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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bud Selig—No need for more MLB replay for now - ESPN

MLB sought to increase video review this season to include trapped balls, fair-or-foul rulings down the lines and fan interference all over the ballpark. But it requires approval of MLB and the unions representing the umpires and the players, and any expansion was delayed until 2013 at the earliest.

“I’ve had very, very little pressure from people who want to do more,” Selig said.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:36 AM | 94 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bud selig, rules of play

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   1. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4139181)
I guess even a blind squirrel can find an acorn once in a while.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4139189)
Do you want calls made right or do you want them made fast?

Well, like all Americans, I want them done fast!
   3. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4139218)
Do you want calls made right or do you want them made fast?

Well, like all Americans, I want them done fast!


Bottom of the 9th, no one out, runners on first and second, home team down by one. Batter hits a sinking liner to left which is in peril of being caught so the runner on second holds. The LF makes what looks like a sliding catch, and it is indeed ruled so. Upon review, the umpires rule it a trap. What do you do with the runners? Do you let them advance, even though it would have been fairly routine to get the guy at 3rd? Or do you call him out even though a play was never made? Both options stink, and whatever choice is made will harm one of the teams.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4139227)

Bottom of the 9th, no one out, runners on first and second, home team down by one. Batter hits a sinking liner to left which is in peril of being caught so the runner on second holds. The LF makes what looks like a sliding catch, and it is indeed ruled so. Upon review, the umpires rule it a trap. What do you do with the runners? Do you let them advance, even though it would have been fairly routine to get the guy at 3rd? Or do you call him out even though a play was never made? Both options stink, and whatever choice is made will harm one of the teams.


If it was ruled a catch on the field, the runners is entitled to try for third if he wants after the catch, at his own peril. A review doesn't change that. I think the only question is whether upon review you grant the runner at second, third base. You could argue he wouldn't have advanced because he thought the LF might catch it, and its such a short throw, he wouldn't have made it. So the umpire will have to use his best judgment, just like in any dead ball situation.

FWIW, I'm not enamored with the idea of replay in all situations, but I do favor them for close safe/out plays on the bases, home run/not home run, and fair/foul balls. Traps/catches, I am a bit more iffy on.
   5. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4139235)
Do you want calls made right or do you want them made fast?

Well, like all Americans, I want them done fast!

It's going to take a lot of fireworks to clean this ballpark up.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4139238)
Do you want calls made right or do you want them made fast?


Bottom of the 10th, NL playoff between Rockies and Padres. You watch the replay 78 times and still don't know for sure whether Holliday was safe.

When the day comes when replay can get things right, all the time, the get it right argument will carry more weight. As is, replay just gets things a little closer to right, which to me just isn't worth it.
   7. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4139247)

Bottom of the 10th, NL playoff between Rockies and Padres. You watch the replay 78 times and still don't know for sure whether Holliday was safe.


Bottom of the 13th.
   8. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4139249)
You could argue he wouldn't have advanced because he thought the LF might catch it, and its such a short throw, he wouldn't have made it. So the umpire will have to use his best judgment, just like in any dead ball situation.


No, this will be an entirely new approach. Assuming a batter or runner would have been out without a play ever being made on him. There have been times a batter or runner was called out due to an infraction occurring like interference on the part of a batter, runner, coach, or fan, but I can't think of a situation where the umpires assume a clean play would have been made and thus calling a batter or runner out.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4139258)

No, this will be an entirely new approach. Assuming a batter or runner would have been out without a play ever being made on him. There have been times a batter or runner was called out due to an infraction occurring like interference on the part of a batter, runner, coach, or fan, but I can't think of a situation where the umpires assume a clean play would have been made and thus calling a batter or runner out.


I don't know that its "fairly routine" the LF gets the guy at third, and I don't think you can assume that, so I don't think there's anyway they call the runner out. How often does this kind of play happen anyway? I can't say I've seen it in a long time. Are we really not going to implement a system because of the extreme examples of what might happen?

You watch the replay 78 times and still don't know for sure whether Holliday was safe.


Yea, its not perfect. I think you adopt a similar approach as the NFL - it has to be conclusive to overturn the call on the field.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4139261)
Bottom of the 13th.


I knew it was extras, but I wasn't motivated enough to check the inning.

   11. Morty Causa Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4139264)
Do you want calls made right or do you want them made fast?

Well, like all Americans, I want them done fast!


Reminds me of what Jack Warner supposedly told a writer who was late with a movie script. "I want it to be good," the writer said. Warner replied: "I don't want it good. I want it Tuesday."
   12. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4139268)
Reminds me of what Jack Warner supposedly told a writer who was late with a movie script. "I want it to be good," the writer said. Warner replied: "I don't want it good. I want it Tuesday."


Or what Lorne Michaels supposedly told Tina Fey (according to her book). "The show doesn't go on because it's ready. It goes on because it's 11:30."
   13. I Knew A Guy Who Knew A Guy Who Knew Rey Ordonez Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4139278)
Bottom of the 9th, no one out, runners on first and second, home team down by one. Batter hits a sinking liner to left which is in peril of being caught so the runner on second holds. The LF makes what looks like a sliding catch, and it is indeed ruled so. Upon review, the umpires rule it a trap. What do you do with the runners? Do you let them advance, even though it would have been fairly routine to get the guy at 3rd? Or do you call him out even though a play was never made? Both options stink, and whatever choice is made will harm one of the teams.


What you'll see is a lot more umpires ruling this a no catch to allow continuous action to happen. Just like with home run replays, you see umpires ruling the ball in play and letting the play happen. If you end up ruling a home run, everybody scores, outs are negated. If you rule it out of play and then see that it was live, you get into the mess of placing runners. The same would happen in a catch/no catch situation. Rule it no catch, and if it was caught, return runners to their base at the TOP.
   14. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4139280)
It's not that hard to come up with a scenario where instant replay would result in a suboptimal outcome. It's also not that hard to come up with 1,000 instances where a blown call resulted in a suboptimal outcome.
   15. Morty Causa Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4139298)
12:

Neat.
   16. Eddo Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4139304)
Bottom of the 10th, NL playoff between Rockies and Padres. You watch the replay 78 times and still don't know for sure whether Holliday was safe.

When the day comes when replay can get things right, all the time, the get it right argument will carry more weight. As is, replay just gets things a little closer to right, which to me just isn't worth it.


It's not that hard to come up with a scenario where instant replay would result in a suboptimal outcome. It's also not that hard to come up with 1,000 instances where a blown call resulted in a suboptimal outcome.


Right. To use an old cliche, do we really want to let the best be the enemy of the better?
   17. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4139309)
It's not that hard to come up with a scenario where instant replay would result in a suboptimal outcome. It's also not that hard to come up with 1,000 instances where a blown call resulted in a suboptimal outcome.

QFT. All of these "what happens if X happens", when X happens maybe once a year, are not good arguments, and they just derail the discussion. It's textbook "perfect is enemy of the good".

Now, I'm not saying that replay will be good, but there are much better arguments against it. I'm in favor of more replay if they do it right, which is a guy in a booth making a call within 30 seconds and radioing it down to the umps on the field. I'm strongly against the umps leaving the field, huddling around a monitor for 4 minutes before making a decision. You know, the NFL "guys on the field must make the call" nonsense.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: May 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4139316)
QFT. All of these "what happens if X happens", when X happens maybe once a year, are not good arguments, and they just derail the discussion. It's textbook "perfect is enemy of the good".


That's quite the overstatement. Some of the most common types of plays that will demand replay usage* - fair/foul and catch/out, hell even safe/out in some circumstances - involve these types of 'alternate reality' scenarios.

Moreover, if the alternate reality scenario was the only argument against replay, that would be one thing. But there are other reasons not to favor it. It will lead to delays in a game that already has too many of them. And, for many of us, the idea of suspending our reaction to what happened until after the play has gotten the thumb's up or down from the replay guy makes sport-watching less enjoyable.

All in an effort to get some calls, not all of them, a little more right than they are now. No thanks.

* Assuming balls/strikes is off the table for now.
   19. Johnny Slick Posted: May 24, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4139349)
I don't really have a problem with occasionally using the replay to adjudicate a few close calls that umpires aren't in the position to see, like the aforementioned possible trap/extra base hit. However, there are other slots where I really, really don't want to see it:

1. Balls and strikes. I know that we basically have the technology right now to have a computer representation of a strike zone and then determine if a ball went through that or not. I don't know if we can crunch the data quickly enough to keep the game moving but I'm sure we will in time. Well, one of the "hidden" parts of the game that I like is the game that pitchers and catchers play with the umpire, where good control guys expand the zone and so on. I know that every now and then you see some egregious misuse of umpire power, like when an ump grossly expands the zone to show a hitter who is in charge or when he calls a ball a foot out of the zone a strike so that he can get home, but I don't believe that the remedy for this kind of thing is to entirely throw out this aspect of the game.

2. Close calls in the infield. Yeah, there was that play with the Dodgers earlier this year and yeah, it would have been nice to have that overruled. Here's the problem I see though: in the NFL, where of course the replay is deeply entrenched, you have stadium A/V guys replaying basically every close call that doesn't go the home team's way but not so much the other way around. In fact, if a play does go into the replay booth, you can bet that if there's not a clear call for the home team, it's not going to show up on the Jumbotron or whatever. Where this applies to baseball is that if an umpire makes a ruling on the field that's bad and it gets replayed, right now the fans just say "OH WHAT A BUM TAKE HIM OUT" and then it's over. If there's a possibility of a replay, you get the above, *plus* the "TAKE IT TO THE BOOTH YOU BUMS! I LIKE TO SAY BUM! BUM BUM BUM". If umpires give into this, even if they do so in anticipation of public outcry, this adds a level of homefield advantage that currently doesn't exist in the game.

So yeah, my objections are pretty purist-ish. Dammit, the game is in good shape now. We don't need large scale tinkering.
   20. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 24, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4139350)
Do you want calls made right or do you want them made fast?

I'll gladly accept the occasional blown call in return for not having play interrupted for several minutes several times a game.

OTOH I'd love to see a ball and strike robot and eliminate those ####### "personal strike zones" which account for 99% of the bad calls in the course of any given evening.
   21. Knock on any Iorg Posted: May 24, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4139355)
If umpires give into this, even if they do so in anticipation of public outcry, this adds a level of homefield advantage that currently doesn't exist in the game.

Bud Selig is secretly in love with that aspect. This time it COUNTS! MOAR!
   22. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: May 24, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4139374)
"OH WHAT A BUM TAKE HIM OUT"


Definitely the best of the umpiring crew from "Bases Loaded"
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4139390)

I'll gladly accept the occasional blown call in return for not having play interrupted for several minutes several times a game.


Its baseball. Play is interrupted for several minutes all the time for stuff less important than this.

It all depends on how its implemented, but I also rather doubt there would be several reviews per game. There are typically maybe 1-2 controversial calls per game, sometimes there are none. Maybe limit each manager to one replay challenge per game, and you've capped the delays to two max per game.
   24. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: May 24, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4139398)
That's quite the overstatement. Some of the most common types of plays that will demand replay usage* - fair/foul and catch/out, hell even safe/out in some circumstances - involve these types of 'alternate reality' scenarios.

Yes but the large majority of those are easy alternate realities to figure out. I can see the argument for not wanting to do that, but it's over the top to pull out the specific scenarios that get trotted out.

Moreover, if the alternate reality scenario was the only argument against replay, that would be one thing. But there are other reasons not to favor it. It will lead to delays in a game that already has too many of them. And, for many of us, the idea of suspending our reaction to what happened until after the play has gotten the thumb's up or down from the replay guy makes sport-watching less enjoyable.

Yes, I said that there are better arguments against. I agree that the delay is a major concern. NFL style delays are excruciating. However, I think that there are a ton more opportunities in the NFL to replay. I think you could go two weeks watching a team and not see a controversial fair/foul or catch/trap play. So the intrusions will not be as common. Even having said that, I will repeat and say that the on-the-field review is a horrible idea. My replays would be required to be booth review in 30 seconds or less. And the booth guy would be instructed to be reviewing as soon as possible so most of the time he would have an answer by the time the umps on the field asked.

   25. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: May 24, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4139400)
OTOH I'd love to see a ball and strike robot and eliminate those ####### "personal strike zones" which account for 99% of the bad calls in the course of any given evening.

Agree. Questec indicators for the ump if you still want him to make the hand motions.
   26. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 24, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4139411)
“I’ve had very, very little pressure from people who want to do more,” Selig said.


I'm pretty sure we've had these threads before and Bud's right, I can't remember a single person advocating for replay. Problem solved.
   27. Lassus Posted: May 24, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4139415)
...and you've capped the additional delays to two max per game.

Pre-emptively, I just don't buy the "managers screaming for five minutes anyhow" argument. If a manager is granted the ability for a challenge, they'll take one just in case.
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4139422)
Its also not like the "delays" from replay are completely dead time. Typically, the crowd is also looking at the replay and debating it too. That is entertaining, that is drama. Its the ones that drag on for several minutes that get to be tiresome. So just keep them limited to 30 seconds or a minute like the NFL does.

Also, hopefully this will cause MLB parks to show replays on controversial calls, as most stadiums it seems won't show them for fear of showing up the umpires.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: May 24, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4139428)
It all depends on how its implemented, but I also rather doubt there would be several reviews per game. There are typically maybe 1-2 controversial calls per game, sometimes there are none. Maybe limit each manager to one replay challenge per game, and you've capped the delays to two max per game.


I've never liked these sorts of rules. They bring unneeded complexity to the whole thing. You get immediate nightly debates on whether the managers used their replay challenges smartly, which is not baseball, and I don't want it in baseball.

Think about the ideal system: we want no delays, we want on controversy or debate about the review feature. We just want egregious calls to be corrected swiftly, as if by the hand of God. What's the closest we can come to that?

Put a 5th umpire (which pleases the union and allows veteran umps to get even fatter) in a room with some televisions, and have him make an immediate decision on whether or not to review the play. Limit the types of plays he can review (eg no balls and strikes, no checked swings). Instruct the 5th umpire to only call for a review if the call immediately looks like it was incorrect (none of this "let's review just to be safe" nonsense that is the scourge of the last 2 minutes of NFL games). And let the 5th umpire make the call, all by himself, and relay the news to the crew chief electronically.
   30. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: May 24, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4139459)
Maybe limit each manager to one replay challenge per game, and you've capped the delays to two max per game.


Well, do you want to get it right or not? What you suggest is the worst of both worlds
   31. Johnny Slick Posted: May 24, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4139467)
Well, the whole point of the review limits is to prevent managers from calling for one on every single close play. I guess requiring the review to come from on high would be its own thing, although at the same time I imagine the 4 guys on the field would begin to look at the guy in the booth the way police officers look at Internal Affairs: he's the guy who only pipes up when he thinks someone on the field might have missed a call.

I think that any replay, for reasons I've already stated and also because umpires have famously fragile egos, really needs to be generated by one of the guys on the field. So you go back to another issue with reviews called by managers, even with limits: what's to stop them from using one on a non-controversial play so as to give a relief pitcher more time to warm up? This throws in another layer of complexity that I for one would just as soon do without.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: May 24, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4139468)
Well, do you want to get it right or not? What you suggest is the worst of both worlds


That's my feeling. If getting it right is of utmost importance, there can't be a limit on the number of times you review and you can't limit the amount of time spent. But if you want to limit the number of delays, then you have to compromise on accuracy (not that you can get ever reach 100 percent anyway). Which is fine, as long as your honest that it's not about "getting it right."

The 5th umpire solution with a 30-second, or 1-minute time limit is the most palatable, though I doubt that's adopted and I suspect that it will only lead to more use of replay that is less palatable.

   33. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 24, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4139482)
The 5th umpire solution with a 30-second, or 1-minute time limit is the most palatable, though I doubt that's adopted and I suspect that it will only lead to more use of replay that is less palatable.


I would put the time limit as however long it takes for the pitcher to throw the next pitch. If by the time play resumes, you can't tell whether or not the call was wrong, it wasn't obviously incorrect enough to warrant correcting.
   34. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4139483)
That's my feeling. If getting it right is of utmost importance, there can't be a limit on the number of times you review and you can't limit the amount of time spent. But if you want to limit the number of delays, then you have to compromise on accuracy (not that you can get ever reach 100 percent anyway). Which is fine, as long as your honest that it's not about "getting it right."

It doesn't have to be a binary choice, does it? There's a lot of middle ground between "let's review every play for 20 minutes just to be sure," and "who gives a #### if we get anything right" styles.

It seems to me that reasonable human beings can agree on "let's try and get everything right but let's not turn into the NFL." Sure we may go back and forth on some minor points, but excluding the nutty "human element" purists, I would think general consensus wouldn't be difficult.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: May 24, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4139485)
I would put the time limit as however long it takes for the pitcher to throw the next pitch. If by the time play resumes, you can't tell whether or not the call was wrong, it wasn't obviously incorrect enough to warrant correcting.


It sounds good, but it would only work in conjunction with umpires finally telling batters and pitchers alike to get in the damn box/throw the damn ball. Otherwise, you'd get a whole lot of stalling from one side or the other.

But hell, if you meant the latter (getting rid of Traschel-Hargroving), I'd even be open to the former (replay).

It doesn't have to be a binary choice, does it? There's a lot of middle ground between "let's review every play for 20 minutes just to be sure," and "who gives a #### if we get anything right" styles.


But the replay advocates don't sell the idea that we're looking for a middle ground. Replay is sold on the premise of "getting it right."

And, to be honest, I am kind of a nutty human element purist. I like personalized strike zones, for instance.
   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4139489)
It doesn't have to be a binary choice, does it? There's a lot of middle ground between "let's review every play for 20 minutes just to be sure," and "who gives a #### if we get anything right" styles.


Right. You guys are saying its the worst of both worlds because you want a reason to reject it outright because you don't like it. Getting more plays right is better than the status quo, and capping the number of delays is better than allowing every play to be challenged. There is no perfect system and there never will be, but we have to judge whether the proposal is better than what we currently have, and I believe it is.
   37. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4139496)
But the replay advocates don't sell the idea that we're looking for a middle ground. Replay is sold on the premise of "getting it right."


I dunno; I have yet to encounter a replay advocate that says we have to get it right ABOVE ALL ELSE NO MATTER WHAT. Most of the ones I meet (and I'm one myself) are more along the lines of, "Jeez, can't we TRY and get SOME of this right?"

Your statement above does seem somewhat strawman-ish.

And, to be honest, I am kind of a nutty human element purist. I like personalized strike zones, for instance.


I can't even wrap my head around that, to be honest, but you're certainly entitled to your opinion.
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: May 24, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4139502)
I dunno; I have yet to encounter a replay advocate that says we have to get it right ABOVE ALL ELSE NO MATTER WHAT. Most of the ones I meet (and I'm one myself) are more along the lines of, "Jeez, can't we TRY and get SOME of this right?"

Your statement above does seem somewhat strawman-ish.


Really? The benefit of replay is routinely sold on the importance of getting it right, with far less attention given to the fact that any limits on its implementation will lower its accuracy rate.

I can't even wrap my head around that, to be honest, but you're certainly entitled to your opinion.


Thanks for your permission. (-:

As long as an umpire is consistent from beginning of the game to the end, and reasonable within the rulebook definition, I think a personalized strike zone is a good thing. I think adapting to the way the game is being called by the home plate ump, which has been going on for as long as there's been a baseball, is a skill for both pitchers and catchers and one I wouldn't want to see removed from the game. I thought it was cool when the leagues were separate and the AL and NL were known for having two different strike zones. And I think homogeneity, in most forms of entertaiment, sucks.

   39. Jittery McFrog Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4139507)
Heck no on instant replay says I.

It doesn't have to be a binary choice, does it? There's a lot of middle ground between "let's review every play for 20 minutes just to be sure," and "who gives a #### if we get anything right" styles.


In principle, sure. For example, the proposal in #29 doesn't sound too bad to me. But I don't think that situation is a stable equilibrium, so to speak. Suppose there's already a guy in the booth, and already a bunch of cameras set up for the task, etc etc. Then, whatever the worst calls are that don't get replayed, people will clamor for them to be replayable too, since the means to do so is already RIGHT THERE.

In practice, I think the stable equilibria are: no replay, or lots of it. And I think the former is vastly superior to the latter.
   40. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4139509)
I don't particularly care for replay, largely for the reasons SoSH lays out.

On a practical level I think it creates more problems than it solves. One of my biggest frustrations with the NFL model is that plays often look different in super slomo than they do in live action. A ball caught cleanly can often appear to be juggled. I also hate the lawyer-like approach to the sport that it creates. Everything has to be so bleeping precise; "he caught the ball and while he had two feet down he did not then make a football move prior to losing control of the ball." I'm all for having rules but the Zapruder film thing that goes on just wears me out.

I think the NHL has a decent model with their goals and clock approach. I think home runs are right and I wouldn't hate seeing plays at the plate reviewable but beyond that, pass. I don't want to see a 6-4-3 DP overturned because a second baseman got the benefit of the neighborhood play.

I also hate the concept of "challenges." If a play deserves a challenge, it should be challenged whether or not it is asked for. The idea that a team could conceivably be on the wrong end of several bad calls and not be able to challenge one because seems silly to me.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4139527)
In principle, sure. For example, the proposal in #29 doesn't sound too bad to me. But I don't think that situation is a stable equilibrium, so to speak. Suppose there's already a guy in the booth, and already a bunch of cameras set up for the task, etc etc. Then, whatever the worst calls are that don't get replayed, people will clamor for them to be replayable too, since the means to do so is already RIGHT THERE.


Well, yeah, this is a fear. But not all slippery slope possibilities come true.

There would be a bit of gamesmanship involving when to resume play, but I don't think I mind that. They already play those games when a rain delay is imminent, or when a team doesn't have its reliever ready. Those things don't bother me much.

But "challenges" are a ####### disaster. It has to be initiated by the umpires.
   42. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4139537)
Really? The benefit of replay is routinely sold on the importance of getting it right, with far less attention given to the fact that any limits on its implementation will lower its accuracy rate.

I'm going to call "straw man" until you can point out an actual example that says (or even implies) what you're saying. And even if you point one out somehow, I'll still call shenanigans on "routinely."

In fact, pretty much EVERY time it's brought up around here, an immediate discussion ensues wherein the appropriate limits or controls for expediency are discussed.
Thanks for your permission. (-:

What I really meant was, "There's probably not much point in debating this further as we'll never agree. :)
As long as an umpire is consistent from beginning of the game to the end, and reasonable within the rulebook definition, I think a personalized strike zone is a good thing. I think adapting to the way the game is being called by the home plate ump, which has been going on for as long as there's been a baseball, is a skill for both pitchers and catchers and one I wouldn't want to see removed from the game. I thought it was cool when the leagues were separate and the AL and NL were known for having two different strike zones. And I think homogeneity, in most forms of entertaiment, sucks.

Whereas I think that rules that are deliberately not followed are stupid and pointless, and if there's one thing I loathe in baseball, it's the inconsistent strike zone.

Like I said...we'll never convince each other.
   43. Gaelan Posted: May 24, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4139541)
The thing about instant replay is that the experiment has been tested in the NFL. We don't have to hypothesize about what would happen when we have the worst case scenario right in front of our faces. Everything about instant replay in the NFL is terrible by any intelligible standard. The problem people who oppose instant replay have to face is that "people" think that instant replay in the NFL works. This kind of irrationality can't be fought because it is immune to reasons. They've even willingly and consciously changed the rules to accommodate instant replay.

This demonstrates that instant replay isn't a tool that enhances the game, rather instant replay has become more important than the game. It isn't a tool, it's a mindset. It can't be implemented intelligently because instant replay becomes the standard by which intelligence is measured.

   44. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4139548)
. Everything about instant replay in the NFL is terrible by any intelligible standard.


Really? I think it works pretty well. The only thing I hate is what Jose refers to above, the ridiculous micro-management legalese of the rulebook applied to plays. That's probably my biggest hesitation with replay in baseball.
   45. PreservedFish Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4139561)
Football and baseball are different. And MLB, hopefully, will be able to learn from the errors of the NFL. The worst case scenario is not destiny.
   46. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4139563)
One takeaway from the NFL's system is that it argues against the slippery slope scenario that replay will always become more intrusive and take up more time. The NFL has changed its system many times, but it's generally become less of a burden, not more.
   47. Johnny Slick Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4139571)
Yeah, I don't think the NFL system works so badly either, but it's a different sport with different guidelines. I mean, the instant replay would be a horrendous idea in soccer, for example. Baseball is a lot more stop-and-start than soccer or basketball (where the IR is only used to determine if a player got a shot off before the final buzzer) but there's still a general flow to the game that's interrupted badly enough when relief pitchers come into the game and which can completely deflate the tension in a game if we stop and start for other reasons, like the replay.

The NFL OTOH is not just built around stopping and starting but also around quick and easy to run TV spots. Most baseball games aren't transmitted nationally and there is a much larger percentage of baseball fans who enjoy their team at the game than football (nothing against the NFL but they have a larger fanbase than baseball and 10% the number of regular season games... you do the math). Not to mention the fact that television is a medium of the previous century which is beginning to be eclipsed by Web-based viewing and other ways of hooking into your team and so modifying the game in ways that make it more TV compatible but perhaps not as other-media compatible is moving backwards, not forwards.
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4139576)
I'll gladly accept the occasional blown call in return for not having play interrupted for several minutes several times a game.


This is one of the reasons people give for opposing replay, and with all due respect to Andy, it's a ####### stupid reason to oppose replay.

In reality you are saying I oppose replay the way I think it's going to be. (it's like people who oppose the death penalty because some innocent people get executed---in that case you don't oppose the death penalty, you oppose the implementation of the death penalty) There is plenty of ways to do replay without it delaying the game noticeably.

Imagine a perfect (baseball) world? How would it look when it comes to plays on the field? In this perfect world does Joyce make the correct call? Does Denkinger make the correct call? If you are fine with those mistakes, then argue that you are a traditionalist, and don't want instant replay. Period. Don't give us some bs reason about the delay of game, because that is just a cop out. If replay was enacted perfectly and seamlessly, would you accept it? If you say yes, then it's all about making it perfect and seamless and quit lying to yourself about why you oppose it.


I support instant replay, provided it is done right. I do not want the f-up that is the NFL. I don't want coaches having the chance to argue the play. I want a system that only triggers in clear cases, and I want a system that limits judgement calls on where the bases that the runners advanced. As a general rule, if the tv booth can make the decision on whether it was a mistake by the ump or not, before the next pitch, then those are the plays I want overturned.

   49. cardsfanboy Posted: May 24, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4139584)
It all depends on how its implemented, but I also rather doubt there would be several reviews per game. There are typically maybe 1-2 controversial calls per game, sometimes there are none. Maybe limit each manager to one replay challenge per game, and you've capped the delays to two max per game.


God, please no. Any system that allows there to be challenges is destined to be exploited and a complete cluster up. NFL is the exact definition of how not to do the replay. If the NFL does it, then you know it's wrong.

1. Nobody on the field should have a say on whether it's going to be reviewed.
2. The on field umps should not review the play. Period. Your eyes are adjusted to daylight time, and you are going to ask someone to adjust their vision for a tv screen? That is so idiotic, only the NFL could have thought that was a viable method for reviewing the plays.
3. The replay team(in a studio back in new york for all that it matters) reviews the play, radios the ump their findings, and their recommendations, the crew chief makes the final call.
4. all of this happens before the next pitch is thrown or 1 minute, whichever is less. You cannot extend the time to make a change just because a manager is delaying the game arguing.
4a. The time can only be extended by the review studio, if they radio inside of a minute saying they want to check other angles.

Nice and simple. It gets rid of the horrendous calls, keep the pace the same, and doesn't allow for gaming of the system.
   50. Jittery McFrog Posted: May 24, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4139609)
And MLB, hopefully, will be able to learn from the errors of the NFL. The worst case scenario is not destiny.


No, but one has to be realistic about likely outcomes.

There's a big difference between a lazy slippery slope argument ("There's a vaguely imaginable pathway between this choice and a bad outcome!") and realistic assessment of likely outcomes ("Doing X has led to Y in other cases, here's the mechanism for going from X to Y, etc"). In a number of the replay proposals that people are tossing out, there's really no practical barrier between reviewing the plays they want to review and reviewing other plays, or from taking the limited amount of time they want to take and taking longer.

This is one of the reasons people give for opposing replay, and with all due respect to Andy, it's a ####### stupid reason to oppose replay.


Why? I watch baseball because I find it fun to watch; if I think replay will make baseball less fun to watch, isn't that a good reason to oppose replay?
   51. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 24, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4139617)
The NFL has changed its system many times, but it's generally become less of a burden, not more.


They now replay all scoring plays (though not all non-scoring plays that might be scoring plays, which doesn't seem terribly logical to me). That's an expansion, though whether it's burdensome is a matter of opinion.

I'm going to call "straw man" until you can point out an actual example that says (or even implies) what you're saying. And even if you point one out somehow, I'll still call shenanigans on "routinely."

In fact, pretty much EVERY time it's brought up around here, an immediate discussion ensues wherein the appropriate limits or controls for expediency are discussed.


Well, I'm not just talking here. But seriously, I don't know how you can miss examples of people whose primary argument for replay is "to get it right." I very rarely hear pro-replay commentators talking about the need to get it a little more accurate than it is now.

Whereas I think that rules that are deliberately not followed are stupid and pointless,


See, I think the neighborhood play at second is a perfectly good example of a rule that is wisely not followed. The umpires allow some leeway to middle infielders around the base, and as a result, we can reduce the number of mangled middle infielders. That to me is a good thing, made possible by umps deliberately ignoring the letter of the law.

   52. cardsfanboy Posted: May 24, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4139622)
Why? I watch baseball because I find it fun to watch; if I think replay will make baseball less fun to watch, isn't that a good reason to oppose replay?


That is a fine reason for opposing replays. I don't have a problem with people who are fine with living in the 19th century and enjoying the traditional stylings of the game.

That is a perfectly legit reason to oppose replay.

Arguing that it's going to add time to the game, is not a legitimate argument against replay. It's a legitimate argument against a specific proposal of replay. Assuming it's going to add minutes or hours to the game, is not a fair assessment of replay, it's fear mongering.

Again, if you don't want it, that is fine. If you are willing to accept it only if it has no impact on your viewing experience, that is a completely different argument than outright opposing instant replay.

   53. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: May 24, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4139632)
I am troubled by the degree to which I find myself agreeing with cfb here.
   54. cardsfanboy Posted: May 24, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4139633)
See, I think the neighborhood play at second is a perfectly good example of a rule that is wisely not followed. The umpires allow some leeway to middle infielders around the base, and as a result, we can reduce the number of mangled middle infielders. That to me is a good thing, made possible by umps deliberately ignoring the letter of the law.


Exactly, replay shouldn't involve itself on those type of plays at all. When replay gets implemented more(not saying if, it is inevitable) hopefully the first go round is setting up safe out force outs that end the play. That is where the biggest opportunity is at, and has the best chance of not interferring with the game.

I am not a fan of instant replay for trapped balls, although if there is no runner on base, I can see a reason to include it. Would hate for instant replay to be used to determine if the second baseman/shortstop was on the bag, etc. Basically the hope for instant replay is that it corrects the obvious mistakes or even the bang bang mistakes, while not interfering in the actual game.

I think that the proper implementation of replay would be a clear enhancement to the game. Improper implementation can become a distraction, depending on how poorly that implementation is, it might be better than what we have now, it might not.
   55. Johnny Slick Posted: May 24, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4139652)
Who wants to live "in the 19th century" again? If we're going to get slammed for not being exact with our words, that has to apply to both sides. At most we "the purists" want to keep things the way they are right now, which last I checked is the 21st century. Going back to the 19th century would mean putting only 1 umpire on the field, do little to stop him from being abused (and by abused I mean physically struck) by players and managers and, if he makes an especially anti-home team call, the fans, and make the game hinge on shenanigans the umpire can't catch, such as skipping 2nd base when running from 1st to 3rd on a base hit or tugging on a runner's belt when he's tagging up on a fly ball. I'm pretty sure nobody's for that.

But even above my baseball purism, I'm all for stuff that works. If we can demonstrate it in non-major league games - the low minors, for instance - and show that it doesn't significantly prolong the game and that it doesn't serve to further antagonize fans against the men in blue, sure, I would change my mind about this. Just talking it through, though, I simply don't see where the advantages outweigh the drawbacks, at least not for me. And that has zero to do with "the 19th century".
   56. Lassus Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4139680)
That is a fine reason for opposing replays. I don't have a problem with people who are fine with living in the 19th century and enjoying the traditional stylings of the game. That is a perfectly legit reason to oppose replay.

PLBlblblblblblbllblblblblblblblbl!

I issue a fart of no confidence on this comment.
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 24, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4139697)
Imagine a perfect (baseball) world? How would it look when it comes to plays on the field?

If by "perfect" you mean that every call is decided correctly with a minimum of delay, then the surest way to eliminate 99% of that imperfection is to robotize ball and strike calls, or at the very least, fire umpires with "personalized" strike zones that consistently deviate from the one in the rule book. Compared to the balls and strikes, all other bad calls put together are almost statistically insignificant. And I'm in favor of a roboump for balls and strikes. No "traditionalism" there. Nothing but improved calls with zero delays for arguing or replays.

In this perfect world does Joyce make the correct call? Does Denkinger make the correct call? If you are fine with those mistakes, then argue that you are a traditionalist, and don't want instant replay. Period. Don't give us some bs reason about the delay of game, because that is just a cop out. If replay was enacted perfectly and seamlessly, would you accept it? If you say yes, then it's all about making it perfect and seamless and quit lying to yourself about why you oppose it.

That's pretty harsh, cfb. In many ways I guess I am a "traditionalist" (dark green seats, no music over the loudspeakers except during the 7th inning stretch until the game is over, no rock star renditions of the SSB, etc.), but in this case my concern IS entirely directed at game delays that interrupt the game's rhythm. I have no interest in interrupting the flow of the game just so 99.99% of the calls will be "correctly" decided instead of a mere 99.5% of them.

And as I said, I can live with the occasional Denkinger call. To me that's just part of the game. It simply doesn't bother me that bad luck occasionally takes the form of a bad call, but it does bother me for a pitcher or batter to have to sit there and cool his heels while people sit there and try to perfect a game that by its very nature is often imperfect.

That said, if you have to have replay, I'd be less resistant to Preserved Fish's idea in # 29 than any of the others I've seen. The key points there would be giving 100% of the power of initiation and reversal to that 5th umpire in the booth, and giving him a maximum of 30 seconds to make his final and unappealable decision.

Repeat: 30 seconds from start to finish, period. If it takes any longer than that to decide, the call couldn't have been all that incorrect to begin with.
   58. Jittery McFrog Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4139708)
If replay was enacted perfectly and seamlessly, would you accept it? If you say yes, then it's all about making it perfect and seamless and quit lying to yourself about why you oppose it.


You're comparing a perfect idea of expanded replay against the real imperfect (expanded-)replay-less game. If this were valid, I could just as well say "If we could hire perfect umpires who never botch calls, would you accept it? If you say yes, then it's all about training perfect umpires." Imperfect non-seamless elements are part of a policy decision, you can't leave them out of the analysis.

I think it's very unlikely that, in practice, expanded replay would expand only into areas that "ha[ve] no impact on your viewing experience" and remain contained there. There is a risk of really detracting from the game, and I don't see the potential benefit as all that great by comparison.

Also, I don't want my basetenders wearing those ridiculous mittens. And overhand bowling? Bah!
   59. cardsfanboy Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4139723)
That said, if you have to have replay, I'd be less resistant to Preserved Fish's idea in # 29 than any of the others I've seen. The key points there would be giving 100% of the power of initiation and reversal to that 5th umpire in the booth, and giving him a maximum of 30 seconds to make his final and unappealable decision.


I'm a big proponent for instant replay....done right. Any system that puts the reversal capability on the field, is a system not done right. It absolutely would destroy the flow of the game. And I'm sorry NFL apologists, but the NFL is the absolute proof of how not to do replays. It destroys the flow of the game, it's silly and it's inaccurate to the point that the marginal improvement in getting calls right, is completely destroyed by what has happened in the game because of replay.

I would not want a system like the NFL. I will join the rest of you flat earthers in protesting a system that remotely resembles the NFL's. If they continue with what they have going on right now in the MLB, it would be a bad idea. That doesn't mean replay is bad, it means that the stubborness of the people making the decisions to set up a replay is the flaw.

Again in order for a replay system to be "right" it would have to be pretty much what post 29 has. I don't understand people protesting replays, when they will agree that if a good system is implemented they would accept it. Why not accept it and campaign for the good system? I will never understand the thought process that goes into people saying "I oppose replay" when they actually mean "I oppose a replay system that I imagine will be implemented".

Why waste the effort of fighting for and against replay, when it is going to happen no matter what, and instead fight for an effort to have a good replay put in. Not saying our voices are being heard, but if the voices are being heard and it's a bunch of people bickering about whether to have it or not, then when the decision is made, the powers that be will focus on the yes or no aspect, instead of the lesser voices who are arguing for a good system.
   60. cardsfanboy Posted: May 24, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4139724)
You're comparing a perfect idea of expanded replay against the real imperfect (expanded-)replay-less game. If this were valid, I could just as well say "If we could hire perfect umpires who never botch calls, would you accept it? If you say yes, then it's all about training perfect umpires." Imperfect non-seamless elements are part of a policy decision, you can't leave them out of the analysis.


I am all in favor of improving the umpires also. If I was the league I would create proprietary stats for umpires that are published to the fans on the umpires qualities. I would pay out bonus's for umpires who score well on the ability to call the strike zone, average dead space(measurement of the number of seconds where there is no actual game play going on) confrontations, etc.

MLB does a horrible job of policing their umpires and really should improve them. But it would be a lot easier to put in a instant replay system, that improves the umpires performance than to worry about getting a perfect umpire.
   61. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:11 PM (#4139737)
I will never understand the thought process that goes into people saying "I oppose replay" when they actually mean "I oppose a replay system that I imagine will be implemented".


When I say I oppose replay, it's because I oppose replay. If a system must be implemented, which I'm not sure it must be anytime soon, then 29 is the way to go. But I'm not going to campaign for something that's not an improvement on what we have now, as far as I'm concerned.

   62. Bourbon Samurai Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4139760)
I don't really have the energy to debate, so I'm just going to say if they impose a replay system for safe/out calls at the bases or called third strikes I will hunt down and murder all the pro replay folks in this thread.

Thank you, and god bless america.
   63. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 24, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4139773)
Again in order for a replay system to be "right" it would have to be pretty much what post 29 has. I don't understand people protesting replays, when they will agree that if a good system is implemented they would accept it. Why not accept it and campaign for the good system? I will never understand the thought process that goes into people saying "I oppose replay" when they actually mean "I oppose a replay system that I imagine will be implemented".

I guess it's a case of choosing your poison, but I simply don't trust MLB to implement a system like Preserved Fish's. Any organization that can come up with an absolutely insane idea like a shootout wild card playoff is not an organization to be trusted with getting replay right. Better what we have now than what they're likely to come up with to replace it, which is likely to be some godawful combination of technology and bureaucracy that would have about as much of a chance of lasting thirty seconds or less as a filibustering U. S. Senator.

Again, if they want to eliminate 99% of bad calls without delaying the game, get rid of personalized strike zones and put in roboumps for balls and strikes. First do that, and then I'll think they're serious about the rest of it.
   64. Sunday silence Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4139798)
Seriously, you are losing your logic circuits Andy. Gymnastics and tennis are two sports where replay seems to be working fairly well. And god knows the politics behind olympic gymnastics are slimy and petty.

THere's no logical reason to suggest any connection between a gawd awful one game wild card playoff and a replay system. There isnt.

I dont even see what is so wrong with a one game WC playoff. You are already at the taxing the limits of pitching staffs with three weeks of playoffs; shoving another 3 game series in there would be an almost insurmountable barrier to a WC team, I mean they are supposed to have a chance after all...


If you actually watched NFL football in the 1970s it is hard believe anyone could be against it, but I guess someone will always be. Do you still anything like the Ben Drief call? or the ridiculous homer calls? or the fumble rooskie play? or any of a whole lot of messed up turnover calls. You dont see anything like that kind of sh!t anymore.

And why? Probably because the refs know their calls are going to be reviewed in frame by frame for the whole world to see. I mean you just dont see idiotic calls like we did 40 years ago. You dont see it on replays because the refs arent that bad anymore.

I have no idea what's going on baseball, but the stuff of the last few years is troubling. The Joe Mauer foul ball/double. That Bucknor guy missing guys out by two steps; or that two base runners on third base. I would think that kind of nonsensical stuff would stop right away with a decent replay system. Or that Jeffrey Maier game. Gettting rid of idiotic stuff like that seems quite do able.
   65. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 25, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4139899)
(it's like people who oppose the death penalty because some innocent people get executed---in that case you don't oppose the death penalty, you oppose the implementation of the death penalty)

Not really. If the replay system ##### up, we end up with a few bad calls or delays. Not great. But if the death penalty system ##### up, we end up with dead innocent people.
Well, I'm not just talking here. But seriously, I don't know how you can miss examples of people whose primary argument for replay is "to get it right." I very rarely hear pro-replay commentators talking about the need to get it a little more accurate than it is now.

This is hair-splitting of the highest order. Yes, the main idea is to get it right. But -- and I want you to pay close attention, here -- "trying to get it right" != "absolutely must do everything to get all calls right regardless of the consequences."
   66. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 25, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4139901)
i do think that if they truly standardized the strike zone that offense would increase since part of the hitters disadvantage is doubt. if the definition of ball/strike became more clearly defined hitters would adjust accordingly. just as loading the bases with less than 2 outs causes the next batters potential obp to increase having a very defined strike zone provides a hitter with a clarity that currently does not exist.

i am very certain this would be an outcome. i see no reason why it would not be an outcome.
   67. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4139905)

Well, I'm not just talking here. But seriously, I don't know how you can miss examples of people whose primary argument for replay is "to get it right." I very rarely hear pro-replay commentators talking about the need to get it a little more accurate than it is now.


Well your primary argument against it is "to avoid delays" so you must want to get rid of all delays in baseball, including forcing hitters to stay in the box, putting a clock on pitchers, and eliminating all mid-inning pitching changes.

Oh wait, you mean to "reduce" the amounts of delays in the game, and that there is a rational limit to how far you are willing to go! What a perfectly reasonable stance. And its a similar stance to what we're taking pro-replay!
   68. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 25, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4139933)
Seriously, you are losing your logic circuits Andy. Gymnastics and tennis are two sports where replay seems to be working fairly well. And god knows the politics behind olympic gymnastics are slimy and petty.

Gymnastics is subjective by definition, and replays in tennis are closer to the roboump model, which I favor.

THere's no logical reason to suggest any connection between a gawd awful one game wild card playoff and a replay system. There isnt.

I dont even see what is so wrong with a one game WC playoff. You are already at the taxing the limits of pitching staffs with three weeks of playoffs; shoving another 3 game series in there would be an almost insurmountable barrier to a WC team, I mean they are supposed to have a chance after all...


A one game shootout tilts against two types of teams unfairly:

A team in a strong division fighting for a division title that needs to use its entire staff right up to the final day(s), competing against a team from a weak division that's clinched its own WC berth and can rest its ace for the shootout.

A team with a strong and balanced rotation competing with a team whose pitching value is narrowly focused in one superstar pitcher.

With best-of-five, these factors can balance out. Not in a shootout, which is why it's insane from any legitimate competitive POV. It's strictly a ratings gimmick.

If you actually watched NFL football in the 1970s it is hard believe anyone could be against it, but I guess someone will always be. Do you still anything like the Ben Drief call? or the ridiculous homer calls? or the fumble rooskie play? or any of a whole lot of messed up turnover calls. You dont see anything like that kind of sh!t anymore.

And why? Probably because the refs know their calls are going to be reviewed in frame by frame for the whole world to see. I mean you just dont see idiotic calls like we did 40 years ago. You dont see it on replays because the refs arent that bad anymore.


I've been following the NFL since the early 50's, and IMO replays have diminished the overall attractiveness of the game, with their endless delays that often require a commercial break to complete. Bottom line is that I simply don't care about getting every last call "correct", not when it means less action on the field and more action in some booth above it. If there were a way to reduce replay time to 30 seconds or less, I might change my mind.

I have no idea what's going on baseball, but the stuff of the last few years is troubling. The Joe Mauer foul ball/double. That Bucknor guy missing guys out by two steps; or that two base runners on third base. I would think that kind of nonsensical stuff would stop right away with a decent replay system. Or that Jeffrey Maier game. Gettting rid of idiotic stuff like that seems quite do able.

Again, figure out a system that can override bad calls like that in 30 seconds or less, with no commercial breaks, and I'll consider it. More than that, forget it. The infinitely greater number of missed ball and strike calls can affect a game's outcome every bit as much as a showcase blown call on the basepaths or the foul line, and yet I've seen few if any replay lovers sign on for the roboump solution.**

**There are exceptions, but not nearly as many as one would logically think, given the lopsided percentage distribution of bad calls between balls and strikes and everything else.
   69. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4139959)
If you actually watched NFL football in the 1970s it is hard believe anyone could be against it, but I guess someone will always be. Do you still anything like the Ben Drief call? or the ridiculous homer calls? or the fumble rooskie play? or any of a whole lot of messed up turnover calls. You dont see anything like that kind of sh!t anymore.


You see them all the time. They get cloaked in hypertechnicalities (tuck rule, Calvin Johnson) that make them the "right" call but except for partisans I don't think anyone comes away satisfied. The Ben Dreith call wouldn't be reviewable today anymore than it was then and those sorts of bad calls are terribly common. Not to mention that the NFL has made just about any contact with a quarterback this side of a Wet Willie a 15 yard penalty.

Actually, a Wet Willie would probably count as a "blow to the head." Maybe the purple nurple would work.
   70. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4139973)
They get cloaked in hypertechnicalities (tuck rule, Calvin Johnson) that make them the "right" call but except for partisans I don't think anyone comes away satisfied


And that rule got fixed. Again, no system is perfect, but you can some of the nitpicking things that are wrong with replay and fix them. We can learn from the NFL's errors. I don't see what is inherently wrong with replay as an idea.
   71. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4139979)
folks talk about qb contact being way down but bob mcginn, well respected nfl writer, compared video from 2010 to 1985 and while there was a difference in what was penalized it was very selective

you bump a brady you get a flag

jay cutler got killed like it was 1975

aaron rodgers lurched from getting some flags to gettIng clobbered

it was an interesting read. the game has changed and qbs are protected. but it's how receivers are protected that is the huge difference

   72. PreservedFish Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4139989)
The tuck rule sure didn't get fixed.
   73. Johnny Slick Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4140018)
This is getting off-topic, but the NFL's approach to concussions is just not even in the same plane of existence as the MLB's potential approach to the instant replay. Baseball is occasionally annoying in the way a call will be missed that could change the outcome of the game. Football OTOH has experienced a spate of players with repetetive concussion syndrome experiencing lower quality of life once they've retired and, in some cases, those quality of life issues leading them to commit suicide. It's a really huge problem, and on top of that a group of around 1500 players is suing the NFL for not being forthright enough about head injuries. People may scoff but this is literally the kind of thing that could destroy the NFL.

So yeah, you can moan and complain about how you just don't get to see Wes Welker get clocked the way Raymond Berry did back in the day but there are good and tangible reasons why the league is doing this (and if you ask me they aren't going nearly far enough but that's another matter) while you're sitting on your couch sipping your beer and strenuously reaching into your bag of Cheetos. The fact is, the NFL needs to make changes to the game if they want the game to survive. MLB is not at that dire situation at this point. Maybe there will be a quality of game improvement if they go to robo-umps (which, no thanks) or even booth-based instant replays, but there is simply not an imperative to act at this point.
   74. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4140031)
Johnny, the point you raise about injuries and the need to change the NFL game is valid, but it doesn't have much to do with replays on the field. If a player makes a flagrant hit that doesn't result in getting ejected from the game, there's nothing to stop the NFL from reviewing the game video on Monday morning and handing down a suspension. The only way to change the NFL culture is from the top down, and by the top I mean Goodell & the rules committee, not some referee in a replay booth.
   75. Johnny Slick Posted: May 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4140045)
I agree that it has little to do with replays on the field; that was my point. I think the NFL instant replay was introduced as a parallel at first and then people started to talk about all the rule changes that have been introduced recently to try and cut down on the worst of the RCS cases, and I wanted to point out that *that* set of rule changes isn't analagous at all.

I do think that WRT football, my earlier point about it already being much more closely geared towards television consumption than baseball is my #1 reason why I think it works better there than it would in the MLB. I actually used to run the board for the Seahawks' radio broadcast for a couple of years and through that I can tell you that all the replay rule does is shift commercial breaks around a little bit; it literally does not materially slow down the game any more than it's already slowed down by television time-outs.
   76. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4140077)
I do think that WRT football, my earlier point about it already being much more closely geared towards television consumption than baseball is my #1 reason why I think it works better there than it would in the MLB. I actually used to run the board for the Seahawks' radio broadcast for a couple of years and through that I can tell you that all the replay rule does is shift commercial breaks around a little bit; it literally does not materially slow down the game any more than it's already slowed down by television time-outs.

That's interesting what you say about the commercial breaks merely being shifted around rather than added to. That's not always the case in baseball, which is one big reason I don't like replays. And of course in football we've already been conditioned to accept further stalling in the form of those little Orwellian euphemisms like "television time-outs", which (thank God) don't (yet) exist in baseball.
   77. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4140090)
That's interesting what you say about the commercial breaks merely being shifted around rather than added to. That's not always the case in baseball, which is one big reason I don't like replays. And of course in football we've already been conditioned to accept further stalling in the form of those little Orwellian euphemisms like "television time-outs", which (thank God) don't (yet) exist in baseball.


Sure they do. Don't nationally televised games have longer between-inning breaks? What do you think those are?
   78. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 25, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4140092)
This is hair-splitting of the highest order. Yes, the main idea is to get it right. But -- and I want you to pay close attention, here -- "trying to get it right" != "absolutely must do everything to get all calls right regardless of the consequences."


Chris, would it help you if I specifically said I've never heard you say it. Would that stop the nonsense? I hear clowns such as Mike and Mike and those like them (who have far larger audiences than us) argue for replay beating on the idea of "getting it right," without any acknowledgement of the nuance that folks here deal in.

If I implied that all replay advocates were unable to recognize replay's limitations, I apologize. That wasn't my intent.


Well your primary argument against it is "to avoid delays" so you must want to get rid of all delays in baseball, including forcing hitters to stay in the box, putting a clock on pitchers, and eliminating all mid-inning pitching changes.

Oh wait, you mean to "reduce" the amounts of delays in the game, and that there is a rational limit to how far you are willing to go! What a perfectly reasonable stance. And its a similar stance to what we're taking pro-replay!


AG, don't state what my primary argument is and then argue against it, please.I have listed a number of reasons why I don't want replay - delay is just one of them.

The point is, even pro-replay advocates such as yourself acknowledge there is some limit how far you'll go to improve accuracy (either in terms of time or other costs). And to me, my preferred option is no further. The gains aren't worth the cost.

   79. Johnny Slick Posted: May 25, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4140187)
Sure they do. Don't nationally televised games have longer between-inning breaks? What do you think those are?
It's not the same thing at all. A friend (actually the guy I was doing the Seahawks games with) worked on the Mariners broadcast for a while as well, and the breaks are set up completely different. In baseball you've got automatic breaks after every inning and also in between innings, so 17 total, plus a few extra floating spot breaks - IIRC you had 3 of those but I could be misremembering. The point is, there aren't that many. Basically, anything you do in the middle of an inning is going to disrupt the flow of the game because the game isn't played like that. So you get pitching changes and... that's about it, really.

In football, you have those same end-of-quarter breaks (and of course all of halftime) but also 5 TV timeouts per quarter, each of them a minute and a half long. It's a little amazing to watch at first, but very, very rarely do you get to even a couple minutes left in a quarter without the opportunity to have played all 5 of those breaks. Every change of possession generally results in a TV time-out. Every time-out too, of course (although you've probably seen a game where a team takes one late in the 4th and the feed either stays on the game or only exits for a single 30-second spot - if you count the number of commercial breaks that quarter I can all but guarantee they've already gone through their 5). If you get a replay challenge or two in a game, and that takes you to 5 spot breaks for a quarter, all you have to do is make teams run on and off the field without the TV timeout later. If anything, that ends up being a net positive, as the fact that the media stop breaking away from the game in the late stages counteracts the natural slow-down that occurs when coaches begin to burn all their timeouts and the clock begins to stop on its own.

There's no analogous point in baseball where you have allocated time that you can take away later to add in right now. At the end of the inning you're still going to need to give both sides 1:40 to get on and off the field (longer for playoffs, of course) and during pitching changes everything has to stop while the new pitcher takes his 8 warmup throws. If there's a break in the action, you can either run some spots or let the broadcast crew try and fill time for a few minutes while nothing happens on the field.

This is what I'm talking about when I say that football is much more geared towards television than baseball is. That's not a knock on baseball - I for one find attending football games in person to be fun but for entirely different reasons than I think the NFL intends for it to be fun (it's a great opportunity to watch line play, for instance). Games have this weird, stilted quality to them, sort of like attending a TV talk show or sitcom live. As we move into the future and the classic methods in which sports programming is produced become ever more a relic, this is something I believe will hurt football but will have less of an effect on baseball. That being said, the instant replay is totally a televised-sports thing, and that's why I'd need to see some good evidence that it would actually work without slowing the game down before I'd want to see it implemented.
   80. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 25, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4140237)
Pre-emptive coke to Johnny in # 79. He said it better than I could have.
   81. Tippecanoe Posted: May 25, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4140238)
There are two questions here, as cfb pointed out. One can oppose replay for fear of NFL-style implementation (I can agree), or one can oppose replay philisophically (i.e., the argument about 'dehumanizing' the game or a desire to keep the Molina framing skill element; I don't agree).

So I'm basically on board with #20. I would be in favor of automation of umpiring -- for example, on home runs, fair-foul, and balls and strikes, once the technology is fully ready and tested. The umpiring decision would be as close to instantaneous as the processing speed allows, with a maximum of accuracy and consistency, and wouldn't interfere with the game flow. Voila, an increase in "getting it right" without the soul-crushing delays.
   82. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 25, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4140269)
"television time-outs", which (thank God) don't (yet) exist in baseball.


It's not the same thing at all.

All I am saying is that TV does affect the pace at which a nationally broadcasted game is played. The between innings length of time is longer specifically because of TV - that fits into my perception of a TV timeout. I agree with you that NFL replays can fit into the TV timeouts and, unless there was a pitching change, would not fit into a baseball game if it had to go to commercial.
   83. Lassus Posted: May 25, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4140311)
The between innings length of time is longer specifically because of TV

Inning breaks increase in length from regular season to playoffs to WS specifically for the television ad revenue.
   84. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 25, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4140414)
Terrible umpire Scott Barry just blew a call in the Rockies-Reds game, calling Carlos Gonzalez out at first when he clearly beat the second baseman's throw. It was obvious from the first replay that the call was wrong. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to notify the crew chief that the call was wrong, and that Gonzalez should be awarded first base. Plus, it might help drive terrible umpire Scott Barry out of the game.
   85. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 25, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4140459)
that was a terrible call

i did not recognize barry's name. he keeps making calls like that and i won't hear his name in the future
   86. cardsfanboy Posted: May 25, 2012 at 11:59 PM (#4140604)
Terrible umpire Scott Barry just blew a call in the Rockies-Reds game, calling Carlos Gonzalez out at first when he clearly beat the second baseman's throw. It was obvious from the first replay that the call was wrong. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to notify the crew chief that the call was wrong, and that Gonzalez should be awarded first base. Plus, it might help drive terrible umpire Scott Barry out of the game.


This is something that I think would be a nice personal experiment. Watch as many games for a week as you can, but pay attention to 1. close plays/mistakes and 2. how quickly a definitive camera angle takes to be broadcasted. Pay attention to when that replay happen, and see what you think of the actual possibility that MLB could make a replay system that wouldn't interfere with the flow of the game. I'm just talking about the egregious mistakes.
   87. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 26, 2012 at 03:55 AM (#4140619)
I can't imagine anyone will find this too satisfying, but the tennis solution in the position analogous to the trap-catch (ball called out, replay shows actually in) is to replay the point. Replaying the at-bat would be pretty funny although obviously it's the slowest possible solution and does kind of hose someone or other.
   88. Lassus Posted: May 26, 2012 at 06:12 AM (#4140624)
I'm just talking about the egregious mistakes.

Not going to work. Plenty of people here, in the smartest baseball community on the planet, honestly find the Matt Holliday call egregious.
   89. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4140678)
or the fumble rooskie play?


What does the fumble-rooskie have to do with replay? It was a legal play at the time. The rule was subsequently changed.
   90. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 26, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4140749)
What does the fumble-rooskie have to do with replay? It was a legal play at the time. The rule was subsequently changed.


For the record, though both are now outlawed, Fumblerooski is actually the name used to describe a specific play, most notably run by Nebraska ran in the 1984 Orange Bowl, where the ball was placed on the ground for the guard to pick up and run with. That play was awesome.

The play that I think Sunday Silence is referring to is the Kenny Stabler fumble, which didn't really have a name other than that "bullshit play where Stabler throws the ball forward rather than take a fourth-down sack and Casper stumbles over it before recovering it for a touchdown, shouldn't that just be an incomplete pass or something? How the hell can that be legal?"

But, as cerco notes, replay doesn't really have anything to do with either one.
   91. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 26, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4140755)
The play that I think Sunday Silence is referring to is the Kenny Stabler fumble, which didn't really have a name other than that \"######## play where Stabler throws the ball forward rather than take a fourth-down sack and Casper stumbles over it before recovering it for a touchdown, shouldn't that just be an incomplete pass or something? How the hell can that be legal?"


I've always heard that called "The Holy Roller."
   92. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 26, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4140757)
I've always heard that called "The Holy Roller."


On second thought, I believe you are correct, though mine is probably more accurate than a name that hints at any kind of spiritual foundation.
   93. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 26, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4140834)
the Kenny Stabler fumble, which didn't really have a name other than that \"######## play where Stabler throws the ball forward rather than take a fourth-down sack and Casper stumbles over it before recovering it for a touchdown, shouldn't that just be an incomplete pass or something? How the hell can that be legal?"


I heartily approve of this description of the play, although I've never been a Raider-hater and actually kinda liked Stabler and Casper. But, yeah, my point was that there was no specific rule against a forward fumble at the time. The controversy was mostly about whether Banaszak and Casper deliberately pushed the ball further forward (as both later admitted), rather than trying to recover it and inadvertently moving it closer to (and eventually across) the goal line. I doubt that the officials would have been any more comfortable inferring intent from a replay than they were trying to do so live.

I've always heard that called "The Holy Roller."


That's what wiki says. Do Chargers fans really call it the "Immaculate Deception"?
   94. Ron J Posted: May 26, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4141067)
#70 Rugby has come up with a completely different model of review from the NFL -- and it seems to be working pretty well to my eye. They use booth review at the request of the referee.

What makes it extra interesting to me is that the ref is miked.

Cricket's also gone to the request by the on-field officials model. Again, seems to work pretty well and cricket has a pace that isn't too different from baseball. However, here is about as big a mistake as is possible.

Summary for non cricket followers: One of the game's biggest stars made an out. The umpire requested a review to determine if it was a legal delivery. Ruled a no ball (no real baseball equivalent. Kind of like a balk but the penalties are much more severe. The issue was whether the bowler had crossed the line before releasing the ball) and a free hit (an extra ball has to be bowled and the batman can't be put out. As you can imagine these tend to be costly and in this case Tendulkar got 4 runs off of it.) Conceptually the impact is about the same as the difference between a grand slam and an inning ending flyout.

But here's the problem. The booth umpire was given the wrong delivery to review! I watched the game live (what can I say, not much on at that time of day) and I didn't notice. Neither did the commentators.

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