Oh boy. Allen Huber "Bud" Selig, commissioner of the Major Baseball League (MBL), has once again dazzled the unimaginative into thinking that he has come up with a good idea. Buddy has embraced review of plays, you now instant replay. Keep in mind that everyone EXCEPT the umpires has been reviewing plays for years and drawing their own conclusions.
The other major American team sports, football and basketball, have had more and better official review of calls during games for years. I have substantial issues with them but I'll stick with baseball for this post.
The MBL has again borrowed some of the stuff used by the other sports, including hockey. Apparently the National Hockey League has league officials in some secret headquarters location ready to review plays referred to them. Who knew? I wonder how that works if several games need plays reviewed at the same time.
The MBL proposal allows for challenges by the field manager. How quaint. One in the first six innings, then two more to coincide with the many long changing the pitcher rituals. Limiting the number of reviews, of course, as it does in the National Football League (NFL) ensures that incorrect calls can escape review after the allotted number of unsuccessful challenges has been reached. So much for getting it right.
Commissioner Selig, as echoed in The New York Times this morning, sees the primary reason to have avoided more reviews until now and to limit them in the future is that they will make the game longer and more boring. Since the MBL, and not the NFL nor the NBA, is the only league that allows the head coach (manager) to enter the field of play and argue calls, this seems especially idiotic. Review should be shorter than argument.
It seems never to have occurred to either MBL officials or mainstream media people who cover the MBL for money that making baseball games shorter and more interesting should be an objective independent of reviews. In his 21 years as commissioner, Selig has done absolutely nothing to speed the pace of games. And perceived increase in popularity during Selig's tenure coincides almost exactly with the increase in steroid use, which Selig is now ineffectively trying to eliminate.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Fifth umpire to review plays in one minute.
... umpire mistakes that we are seeing with alarming frequency and which are amazingly REALLY bad mistakes. It's not that umpires are worse than ever. It's that replay technology continues to improve and with it our ability to very easily see the mistakes...
Here's what the Major Baseball League (MBL) needs to do: hire a fifth umpire for each game. Umpire five would sit someplace with access to television replays of the game. TV replays are shown to viewers within about ten seconds. On a play that might be incorrect, umpire five would signal to the plate umpire and/or the crew chief that the play was under review. Review would last no more than one minute. If umpire five could not decide to overrule, then the play stands. However, if umpire five determines that the play should be changed, umpire five would do so with no protest allowed. If direction or clarification is needed for implementation, umpire five would verbally instruct the field umpires via phone conversation.
Pretty cool, uh?
This is where traditionalists, aka, baseball fans, whip out their "Hey, what if Martians land on the field?" objection. In other words whatever lame objection they can dream up to sound the most ridiculous and be the most annoying all in one.
Within one minute of the end of a play I've seen enough replays to determine:
- the call was correct
- the call was incorrect
- I can't tell.
One minute. Yet, when I discussed this with friends at the time that I wrote the quoted post the objection from the guy who attends the most games was that it would slow down the game. He just kept repeating that.
Already other nonsense has surfaced. Met manager Terry Collins says that middle infielders will be in danger trying to turn a double play. Baseball should already have a rule against a base runner barreling into a fielder. It, like just about all the silly objections, has nothing to do with reviewing the calls.
Under the proposed review system it's my understanding that the manager may either argue a call or use a challenge. He may not both argue AND challenge. Why the heck is the manager allowed on the field at all, including all those stupid meetings with the pitcher by him or the pitching coach? Old guys dressed in a baseball costume waddling out onto the field. Get them the heck out of there.
Or we could simply go with my original idea about reviewing plays: put the replays up on the big screen so that everyone can see them at the same time. It won't take long for the umpires to realize that they made an incorrect call.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Would replays in ball parks cause riots?
Ever notice how people, especially baseball people like fans, just make silly reasons to oppose ideas which they fear but cannot rationally oppose.
One of the reasons I hear to oppose my idea that the TV broadcast should be silently played on the big screen that each park contains is that fans will become so incensed about an umpire's decision with which they disagree that the fans will riot, break into uncontrolled violence...
During an NFL exhibition game yesterday announcers mentioned that for the 2012 regular season replays seen by officials during a review would be played on the big screen in the stadium so that attending fans would see what the officials see simultaneously.
Apparently, no fear of a riot.
I guess Bud missed that.
I'll address the length of games in detail when I finally get away from junk like this and steroids and return to what I had intended to be writing about: my constitutional amendments for team sports, the first of which is that regular season games must end within two hours, you know, like most movies.