Replay Will Lengthen Games. Huh?

August 22, 2008 at 12:30 pm 2 comments

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According to the Associated Press, allowing instant replay in major league baseball will lead to lengthening a game that is “already long enough”. I have to disagree. Here is what the AP is saying:

As if major league games aren’t long enough already, now there will be replay delays.

Sometime before the end of the regular season, Major League Baseball will start allowing umpires to review video to determine boundary calls on home runs, such as whether they cleared fences or went by the foul pole in fair territory.

“Major League Baseball and the media, they want instant replay, and we’re going to have instant replay, so if it delays the game, then there’s nothing we can do about it,” World Umpires Association president John Hirschbeck said.

In my opinion, there is no possible way replay will lengthen the game unless the umpires decide to let their pride get in the way and refuse to accpet a call that is counter to what their original call was, trying to complicate a call that obvious to the announcer’s eye.

According to the AP the average time of a nine-inning game this season is 2 hours, 50 minutes, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That’s down just a minute from last year despite baseball’s renewed focus on pace-of-game issues.

In the postseason, it’s usually midnight madness. Many games start at 8:30 p.m. ET and nine-inning contests stretch on for an average of 3:26. Because cameras are at playoff games, umpires will have even more angles to review before the crew chief makes his decision on a call.

Some players and the MLB front office think the time it takes to look at replay will offset how long it takes to get the umpires together and come to a conclusion on a call.

MLB officials hope replay delays will be offset by a reduction in arguments over disputed calls and the need for umpires to gather for conferences. Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice president for baseball operations in the commissioner’s office, said in an e-mail he wouldn’t comment on replay until he returns from the Beijing Olympics.

“Taking a quick look on a TV monitor, that can be ruled on in a matter of a couple of seconds,” he said.

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said even if there’s a little added time, replay is worth it.

“They get the call right — that’s all I’m worried about,” he said. “There are too many other things that Major League Baseball can do to shorten games. Instant replay is not going to make that big a deal.”

Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells doesn’t think it will be used that often.

“It’s one play a week, maybe, where it’s a borderline home run call. It’s not something that’s going to slow down that many games,” he said. “There won’t be any argument from either side. You can’t really argue with videotape.”

The main thing instant replay will do is get the call correct. That is what is most important. But I think it will actually shorten the game. There will be no stupid umpire conferences on the field and there will be far less intances where a manager argues with the umpire for minutes on end when the umpires make the wrong call. Instant replay will clear all this and keep the game moving at the same pace, if not faster.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Iven  |  August 25, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Thanks for information. Friends reccommended to visit you. Good thing. Subscribed! Wanna read you more!

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  August 25, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Thank you for coming. We have new stuff up daily so stay tuned.

    Reply

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