Many people were skeptical when instant replay was first introduced to baseball, but since it’s conception it has been nothing but perfect.
The game of baseball is a game deeply rooted in tradition. It’s a game riddled by crazy superstitions, such as Roger Clemons’ pregame icy-hot ritual (I’ll let you look that one up), and a stubborn National League that won’t conform to having a flashy, strategy-intensifying designated hitter. However, saying baseball is a game of tradition is nothing more than a dumb excuse to live in ignorance. Ignorance on how “great baseball could be again”, if, for example, there was a 3 second timer between pitchers, or slip and slides in the base-paths. Let’s face it, in the world we’re living in now, things are ever changing and adapting. If the sport of baseball doesn’t adapt to the population’s shortening attention spans and the desire for more, it’ll end up being replaced by sports that do, such as SlamBall and Ultimate Tazer Ball.
The addition of replay to the game of baseball was so crucial for this reason. It was a step into the right direction, the direction of a game that is willing to try new things.
There are so sO SO many reasons why replay is the best thing to happen to baseball since the steroid era in the 1980s. So many in fact that it wouldn’t be possible to name them all, so I’ll only talk about a couple.
Firstly, it aids so perfectly in the MLB’s one and only goal: to interest young viewers.
The leadership in the MLB has said many times that their main goal moving forward is to shorten the time it takes to complete a game of baseball, in order to appeal to a population of people with little to no attention spans. So it makes perfect sense that the MLB would want to add a 5-minute replay break to the game. It not only somehow shortens the game, but makes it flow so much more smoothly. It simply matches so well with other recent rule changes that are meant to shave off a few seconds of game time, such as the addition of a pitch clock, and the one-foot-in-the-batters-box rule.
Secondly, it doubles the time of excitement in a game.
In the past people would celebrate and go crazy for game-changing close plays, but the celebration would only last a few seconds, and there would be no sense of fear or anxiety about a changed call. One word: BORING. With the addition of replay, people can now celebrate and go crazy twice for the same play. The first celebration thwarted by a sense of anxiety of whether or not a call actually stands, and then a second celebration that depends on a hand motion the ump makes. There is nothing that makes the crowd go crazier than a slick arm movement.
The best thing about this is we can know with a 100% certainty that a team deserved to win. It is impossible, let me repeat impossible, for the wrong call to come out of visual evidence. Whenever a play is reviewed there is never any doubt from fans about the call. So far there has yet to be an instance of where the review crew has gotten the call wrong:
Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Example 4. I mean the reason to add such a key piece of tech into the game was to get the right call after all, right?
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) September 23, 2016
Lastly, it completely takes out any theme of violence and emotions from the game.
The age of managers and players yelling at umpires is gone, replaced by the gift we call replay. Managers and players yelling in umpires faces’ was just an awful sight to see. There was nothing fun or entertaining or appealing about the tension about calls on the field, and additionally, kids should never be subjected to such portraits of rage and passion. If I had it my way, I would make baseball players wear masks and collars that shock them anytime they show any emotion. Emotions are silly and get in the way of the game, not even to mention it teaches kids that feeling and expressing emotion is a good thing (the nerve of some people).
Overall, replay is the best thing to happen to baseball since the hotdog was coated in cornbread, and if you don’t agree, you’re ignorant.
Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports