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Instant Replay in Baseball – Ruinous or Reasonable?

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To all baseball sports fan out there, this is your question of the day – Should the Major League Baseball (MLB) utilize the instant replay similar to the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Football League (NFL)?

In my humble opinion on the subject matter, consider what happened to the San Diego Padres. In their game last night against the Colorado Rockies in which they faced off for the National League Wild Card, the game went down the wire. It came down to the bottom of the 13th inning. The Padres were enjoying a 2-run lead heading into the bottom part of the inning. They brought in the closing legend Trevor Hoffman in order to close out the game. Nevertheless, this is not a wildcard game after all if the Rockies simply succumb to the pressure and hand the victory easily to the Padres. The Rockies fought back, turned things around in which they won the game and become the wildcard entry. It was a really close play. But their victory comes with controversies as the umpire seemed to make a guess whether or not the runner was safe. For me, it is an unfortunate event that the umpire made a bad call. Watch the replay and you will find out that the Padres’ catcher, Barrett, successfully blocked off the plate so that even the head-first slide of Matt Holiday could not get him safe to the base.

With that huge mistake, the Padres are done for the season and will be doing their training for the off-season. It will be difficult for them to relive the dying moments of the game. There are many what if’s in those game and the outcome can be different for both teams. There is a possibility that the Padres won and advanced to the playoffs.

With those kinds of cases (there is a huge possibility that it will happen in the future and in almost every game, whether the game is close or not), it is absolutely imperative for the MLB commissioner to take into consideration the implementation of instant replay. The NFL and NBA are the two major and professional sporting events in the country that have started to use instant replay and both leagues are having great success. So, for me, the professional baseball league can follow suit. We can never know the impact of instant replay unless it is used in the official games.

Some people are firm with their beliefs that the use of cameras and instant replays in order to make the appropriate calls is not natural and can ruin the game. But the counter argument is that changes should be made to make the game competitive, entertaining and fair for all teams. Without the instant replays, there will always be doubt due to the controversial and downright incorrect calls.

Just like how the professional players, teams and owners in NBA and NFL in accepting instant replays, the MLB and everyone involved in this league should be open to using it. The MLB Commissioner can consider trying it out the next season and if does not generate any positive impact, they can scrap it.

Nishan Wilde is VP of Sales for Robbins Sports and Athletics, an online resource for Seiko S149 Stopwatches and Portable Scoreboards.