From Buster Olney:
They might as well do it right now, in an effort to make the game better. If the Yankees win tonight, there will be five days until the World Series starts, and Major League Baseball should use that time to define the parameters of expanded replay use and determine how the communication will work.
Commissioner Bud Selig would be applauded for making an aggressive push to correct the kind of mistakes that we have seen time and time and time again this postseason, and while there will be a lot of hand-wringing over the mechanics of expanded replay, about how to make it happen, it should be very simple: Just get it right.
On calls of fair or foul, on calls of safe or out, on all calls not involving balls or strikes, just get it right.
Don’t put the onus on the managers to throw out some silly red challenge flag — just get it right. If an umpire such as John Hirshbeck were to oversee the replay booth during the World Series, he could be in communication with the crew chief, and if replay shows that a call is wrong, just stop the game and fix it. Anyone watching the television knows, in almost all cases, whether a call is wrong or right within 20 seconds after a play is concluded. Major League Baseball should give the umpires those same tools.
No matter how you felt about replay coming into the postseason, you have to see by now that replay is necessary. The human element of the game does not seem so sacred when said humans are making 2 to 3 awful decisions per contest. Being that fans can instantly review every single call, it has become impossible for umpires to make errors that go unnoticed. The umpires have not gotten worse, it is just that the scrutiny of their decisions has increased. As such, it is only logical to give the umpires a way to review calls.
MLB can institute the simplest form of replay possible: have a replay official who is given the same replays that we get on television call down to the field at the point of a controversial call and either confirm or overturn the call. If those of us at home can know within 30 seconds whether the ump was wrong, it should not take any longer than that for the umpires to reach the same conclusion. It is time to let the players represent the game instead of the umpires. The bevy of incorrect calls this postseason is an embarrassment to the game and must be addressed.
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