Fans Want More Instant Replay But Does MLB Care?

Several times in the last two months, Commissioner Bud Selig publicly stated that “no one” is clamoring for more instant replay in baseball. He made this comment to a sports and society conference in Wisconsin in late May. He repeated it in when he spoke to the Baseball Writers Association of America during All-Star week. And he reiterated it just yesterday on a sports radio show. Selig’s position confounds many of fans not merely because we support expanded instant replay in baseball, but because we know many others, including well-regarded baseball writers and analysts who do, as well.

Selig’s view of “no one” became more clear in yesterday’s remarks when he told the Waddie and Silvy show:

We do a lot of polling. I talk to a lot of fans. I get a lot of mail every day and I answer every piece of mail here. Guess what guys, I get almost no letters, calls or thoughts on Instant Replay. By the way and I say this and I don’t want it to sound, we’re setting attendance records.

Okay then.

Let’s put the question of polls aside for a bit. We conducted our own poll – indeed, it’s the basis for this post – and we’ll get to those results in a few. But first, the notion that Selig receives letters, reads them, and responds in writing is charming, in a 1950’s kind of way. The fact that Selig would even mention the letters to a sports radio show as a justification for maintaining the status quo demonstrates how out-of-touch he is with the fans and technology.

Second, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement approved last December specifically provides for expanded instant replay on fair/foul calls and on plays involving a potentially trapped ball. Why would owners and the players’ association negotiate terms of expanded instant replay if “no one” wanted it. They wouldn’t. And it’s foolish to suggest otherwise.

And now to our poll.

I drafted the poll questions with the help of FanGraphs writers, but made the decision not to run it as a FanGraphs poll. We wanted to try to capture the views of all sorts of baseball fans, and not just those who visit FanGraphs. Several of us at FanGraphs tweeted the link to the poll, and it was retweeted further from there. I also posted the link on Facebook and asked my Facebook friends — who run the gamut from not caring about baseball at all (gasp!) to being serious fans — to share the link on their pages. Many did. And so on. And so on.

In total, we received 832 responses. Are the responses a representative sample of baseball fans around the country? I hope so, but don’t know for certain. There is a good deal of diversity in the answers, though, which suggests that the poll was worthwhile and should be taken seriously by the Commissioner, the owners and the players.

The results

Question 1: 

 

Question 2:

 

In Question 3 we asked respondents to identify those methods of instant replay currently used in major league baseball games. The options provided were:

  • Safe/out at a base
  • Calling balls/strikes
  • Whether a fly ball is a home run
  • Fair/foul balls
  • Catches v. trapped balls

 

The vast majority of respondents (96.9%) correctly answered that instant replay is currently used to determine whether a fly ball is a home run. Another 15.1% responded that replay is used to determine if a ball is fair or foul. Some respondents noted in the comments that there was some confusion on this question because determining whether a fly ball is a home run sometimes involves questions of whether the ball was fair (and thus a home run) or foul (and thus not a home run). This is a fair criticism of the wording of the question. We included the question because we thought it was important to understand how knowledgeable the respondents were about instant replay in baseball. Despite the poorly worded question, the responses suggest that the overwhelming majority of respondents understand the limited circumstances under which instant replay is currently used: to determine if a fly ball is a home run or not.

Question 4:

 

A strong majority of respondents favor expanded instant replay, but opinion is not unanimous. Just under 14% of respondents are either neutral on the question or do not want to see replay expanded beyond it’s current use.

Here’s the most interesting part. Support for expanded instant replay cuts across the fan spectrum, from those who watch only a few games per month on TV (what might be called the more casual fan) to those who watch more than 20 games per month on TV (what we might call the more die-hard fan).

Here’s a chart showing how those groups line up on expanded replay. The colors represent how many games the respondent watches on TV in a typical month, as follows:

Gold: 0-5 games per month

Blue: 6-10 games per month

Purple: 11-15 games per month

Orange: 16-20 games per month

Green: More than 20 games per month

 

 

Question 5:

 

The majority of respondents want to see instant replay used to resolve disputed fair/foul calls and disputed catch/trapped calls. This is consistent with what the owners and players’ association agreed to in the new CBA. The additional wrinkle would be adding instant replay for review disputed safe/out calls at a base. A majority of respondents are in favor. Selig and his staff appear opposed to that. And we don’t know where the owners and players’ association stand.

The notion that “no one” strongly supports expanded replay in baseball is simply not true. Casual fans and die-hard fans support the idea of expanded replay, particularly for fair/four calls and catch/trapped ball calls. Many also want to see replay used for disputed safe/out calls on the bases. A minority is willing to go so far as to use replay on balls and strikes. That idea seems a long way off.

Questions about how to implement expanded replay are beyond the scope of this article. I’ve written elsewhere that MLB would do well to model its expanded replay program on the National Hockey League’s centralized video review system. If that doesn’t pass muster with the umpires’ union, then MLB could employ a video review umpire at each ballpark, much like is done in the National Football League. And there are other options, as well.

But let’s stop having a discussion about whether there is support for expanded instant replay in baseball. There is. And to suggest otherwise is nonsense.




Print This Post



Wendy's baseball writing has also been published by Sports on Earth. ESPN.com, SB Nation, The Score, Bay Area Sports Guy, The Classical and San Francisco Magazine. Wendy practiced law for 18 years before beginning her writing career. You can find her work at wendythurm.pressfolios.com and follow her on Twitter @hangingsliders.


85 Responses to “Fans Want More Instant Replay But Does MLB Care?”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Rob says:

    Sounds to me like a letter-writing campaign to Bud Selig is in order.

    +33 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Eddie says:

      I heard the interview live last week, and my letter was in the mail by Saturday. We’ll see if Bud lives up to his word and responds in writing.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • James says:

        I think you’re better off writing the networks that will be negotiating the next national TV deals to press for it… Bud Selig will always be an owner, and when it comes to owners, money talks. If sponsors and/or partners push for it, it will happen. It’s obvious fans are being largely ignored.

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Contrasoma says:

      Imagining Bud Selig’s written correspondence is hilarious. I’m picturing carbon-paper stained letters tut-tutting Rollie Fingers for his outrageous facial hair and beginning to wonder if all this anti-Batista sentiment in Cuba could actually come to something.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Steve says:

        Bud does respond to letters. I have sent a few letters over the years and he has always responded. So you are incorrect in your statement.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • baty says:

      This means that Bud has probably never received any letters asking for an NL DH either. Please include a P.S for me.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Ron says:

    I’m a fan and I don’t want any expanded instant replay. I think the game calling is just fine as it is.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TKDC says:

      For some reason I believe you are in the minority with that opinion.

      +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • La Flama Blanca says:

      Id have to agree.

      My main problem with replay (assuming there would be no significant delays) is that it seems to rob the sports fan of that instantaneous excitement on your teams play.

      Those of you who watch football may know what I’m talking about – in 2000 when a wide reciever made a tiptoe catch in the corner of the endzone and the zebra threw his hands up in the air the living rooms would go nuts in excitement. Now we sit and wait for the inevitable red flag and heart-wrenching three minutes of the announcers somberly taunting us “yeah, this one’s coming back”. I just can’t stand to see that happen every time one of my guys hits a double down the line or steals second.

      Most of what makes being a sports fan fun is that everything happens in the moment, in real time – even an ump’s blown call. I’ll live with a few of those if it means I can cheer for a good play unconditionally as it happens.

      +19 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • David says:

        “Most of what makes being a sports fan fun is that everything happens in the moment, in real time – even an ump’s blown call. I’ll live with a few of those if it means I can cheer for a good play unconditionally as it happens.”

        This, right here. Agree completely.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • placidity says:

        I’m the opposite. I get way more upset when an ump blows an obvious fair/foul call that hurts my team than I get excited when he blows a call that helps my team. I’d rather them get the call right (which on something like a fair/foul call, probably takes 10 seconds) than screw over a team.

        Plus, I’d rather hear announcers “somberly taunting” me for 30 seconds than watch fat old managers argue for 5 minutes.

        +22 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • baty says:

        I just don’t buy it… There’s no way of getting every call correct. There will always be concern, unless replay is used for everything.

        Why not make the human element of umpiring more robust, first. In my opinion it’s the obvious mistakes that upset people most. For example, why not have an extra umpire on the field that is the team chief, independent of atypical umpire positions and responsibilities. He would be free to float the field as he chooses, and have the ability to create conferences that actually overturn incorrect calls. I imagine there are times when an umpire sees a blatant miscue from the other side of the field, because for whatever reason, he had a better vantage point.

        But whatever… I just think that there are ways of making the system better first, before, introducing the massive overhauling of an instant replay slippery slope.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • asdfasdf says:

      I’m with ya Ron. Baseball needs more accountability on the umpires much more than replay.

      +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Icebox says:

        It’s easy to say “more accountability for umps,” but what does that actually entail? Does anyone honestly think that if they start punishing umps more severely for blown calls they’ll perform better? Becoming an MLB umpire is one of the most rigorous processes for any occupation anywhere, and they get crucified every time they miss a big call. Is there anybody out there who thinks punishing Jim Joyce would have made him a better umpire?

        We need replay because umpires are doing this as well as humanly possible.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • baty says:

        For one, a sad aspect of living, is that with experience, comes age and deteriorating skills. You could make sure that guys can still see well and are in decent physical shape. For lots of reasons, there shouldn’t be a tenure to umpiring MLB games, just as there isn’t a tenure to playing MLB games.

        I doubt their union is very good at making sure that the best umpires are umping the most important games.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • brez224 says:

      In Johans no hitter there was a clear fair ball called foul. He didnt deserve the title of first and only mets pitcher to pitch a no-hitter cause he simply didnt. Fair and foul instant replay is a must. We are no longer in the 50′s. We have the technology to call games more accurately and fairly than ever before. I like the idea of trapped, caught balls being available for replay as well. Balls and strikes, out or safe is out of the question because those are onfield umpire calls and that will not and should never change. Umpires are inherently part of this great game and those are things that add to the excitement sometimes (even if called wrong). However they are different from caught balls or fair or foul in the sense that the player either caught it or didnt or the ball was fair or foul. Safe or out has quite a bit or grey area because we would then need to define exactly at what point the ball is caught (when the fielder closes mitt? when it touches the pocket? When it enters the glove? to many questions there and i like it how it is.) as well, every umpire has their own strike zone and is a unique part of the game, similar to the aspect of different sized and quirky parks. Unlike any other sport, the playing field is never exactly the same. Its part of baseball and part of what makes it interesting.
      An idea would be possibly to implement something similar to football where teams could challenge a certain number of time throughout the game and and certain number of times in extra innings (3 and 1?). Just my thoughts personally what do u guys think?
      One possibl

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Bud Selig says:

    I hope this proves without a doubt no one wants expanded replay. This poll is saying exactly what all the fans and letters are saying.

    +22 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. hailey says:

    I’m a fan I watch about 30 games a month and I do not want replay expanded.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. I Agree Guy says:

    If a poll is conducted on the Internet, and I’m too out of touch to see it, did it actually happen?

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. DD says:

    What we need is a world series-altering gaffe to happen. The NFL instituted replay after the Tuck Rule game, which was in a closely contested playoff game. We need a Royals/Cardinals 1985 type gaffe on Selig’s watch.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JD says:

      The Tuck Rule was upheld (kind of; nothing by that name actually exists), and the situation occurs frequently (probably multiple times every Sunday). Officials are still instructed to call it the same away they (correctly) did in 2002.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • I Agree Guy says:

      If the obviousness of the Mauer “foul ball” gaffe in NY wasn’t enough, I don’t know what would be.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TFINY says:

        That was pretty gratuitous.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dan says:

        The call had to be intentionally blown. No other way to explain it. It’s the only call about which I’ve felt that way.

        There was no accountability for Cuzzi on that one, so you can forget about any improvements without the use of technology. Bring it on. It will make the game better, and in 20 years we’ll look back on this as the dark ages.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tim says:

        Where would we be today if that had gone against the Yankees?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DJG says:

      ” The NFL instituted replay after the Tuck Rule game…”

      This isn’t true. Replay overturned the Tuck Rule play. It’s tough to use something before it’s been instituted.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • baty says:

      Don’t they use additional umpires for the playoffs? 1? maybe 2? I can’t remember…

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Travis says:

    Anyone else feel like that second graph (comparing response by # of games watched per month) should have been in percentages?

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. IronyMan says:

    MLB just needs a “Non-Instant Replay Subscription Service.”
    For a low monthly fee, your game feeds will be meticulously altered so you don’t have to spend an extra 40 seconds of your day watching an ump check a replay. Any initially-incorrect came commentary will be voiced over, seamlessly. Get all the old school enjoyment of a MLB game without the terrible inconvenience of watching while they get the calls right. And how could we forget– more $$$ for Mr. Bud Selig!! Win-Win.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • brez224 says:

      half the excitement is watching the various angles as the umps are and debating what the call is going to be when there is an appeal or a HR replay check.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. John Hayes says:

    A very good article. I’m a long-time fan (since a kid in the mid 1960s), & I admit I have some trepidation about the expansion of instant replay. In part, I do want to maintain the “human element” of umpiring–I think it’s an important part of the game historically & structurally–& after all, it is a game & not a life or death matter. That said, I would be ok specifically with the trap calls or fair/foul being reviewed, especially since there seems to be a great desire for it. I wouldn’t want to see “robot umps” or technologically-based ball-strike calls, but that’s just me. & good grief, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have almost anyone as a commissioner other than Selig! The letter-writing anecdote illustrates his cluelessness for the umpeenth time. Thanks!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bryce says:

      Tennis does a remarkably good job of combining robot and human umps to get the call right virtually every time.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Aaron (UK) says:

        As does cricket, if you’ll forgive the diversion. Though it remains controversial and has arguably robbed the game of some drama (though that drama has been replaced by the alternative tension of awaiting a verdict from the third umpire – who sits in a booth).

        Outs in cricket are even more valuable than in baseball – you might be interested to know that the progression of the use of replay/challenges has gone:

        1. Safe / Out on a run (equivalent to bang-bang plays, but these were much tougher for cricket umpires due to the lack of sound). This came in in the early 1990s, iirc.

        2. Whether balls left the field of play for a boundary (worth 4 or 6 runs – this is far less important than in baseball since team runs usually number in the hundreds). For a while it was very tedious that a minute of slow-mos could be used to determine whether a shot had scored 3 or 4, but much more important decisions that were clearly wrong on first replay stood.

        3. Contested catches (i.e. traps) – these still aren’t always clear. Without gloves to catch (because we’re fundamentally tougher over here) there is often an optical illusion that the ball is touching the grass when in fact a fielder’s fingers are under it.

        4. Contested “lbw”s – this is the closest analogy to the balls/strikes debate as umpires are interpreting the location of the ball (and predicting its path). Something equivalent to Pitch F/X tracking is used here.

        5. Contested catches (as to whether the batsman hit the ball) – since even the faintest of foul tips is an out it’s vital to know whether a ball brushed the bat (or glove) on its way through to the relevant fielder. Infra-red cameras are used here.

        The first three of these are called for by on-field umpires, the latter two are subject to a challenge system similar to NFL/tennis.

        More info here if anyone is interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UDRS

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Big Daddy V says:

      What if the robot umps were built specifically to be whimsical and lovable? Would you be more or less likely to accept them?

      How about if they replaced “ejecting managers” with “shooting managers with death lasers”?

      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Evan says:

    Selig’s statement that there aren’t a lot of people using snail mail to request an expansion of the use of technology in baseball seems reasonable.

    +44 Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. TKDC says:

    Is that quote correct? I assume it is because it makes Selig sound like he just started rambling at the end, which is exactly what I suspect happened.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. David says:

    I’m not a stats guru, but given the way this poll was disseminated I can’t imagine the respondents are a representative sampling of baseball fans. Guessing that the audience for fangraphs.com and tweets from fangraphs writers are pretty similar… The fact that 50+ % of the respondents watch 20+ games would suggest a majority are non-casual fans and (I’m guessing) a lot of bloggers and journalists. I consider myself a pretty devoted fan and there’s no way I get to watch more than 5-8 full games a month.

    Not that I don’t agree Selig is out of touch with fans, but I doubt a study like this would prove it to him.

    +15 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • hailey says:

      I agree.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • asdfasdf says:

      Sampling bias on fangraphs? Never!

      +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • zbelair says:

      I was thinking along the same lines. I try to watch every Mets (could be why I am “below average”) game during the season, but even in the best months struggle to see 20+. I have been pretty confident that I watch more than the average fan, but if the average fan is watching more than 20 a month I need to find some new friends that won’t think I am so “obsessed”…

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Richie says:

      To pretend that this poll possesses any ‘independence’ is laughable. Really, “I asked ALL! my friends to respond to it, so that makes it representable!” ?????

      It”s a Fangraphs poll. To pretend otherwise, that it’s something more, that’s amazing.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • brez224 says:

      I consider myself a devoted fan and I watch 10 games a night

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Stuck in a slump says:

    Here’s how I-R should work:

    5th ump in the booth with the same broadcast feeds that we see at home on the television. He can watch the replays and notify the umps on the field using wireless earpieces if they have blown a call or not. However, only if the managers come out to challenge a call will there be any sort of reversals. If the managers let a call slide, then there’s no change, the umps of the field who called the play stand. If the managers DO challenge it, they already know that they made a mistake and the call can be reversed immediately with hardly any time wasted at all.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • KJ says:

      Then won’t you just have people on the teams watching the same TV stream and phoning in to the manager “oh, looks bad, go ahead out and challenge it”

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Stuck in a slump says:

        Dugout phones don’t accept outside lines, and you can’t use electronic devices in the dugouts.

        To prevent an over zealous manager from contesting everything just in case, you can have a 3 strike rule. If you challenge three umpire calls, regardless as the the outcomes, you’re thrown out of the game.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • zbelair says:

        I don’t think being thrown out after 3 challenges will do much to deter the managers, I mean how much does it actually matter if he is on the bench or in the clubhouse. I think you are essentially asking for the same system as in the NFL, except the review is done by an umpire that is not on the field, like in hockey.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Stuck in a slump says:

        If managers take the ejection too lightly there could be a rule that creates a fine for ejections, and teams could be fined for receiving too many ejections in a game.

        So a manager gets ejected three times in a week for any reason, he’ll get a $5,000 fine. If a team gets more than two ejections in a game for whatever reason then the team would receive a $10,000 fine. All of the fines could then be routed to the pool of money that gets shared between lower income teams.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. cass says:

    Why was there no question about removing the instant replay already in the game? Some of us find the current level of instant replay in baseball distasteful.

    There is absolutely nothing worse than sitting around waiting while the umpires leave the field to check the tape. Just had to suffer through this at a game last Friday. The worst part? I could easily tell exactly where the ball hit the outfield wall and any of the umpires (who were closer than me) should heave easily been able to do the same.

    Get rid of replay.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. fergie348 says:

    I’d like to see the full use of replay (excepting balls and strikes) but constrained in the same way it’s done in the NFL. Give each manager 2 challenges a game and they can challenge any of the mentioned calls (Safe/out at a base, fair/foul, catch/trap), plus the umpires can choose to replay any calls that aren’t challenged. That’s fair.

    As to ‘interrupting the spontaneous excitement’ that’s just a lame argument. Getting it right is far more important than game flow which doesn’t really exist in baseball anyway. It’s a game of interrupted action, long pauses followed by exciting plays. If you want to speed up the game, cut down on pitchers walking off the mound or batters stepping out of the box during an at bat.

    Are you reading this Bud, or should I send you a letter?..

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. maguro says:

    I’d rather have robot umpires calling balls and strikes than more instant replay.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Pinstripe Wizard says:

    I’m not a huge fan of additional replay myself, but how many calls in a game are truly that controversial? In a nutshell, how many times a game does a manager feel the need to come charging out on the field to argue the call? Maybe 1 per team or so. We’re talking about extending the game 5 minutes. Cut a couple of commercials, and we’re fine. Bud would lose money though, so I don’t see this happening.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Sky says:

    Wendy, can you report the numbers in the second-to-last graph as percentages? I.e. of those who watch 20+ games per month, what percentage strongly agree with expanding replay, somewhat agree, etc… repeated for each tier of games watched? It’s tough to interpret with the counts as currently shown. Thanks!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. X says:

    Hey, so those of us who listen to baseball on the radio are chopped liver now? Personally, I’d remove the guy calling balls and strikes. We already have robotic systems that do a better job. If you’re nostalgic for having a guy shout and gesticulate behind the plate, we can still have somebody do that, but he wouldn’t have an impact on the state of the game.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Doug Lampert says:

      Even if balls and strikes are computer called there WILL be a human element involved and there WILL be a guy gesticulating and shouting behind the plate.

      The human element comes in in telling the computer where the top and bottom of the zone are for a particular batter, and in judging things like foul tip/hit batter/ball where the ear is more accurate than current video.

      The guy shouting is still there for out/safe calls at the plate, interference calls, and the afformentioned hit batter/foul tip calls.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Bud was simply not specific enough. He does take the time to personally answer every letter handwritten written using a quill pen that has a signature sealed with wax. To expect him to respond to anything more modern is absurd.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. short says:

    My preference for expanded replay was not included: Replay should be expanded to indlude safe/out calls on scoring plays. If a contorversial call would impact a scoring play the umpires should be required to review it. So obviously this would primarily include close plays at the plate, but also a non-force-out’s timing with a runner crossing the plate, or any controversial call that could determine whether a run does or doesn’t score.

    I prefer this because it’s limited, but would impact the most critical calls in a game.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. RollTribe says:

    I am in favor of expanded replay but a few things would need to be worked out.

    1. Why do the umpires need to leave the field to review? Why can’t they put a replay umpire in the booth and that umpire can start watching replays of a play before it is “challenged” and then notify the field if it needs to be changed, that would take under 30 seconds.

    2. How would challenging fair/foul work? If someone hits a fair ball, but it is called foul, what happens when all players stop moving and the replay shows it was supposed to be fair? Ground rule double? Single? Umpire discretion? A do over? And what if that player is someone like Jose Reyes who could have had a triple instead of a double, or the other way around with like David Ortiz? And I guess this is similar to a trap/catch scenario if the umpire signals catch.

    3. Balls and strikes cannot be part of replay, they are judgement calls similar to fouls in basketball and pass interference in football.

    I don’t have all the answers so I welcome any thoughts.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steve the Pirate says:

      1. I agree. Why can’t we use a person in the booth and some wireless tech. Phone in the dugouts for backup.

      2. I would think Umpire discretion. It’s in place for several other rules. It’s not perfect, but for the batting team two bases, instead of three, are much better than a foul ball.

      3. Has balls and strikes ever been done electronically at any level? If tech could consistently define a strike zone defined to each player, I’d like to see it tried. Not in MLB, but somewhere. I mean, you can’t knock it until you try it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jon Wilt says:

      They need to leave the field so that Bud can continue to argue that replay systems of all types are unwieldy and negatively impact the experience of watching a baseball game. If a booth ump made the correct call in, like, 11 seconds, it would open up fans to the possibility of almost seamless, functional replay in all kinds of situations that would make 77 year old men uncomfortable.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. chuckb says:

    I think the short answer to this question is an emphatic “no.”

    Baseball’s approach to instant replay is the same medieval mindset that it had toward PEDs and testing 15-20 years ago. “We don’t need it. The fans don’t want it. Everything’s great!”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. MikeS says:

    “Bud Selig is lying to you” hardly qualifies as news (the guy is a used car salesman for crissakes) but it’s nice to be able to throw numbers in his face the next time he does lie. Hopefully the interviewer will do so.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. iferguson says:

    I appreciate your efforts to shed light on this important issue. Every time a bad call affects a game I cringe. I wanted to point out an error in your logic, though. You stated that fans who don’t watch many games can be considered casual fans. I listen to about 100 games a year on the radio, and watch tons of highlights on MLB AtBat. I read blogs like this one, listen to podcasts like Up and In, and know most of the top prospects for my favorite teams and the league in general. I’m not a casual fan, I just don’t watch much TV, and don’t live near an MLB stadium.
    Your connection with TV and serious fandom is a bit like Bud’s notion that fans would communicate with letters, perhaps, except that you’re probably more likely to change your view.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. James Jones says:

    Interestingly, replay in cricket has greatly enhanced the reputation of umpires. People see how often they get it right. When they get it wrong, nobody gets upset at them because the call can be overturned.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Aaron (UK) says:

      It’s also helped to drive some of the worst umpires out of the game, including one or two who weren’t even up to doing the booth job properly [admittedly in its early days].

      I’m a big fan – when you see an archive game during a rain delay it shocks you to see how bad it used to be. You forget how many column inches were [needlessly] taken up with discussion of umpiring mistakes, and how many players’ entire careers were affected by poor umpiring.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Hurtlockertwo says:

    Instant replay in football makes watching the game SUCK!!! 20 different angles, endless discussion on each one. Please don’t turn baseball (an already slow game) into the circus football has become. Bad calls happen, make the umpires accountable in some way. Can you imagine sitting in the stadium wondering WTF is happening while we have the instant replay time out? If we have to have it, put it up on the scoreboard for everyone to see. Baseball is a 162 game season, we don’t need everything to be 100% all the time!!!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. Matt Hunter says:

    While this is surely uncommon, don’t assume that because someone doesn’t watch a lot of games they’re a casual fan. Some are just broke, busy, and out-of-market.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. adohaj says:

    Hey look! I am in the 5% that think replay sucks. Good thing Selig probably wont see this article and try to expand replay. Also, 20+ games a month!? Who are you people? I have “watched” roughly 10 of my teams games all season, but obviously since I am here I am no casual fan.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. I Agree Guy says:

    A trap play tonight in the Twins/Sox game caused a multiple minute delay that could have easily been avoided with the use of replay.

    To the “replay will make the game longer” crowd, you’re wrong.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy says:

      It will make the game longer!!! Because 5 hours is such a big deal to the 4 hours they are now huh

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy says:

    I got a kick out of reading about Ford Frick in “Veeck as in Wreck”, not surprised to see history repeating itself.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. NY2LA Joe says:

    I want better umpires and a more transparent evaluation process (in which bad umpires can be demoted/fired) before talking about instant replay.

    I also wish I could tell my boss to find some kind of technological fix rather than blame me every time I make a mistake.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. Neil says:

    I’m for more replay, but FWIW, I sent Selig a letter as part of a high school composition assignment several years back and he did respond personally, with a real signature and everything. Letter writing is a better way to communicate with top people in any organization because they get a million e-mails and e-mails are easy to ignore. If someone takes the time to send an actual letter these days, they mean it. Especially if it’s hand-written. It takes four seconds to send an e-mail, so it’s taken less seriously. Happy letter writing!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *