Thursday, August 15, 2013

MLB Finally Decides to Increase Instant Replay and Immediately Fails At It

Well, this is both great and awful. 

In a move emblematic of Bud Selig’s tenure as Commissioner, he stared down an obvious major problem without acting for exponentially longer than was needed to before swiftly jumping in at the last minute with a horrendously sub-optimal solution that was apparently made without any outside feedback in order to cover his legacy on his way out. Just like with steroids. Or expansion. Or the extra wild card. Or the draft. Or collusion. Or the All-Star Game. Or the Expos. Or the Athletics and Rays stadium situations. Or…

Why is it the managers’ jobs to make sure the plays are called correctly? Would it have been that hard to just stick a fifth umpire in the booth with a live feed so he can notify the field umps when replays show a call is clearly missed? Heck, they could have managed that system with pagers, since the man is so adverse to modern technology. I mean, we clearly have the ability to get the calls right. Before the system in place just ignored a solution to consistently apply a method (human umps miss calls, but all calls are in theory coming from the same set, even if each ump is different). Now, you’re introducing something that can easily standardize the officiating to make sure every call is correct…but you’re going to artificially limit it so that only some of the easily-fixable calls are fixed. What’s the point? And why introduce it specifically for the stretch-run and playoffs without any prior testing to see if this system needs any improvement? (hint: it needs a lot of improvement)

In retrospect, I’m not sure why I had my hopes up for the obvious, easy solution. It's great that MLB baseball is finally, after so many years, addressing their ability to improve officiating. I just wish they would go about it in a way that made sense.

EDIT: I've only seen rumors about it being implemented this season, so they may wait on that. Which is good, I guess.

They've compensated for that by making a needlessly-complicated, ridiculous process for entirely the wrong reasons. Which is less good.

1 comment:

  1. They should have gone with a fifth umpire...