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Replay Review is Ruining Baseball

Baseball in its purest form is bang-bang plays at the plate that decide games in extra innings with one team celebrating on the field and the opposing manager being tossed after a heated argument like Bobby Cox was so many times. Replay review has taken the majority of the excitement and intrigue out of close plays in baseball. This has been an issue ever since they implemented the rule, and the process has only gotten slower and more intense as they years go on. This weekend, in the Tigers v Pirates game, in the bottom of the 10th inning, JaCoby Jones hit a bloop single to left field that drove in the winning run on a very close play at the plate. Castellanos was ruled safe at the plate, and celebration ensued, but it didn’t take long for the Pirates manager to challenge and for the dreaded headsets to be whipped out. After a nearly 10 minute extensive review where no clear evidence was ever shown on TV, the runner was ruled out, and onto the 11th inning. In that 10 minute time, players were able to get stiff, and lose all motivation to continue playing. What are we even doing, why has baseball turned into a game of challenging close plays? I remember during the 2013 World Series during Game 2 where the Red Sox had a Cardinals runner gunned down at the plate, but he was really called safe due to obstruction on the base-path. I was livid as a Red Sox fan, but I’m not sure replay review which was implemented a year later would have made the situation any better. The culture of baseball is whatever the call on the field is, you either accept the call or you have to argue with the umpires until they get together and change it or you get tossed. It is no wonder people find baseball boring when the conclusion of a game is based on a manager signaling they want a review and then someone from a room in NEW YORK, not even on the field makes the final decision. Baseball needs to kill off replay review, it slows down the game and ultimately changes the dynamic of how baseball is played. Not only has it killed the intensity of close plays on the field, but it kills other plays like the Neighborhood play, pulling a foot off the bag, or difficult to call catches in the outfield. After umpiring high school and upper level baseball for 4 years, I understand these are extremely difficult calls to make without pissing off one team, but having replay review negates from having any umpires at all which removes the human aspect from baseball. No matter how you look at it; from speed of game, to the intensity, or even drawing in new fans, replay review has done nothing but kill baseball for what it truly is.


Photo: https://goo.gl/images/jYwzaz

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