In light of what has been one of the most controversial seasons for officiating in Major League Baseball, a lot of opinions have been swirling around whether or not MLB should fall in line with the rest of the professional sports and implement a review system for questionable calls. Many people don’t watch full baseball games due to the length of games and its “old school” customs. But baseball has done some things to appeal to the 21st century sports consumer while keeping its traditionalist lawn finely kept.
Baseball is still “America’s pastime” whether we like it or not and it still will be for years to come even with issues surrounding steroids, cheating, and poor umpiring. We made it past the cheating and roids for the most part and the umps are currently up to bat. The time is upon us where MLB needs to decide whether or not they are going to delve into the realm of instant replay similar to the process NFL has in place and I have a few ideas that I think would satisfy both the modern perfectionists and the stubborn traditionalists.
Baseball should implement a review system, but a limited review system at that. The Mackin Review System (MRS) will allow for fair play on the field while not hindering the already painfully slow pace of the game. My boy Mike Wilbon said it best by saying “Baseball is just like watching golf, you can watch it on a Sunday afternoon, take a nap, except when you wake up a lot has changed.”
Baseball needs to steer clear of becoming an old man’s couch and country club sport and at the same time keep those old fogies happy. If we allow for a system that reviews all matters involving homerun accuracy, on base safe/out calls, the fair/foul line, trapped catches, and hit by pitches then the game will become more correct than a naked eye, while still holding true to the human nature the game was built on.
However, this system will not get into the ball/strike arena. Every umpire makes border line calls at the home but that makes what baseball, baseball. By taking that out of the umpires hands you might as well eliminate the blue from the entire game and sit an iMac behind the dish with a camera that lets us know whether the pitch was a ball or strike in animated and morphed voice tones.
If this limited system is utilized the right way it is a win/win for both teams and fans. The teams get precise officiating and the fans get a consistently paced game without slowing the rate. Each teams would get 2 appeals per game (if needed). Since there are no timeouts really in baseball, once the appeal is used it is gone whether the call is overturned or not. It will mimic the NFL’s system in that there has to be enough indisputable evidence to overturn the call, otherwise the call on the field stands. The viewing monitors will be placed in a little photo both inside the home team’s dugout for fast and easy access.
Now, how will this implementation of MRS improve the American economy? I was hoping you’d ask me that, well if the MRS or a like modified version were picked up by Major League Baseball, discouraged fans would return back to the game they grew up playing. This would increase ticket sales, Food/Beverage sales, merchandise sales, and more media coverage to a billion dollar industry that is capable of patching up one of the many holes in our country’s current depression. Yes, depression not recession. Forget about politics, tax breaks, and government stimuli – the cure for the economy is instant replay in Major League Baseball.
Now that I have everyone on board, I would like to announce my running for the candidacy of President of the United States of America in 2012 under the new party of “Sports Nation.” Thank you all, don’t forget to vote and God Bless America.