Jun 18, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (22) argues with umpire Fieldin Culbreth (25) after Cardinals pinch runner Shane Robinson (not pictured) interfered with Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro (not pictured) causing a double play that ended the game at Busch Stadium. The Cubs defeated the Cardinals 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

New MLB Replay Debate


The St. Louis Cardinals may soon be playing a strange kind of baseball which resembles football and tennis.

Goodbye arguing with the umpire and enter additional commercial breaks and stretches?

Replay, which has been controlled in MLB so that the game has remained in tact, may soon be expanded.  If the owners vote in favor of Bud Selig’s changes in November, then America’s pastime will be modernized, so that the great sport of baseball would become different in many ways.

While expanded replay would make the game more accurate, it could also make it longer, more controversial and reduce the already sluggish tempo.  As of now, only home runs can be reviewed in the tunnel.

Under the proposed replay expansion, managers would have three challenges:  1 in the first 6 frames, and 2 challenges after the 7th inning.

When a managers challenge is succeeds and the call is reversed, it will not be taken away, like the NFL and ATP.  It would surely transform the managers responsibilities as well as the role of technology inside the stadium.  Entirely new strategies would be forced into a sport that has remained largely free of  changes in it’s pace since the conception of baseball in the 18th Century.

2013 has seen some awful calls by umpires that have tragically effected games.  A specific bang-bang play at first base in the fall of 1985 remains infamous in eastern Missouri.  Every season witnesses an assortment of good calls and bad calls.

Just like professional soccer, there is a lot of grass that each umpire/referee patrols, so human error is understandably common.

While one European sport, tennis, uses an incredibly accurate system and places the choice(challenge) in the players hands(coaches relay information), as another, soccer, has remained pure and error plagued.  The 2010 World Cup was a prime example of footy’s faults.

Where soccer is still the same with flopping and yelling at referees, it is with tradition, as they say on the side of the pond.  However, tennis is a totally different sport today with the addition of challenges.  Love and second-guessing are thriving in the more athletic country club sport.

Baseball owners will need to consider how much longer and more different games should be.  Players and coaching staffs still chew and spit chaw and seeds which destroy the field, throw down fists and spikes during brawls, and some still cheat.  But what will it be like when they throw unlimited flags?  Countless mistakes happen in extra innings after the potential challenges could be used up, or if calls are reversed then they become essentially limitless.

Baseball is already a long game with plenty of down time making it less attractive and understandable for newbies.  But this dire idea could be worth the, “Lousy young people with their technology!”, reaction from baseball fans who remember seeing it in black and white as well as slower international growth.

Changes this big have a potential impact which could alter baseball for the worse.  Every NFL fan will agree that football dramatically changed with replay expansion.  Harm or help on the diamond is up for debate, but different it is indeed.

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  • Dolph Rudager

    I don’t like it one bit. I remember back when baseball only had 4 divisions & the game seemed a lot better back then (sans rioding Canseco). The problem is people today are a bunch of whiners. Your video gamers who demand perfection like their video games & the idiots on Big League Stew who obsess on EVERY mistake in baseball. The problem is the umpires – be it too few on the field or poorly trained ones.
    Selig only cares about one thing: money. Instead of holding umpires accountable, instead he’ll use cameras to do their jobs for them.
    Baseball is not like other sports & it’s why I like it over all the others because baseball did things its own way. Now it seems like every change & update is copying some other league and the end result is a blander, longer, a more boring game & a farce.
    Don’t think for a second managers are going to save their challenges (FFS..) If there’s a play at 1st that the team batting doesn’t like, they’ll challenge it. You can’t start a rally without guys on base.
    No team sport is perfectly officiated. It pisses me off all these whining dorks finally got their way.

    • Thomas Demerath

      I agree Dolph. Some might say we are Luddites, but I prefer Purists. It would be a shame if the game changes too much, but I fear it will at some point.

      Hopefully the owners won’t bow to Bud. Thanks for the rant!