Who can forget? It was June 2, 2010 and everyone was on their feet as they watched Armando Galarraga toe the rubber with 2 outs in the ninth inning looking to sit down his 27th batter straight. On a 1-1 pitch put into play by Jason Donald, Galarraga hustled over to first baseball, received the throw from Miguel Cabrera and blatantly beat the runner to the bag. Only umpire Jim Joyce saw different and called the runner safe. Nobody could believe that something so historical will go unwritten in baseball history.
Yesterday, Bud Selig and the MLB decided to expand instant replay and give managers the option to challenge plays. There are many mixed emotions on this topic and I don’t really understand why. Even player Ian Desmond (@IanDesmond20) tweeted about the subject “Coaches challenge in baseball, really? Don’t ruin a great game please.” It seems to me as a fan that almost every single game I watch I see at least one blown call. A lot of plays are bang-bang and are tough to see, so why not give the umps some help? With instant replay we can get the most true baseball and correct statistics. The only problem I have with it is the way it will be set up.
If I was the commissioner, I would be a little stricter about the number of challenges. The rule as of now looks to be that one challenge will be allowed from the first to the sixth inning, then two more from the seventh on. The problem I have with this is that it will slow down a game entirely when sometimes the umpires will have made the correct call. Six challenges in a game could easily add half an hour on an already long game.
The way I would change this rule is that I would only allow one challenge through a nine-inning game. However, if the team challenges and get the call right they still keep the privilege of being able to challenge. If a game goes into extra innings then another challenge will be granted but without the chance of getting it back. This is very similar to the current system that the NFL has and it seems to work just fine for them. The most interesting replay affect I want to see is what happens when a ball is hit fair, but is called foul. Awarding the amount of bases is going to be tough to call because of various speeds of runners. If I was an umpire, anything hit near the line I would call fair and expect it to be replayed. The idea of challenging plays is great and I love the expansion of instant replay. It just seems that it will be too much and draw out many games.
Look at the poor guy! We would not want these professional umpires to go under so much distress for blowing one call. These umpires need some slack because these are truly tough calls and in the end all we want is a game called correct. The expansion of instant replay is needed in order to make this great game almost flawless.