and keeping score. So the chance to see the Yankees, and after them the RedSox in playoff ball was a life dream....tickets were easily accessible here.
Those games were unwatchable. First of all, they started way too late because of TV time and then introductions, etc. Then there were all of those breaks for advertising. The games had absolutely no flow. In a few situations, pitchers seem to have lost it and momentum was lost as breaks dragged out.
I never want to go to a playoff game, ever again.
And when a player goes down on the field that's good for a enough time to make a sandwich, pour a beer and hit the head before the next play.
” The games had absolutely no flow. “
Really? I would have thought that there would be at least 2 challenges per game allowed for some of the ridiculous calls made on balls and strikes.
Some are so bad the batter is enraged to the point he could get thrown out of the game, and get fined. I hope they let the batter show in a replay how bad the call was before fining him. - Tom
As for saving the game, instant replay will do the opposite. The MLB game already lasts way too long, replay will make it worse. If they really want to save the game, I have a few suggestions. I start with the premise that the records of baseball’s history are now meaningless due to the steroid era, thus now is a good time to make a change for the future. First, make the game 7 innings instead of 9. This will speed the game for an easier watch for the casual fan. It will eliminate the need for middle relievers, who for the most part can’t throw strikes, that is why they’re middle relievers. I argue you would see a crisper, better played game. Second, end the regular season around Labor Day, and expand the playoffs, thus the playoffs will last two months. The bottom half of the league would not need to keep their stadiums open for meaningless games that probably lose more money for them. You could institute a round robin of the top half of teams for September, and then knock out stages in October.
Enforce the 30 seconds between pitches rule. And don’t call time every time a batter leaves the box. If the pitcher is in the delivery and batter steps out, tough nuggie if it’s a strike.
If they enforced rule 8.04 there would be plenty of time for instant replay reviews, home run reviews, manager arguments, trainer visits and even a horrendous number of pitching changes.
When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call Ball. The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball.
The intent of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays. The umpire shall insist that the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher, and that the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious delay by the pitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire.
Then have some time of similar rule for the batter outside the batters box between pitches.
I wonder if they will have instant replay of ARod shooting up?
I bet this will become an albatross around the umps’ neck and also the players’.
Human error was always a risk; just part of the game. But it remained the national pass-time just the same.
I read somewhere yesterday that they are not going to review the “in the neighborhood” deal on double plays. That’s so ground into the game that I don’t think anyone cares anyway. If a guy is out by 25 feet it probably doesn’t matter much if the 2B or SS touches the bag.
I HATE the “neighborhood” play. Hate.
So now it will apparently be up to the whims of the umpire to determine whether a runner coming home is “targeting the catcher” or not. Yay. Not.
One good thing about the rule change is that supposedly prohibits catchers from blocking the plate without the ball. Of course, it already was supposed to be against the rules, but it hasn’t been enforced in decades.
Gay. Very gay.
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