Originally posted on SportsBlooded  |  Last updated 7/12/12

If you need one reason and one reason only for Major League Baseball to increase their use of instant replay, look no further than the photo above. The umpire pictured in the photo, Tim Welke, called the runner out. Welke was blocked by Colorado Rockies 1B Todd Helton when making the call, but as long as you know that Helton’s leg isn’t 6′ long, you know that Helton is off the base. This might just be the worst call of the past decade. The other big blown call this year came in New York Mets P Johan Santana‘s no-hitter when St. Louis Cardinals OF Carlos Beltran‘s double down the line was called foul by 3B umpire Adrian Johnson. After watching the replay, the ball clearly hit the line as chalk flew up. Mistakes like these can no longer be tolerated.

These are just two of the botched calls that happen every week in the Major Leagues. All in all, umpires in the major leagues are decent at their jobs.  The majority of them call decent games behind the plate and make their calls on bang-bang plays fairly well, but they do make mistakes.  When they make these mistakes they should be given the opportunity to overturn these calls from MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, but they aren’t. During his annual meeting with the Baseball Writers Association of America earlier this week, Selig said, “The appetite for more instant replay in the sport is very low, everywhere.” These words come from a commissioner who’s in complete denial. Selig has done plenty of good for the game of baseball over the last 21 years, but he’s off his rocker with this statement. It’s either that or he doesn’t listen to sports radio or watch ESPN or the MLB Network. Complaints about the lack of instant replay in the Major Leagues is all over the sports media world.

The biggest complaint about bringing more instant replay to the MLB is the fact that it will slow down the game. It WILL slow down the game but players and fans won’t care because they’ll get the call right and that’s what really maters. The MLB can put together a simple system to make instant replays quick and efficient. The first thing you do is add 1 additional umpire at each game who will sit in the club box with the feed from all the field cameras and a technician to help him play all the feeds. As soon as questionable call happens on the field, the home plate umpire calls up to the umpire in the box and asks him what the correct call should be. The process should take no longer than 3 minutes. You get the right call and the game moves on.

Selig is debating about adding additional instant replay in 2013 with additional foul/fair and trapped ball calls, but he said that he doesn’t know if they have the technology to do it. They do have the technology to do it. I don’t know why he’s so hesitant to take a stand on adding more instant replay. Maybe he’s too old school and set in is ways. Regardless, it’s something that needs to happen or the MLB is going to continue to loose viewership because they can’t keep up with the rest of the sports world. Fans love their sports and they hate seeing blown calls. We have the technology to prevent human error from officiating, so why not use it.

 

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