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MLB’s New Replay System: A Breakdown of Plays So Far

Well well well, MLB has a new replay system set up for every game of this year. Some people – although I would say most – are not too fond of this new system, myself included. They would say that it slows down an already slow enough game, which is true. The way the system is structured allows managers to be exploitative by confirming with their bench to see whether or not it the call should be challenged. This part of the process is what really gets me. Granted I haven’t seen too many games this year but already I miss the arguments between managers/coaches and the umpires; they were fun and made the game pretty interesting (especially when the manager of the team playing against yours got ejected). Regardless, this post is not intended to analyse the dynamics between managers and umpires but rather look at how successful the replay system has been and to examine the tendencies of the challenges. Using the twitter account @MLBReplays I examined all of the calls challenged so far this season. While the sample size is arguably small it did take quite a long time to examine various angles from the 49 calls made (as of the morning of April 9th 2014). For each replay I collected the following information which I then organized into a spreadsheet: Read the rest of this entry »