Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Great Debate

The most contentious issue in baseball finally
isn't steroids. In fact, it has nothing to do with potential cheating, nothing to do with the players' actions at all. It's a very simple problem: should umpires be able to use instant replay to verify calls when there is some degree of uncertainty the first time around?

Those in favor of instant replay will likely put forth some form off a very basic argument: the umpires should get it right. There is so much at stake, especially during the playoffs, both for fans and for clubs. If replay helps umps get calls right, it belongs in the game. It works in football, basketball, and hockey - why not baseball too?

On the other side, the are a few arguments to make. First of all, replay will extend the game. Baseball games are already 3+ hour affairs, and wide use of instant replay would cause games to approach (or pass) the 4-hour mark. Second, replay would mess with the tradition of the game. Umpires have never used replay (save home run reviews), and that lack of replay has never been an extreme hinderance to the game. Finally, widespread use of instant replay may stir fears that technology will phase out human umpires. We have the technology to have baseball games be almost completely officiated by computers, and this is a scary thought for some.

So where are you on the issues? Feel free to comment and vote in the poll. Where am I? Well, I don't love the idea of more instant replay. I do think games are long enough right now, and I do believe in some sense of baseball tradition. However, despite my reservations, in the end I believe baseball should expand the use of instant replay. 

Why? Let's say you're building a shed. You need to put in a screw, and you have a screwdriver right in front of you. Wouldn't you use it?!?! If you have a tool that's right for the job and will make everything easier, you should put it to use. Baseball has that tool in instant replay. There's no reason for umpires to be missing a handfull of calls every game.

1 comment:

  1. I think I built a shed a last night...