Instant Replay in Baseball

The history of instant replay for umpires is complicated. QuesTec was the first system. It wasn’t instant replay but it did track the umpires very specifically. It was a video system that tracked the strike zone for umps and gave them a grade after the game. It was only installed in 11 out of the 30 ballparks, it was used from 2000 to 2008 until it ended because the World Umpire Association sued and then-Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling destroyed one with a bat after the umpire said he would have called more strikes if not for the system. In 2008 they started using regular instant replay for home run and fair/foul calls. Now in 2014 the replay system has expanded to everything but judgement calls such as balls and strikes. If the Manager comes onto the field to challenge the ruling on the field the umpires go onto a phone call with other umpires stationed in New York City who watch the video and report back to the umps, they then go and state the new ruling. Managers only get one challenge per game(unless the challenge is successful) but they don’t get cool red challenge flags like NFL coaches (though that would be cool).
The response to these new rules has been a mixed bag; some like the newfound accuracy and preciseness of the game while others prefered the human error aspect of the game with human umpires instead of these perfect part robot ones. These rules pretty much end the times of rants and arguments with the umpire that have lead to kicking the dirt and the literal stealing of bases, which some people find amusing, while some like Baseball historian John Thorn think they are merely “pointless on-field squabbles”. Though they take some time it is no more than those raves (not parties) would. I like the human aspect of baseball but if they worked out some of the kinks that have inevitably come from the beginning this could be great. Who knows what the future could hold maybe more, maybe robots, maybe Google Glasses or maybe less?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>