Friday, August 29

Instant replay

Reading the P-D's story on MLB's introduction of replay a few days ago, I'm shocked at how many Indians seem to be opposed to its introduction. It's a great idea to get calls correct, smartly implemented to only include home run calls, and adds no extra time to the game. Still, not all the Indians are fans, even though FIREJOEMORGAN is on board, and I find some of the Tribesmen's reactions kinda weird. A sampling of some of the Tribe's opinions:

Eric Wedge
"What do I do [to request a replay]?" Wedge joked. "Do I throw my hat on the field?...I'm more of a purist...I'm a proponent of the human element of it. But if they think it's going to be good for the game, then so be it."
Eric, surely you know that managers won't be requesting replays, right? Didn't you read the memo? IR doesn't make the game any more or less pure. I don't like people describing themselves as purists - it usually means they're clinging to an antiquated argument. This whole "human element" is a straw man argument; it's not like IR means the game will be played and officiated by robots.

Jensen Lewis
"I wonder if anything else is going to come under review. It will be interesting to see how this affects the game. Hopefully it doesn't affect performance. Everybody has a routine that keeps them in the right frame of mind."
Fair enough, though hopefully he's been told that nothing else will be reviewed. Almost every complaint involves a slippery-slope scenario.

Jamey Carroll
"MLB wants the pace to go faster, but it also wants instant replay? You have to hurry up to get in the box, but then you're going to take the time to make a call."
It won't take any more time than those fruitless umpire conferences do already, and will only happen occasionally. Really, you're not willing to add like one minute to get a home run call right?

Wedge again
"[Human error] is part of the game. I understand why they're doing it, but that's just my opinion."
That's insane. Yeah, human error by the players is part of the game. This willingness to have umpires make easily-corrected mistakes that strongly impact the game is unfathomable to me.

Sal Fasano
"It's Armageddon. Baseball is a game of human error. It always has been and always will be. Why would you want to take that away? I think it's dumb."
Setting aside Sal's hysterics for now: why does everyone love human error so much? And this isn't taking it away anyway - it's correcting one easily-fixed yet important mistake made periodically. Players and umpires will still make mistakes, rest easy.

David Dellucci
"A memo was put on our chairs today about instant replay and I'm not excited about reading it. I don't want to sound like an old-timer, but baseball is a game of history and tradition. In my opinion, instant replay goes against that. This is an aspect of the game that could potentially hurt more than it helps. Where does it stop? Why is the home-run call more important than any other part of the game -- a called third strike, a close play at plate? The home-run call can be difficult, but in my opinion it's an easier call than a check swing or a bang-bang play at a base. Where does it go from here?"
Dellucci really should read the memo. It's self-explanatory why HR calls are important, but the issue here is not just their significance, but their binary fair/foul over/under nature. 3rd strikes and tagouts are gray areas and will continue to be decided by umpires. Everyone agrees on this latter point - expansion of replay would gain zero traction.

Brendan Donnelly
"It's OK for homers. I think that should be the extent of it. If you go any farther, the game would become too detailed and stop being baseball."
I'm with Donnelly here. Again: this will be the extent of it.

Jhonny Peralta
"It's a good thing to do because sometimes the umpires are wrong."
A simple, logically inassailable point.

Zach Jackson
"This is the way the game is changing and evolving. There's nothing wrong with getting a call right."
Somebody sign this kid long-term.

It's interesting to me that, in their efforts to fall all over themselves praising humans making needless mistakes that affect strongly the games they play professionally, no one brought up any of the in-game logistics of the system. Like: what happens if a hit is ruled a HR but really isn't? I'd guess it should be a book-rule double then, but I'm not sure.

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