By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
There's no crying in baseball? Not when it comes to instant replay
Placeholder Image

The debate of whether Major League Baseball should have instant replay has been a hot button for years.

However, the baseball gods have apparently grown weary, using several controversial plays last week to speed up the decision.

It began last week at Yankee Stadium after umpires ruled what should have been a three-run homer by Mets' Carlos Delgado a foul ball on national television. In fact, the ball clearly ricocheted off the foul pole, indicated by a scuff mark and dozens of replays on ESPN.

The next day the Cubs' Geovany Soto was credited with an inside-the-park three-run homer; however, it should have been an automatic home run.

Several days later Alex Rodriguez hit a shot that undoubtedly landed above the fence and off a yellow staircase at Yankee Stadium. Nevertheless, umpires ruled it a double.

And over the weekend there were several other blunders, including fan interference negating a home run by the Cubs' Rondell White. On the other hand, Pittsburgh's Jason Kendall was credited with a home run in the same game after fans prevented White from making the catch.

Plans have already begun to use instant replay - strictly for home runs - in the Arizona Fall League. Should that work, it will then carry over to the World Baseball Classic and spring training games.

Of course, this has caused a firestorm among baseball purists. But what's pure about not getting it right? And how is one not supposed to believe that some of these umpires are purposefully making the wrong call?

As long as instant replay is used for questionable home runs, I have no problem with that. My concern is if it opens the floodgates for every pitch, every play.

It's not a matter of it being a judgment call or not - the last time I checked a home run is a home run.

Still, there are several reasons why some are against instant replay, starting with time, cost and the human element.

But these are all myths.

Instant replay will not take too much time during what's an already long enough game. Despite baseball wanting to speed the game up, the Delgado debate took two minutes and five seconds. With instant replay, it would have been even shorter, and more importantly the umpires would have made the correct call.

Though it will cost more, baseball can certainly afford it. It's surprising we haven't had it yet; we certainly have the technology for it at a reasonable price.

Regarding the human element - perhaps the most important of them all - it will still remain, perhaps stronger than ever before. The drama between managers, coaches, players and umpires will not be lost (i.e. balls and strikes, bang-bang plays, anticipating the instant replay call).

Another option is the addition of more outfield umpires; however, that's not even guaranteed, especially depending on the stadium. The logical answer is implementation of an instant-replay booth operated by an official either in the media press box or in the home dugout.

Hitting a home run is similar to scoring a touchdown - both can have a lasting impact on the outcome. It's worked out quite well for the NFL, adding more suspense for the average fan. And it's used in other major sports, such as, well, all of them.

Baseball has been trying to clean up its image since the Steroids Era hit, and there's no way it passes on an opportunity such as this one. Commissioner Bud Selig, though he isn't a fan of instant replay, will ultimately have no choice but to comply, seeing that majority of general managers, players and fans want instant replay.

Without a doubt, if - scratch that, when - baseball allows instant replay, we will look back on last week, and only then will we realize the profound impact.