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MLB’s Replay System Must Improve Or Go Away

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MLB first implemented replay for the 2008 season where umpires could signal to review a “fair-or-foul” home run. Then commissioner Rob Manfred decided to expand on that system in 2014 to allow managers to challenge close tag plays, and most judgement calls in general. Most baseball fans clapped in support.

The results today are that of a wildly inaccurate and inconsistent system that doesn’t feel fair. Major League Baseball either needs to improve this technology or get rid of it. It stinks.

We’ve all watched plenty games where an opposing team received the benefit of the call “standing” due to a lack of clear evidence to overturn the call on the field. Then suddenly the exact same play will happen for your favorite team, the umpires stand with headsets on for what feels like forever, and then the call is different.

Zero consistency that ultimately makes replay feel gimmicky. It’d be much better if baseball embraced the human element of errors in judgement and only utilized replay to fix an egregious mistake.

Remember the Saints and Rams blown PI call? Yeah, baseball should protect against that, and all these other ticky-tack calls being looked at is a waste of our time. As for umpiring is concerned, if we really want to get these calls right without an obsession with utilizing 15 different camera angles, let’s provide actual punishment for shoddy umpire audits. We already have Twitter accounts with thousands of followers that show exactly how well each umpire does in a given outing within an hour of last out, so why can’t be just demand they do a better job?

And I always argued replay would be an asset to baseball. I was wrong. Turns out it slowed the game down even further and left me feeling cheated — all the time. Let’s allow replay to be used by an umpiring crew watching the game from a studio if a call is just dismal. Other than that, let’s play ball.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

4 Comments

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  1. For God’s sake, at least get rid of the stupid tag play review when a guy beats the tag but his arm or leg pops a half of an inch over the bag while completing his slide, and review calls the runner out. Dumbest rule ever.

    • That’s the one that has to go. If a guy beats the throw he should be safe, unless he slides all the past the base. But the body coming off for a fraction over the bag and being an out has to go, that ruling needs to be intent more than letter of the law.

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