So two weeks into the new MLB season and I think its fair to say that the MLB’s new replay system is, how you say, a clusterfuck. I’m not really sure how no one in the MLB league office thought this would go down any other way with how they implemented the system. The replay system should have been reserved for plays at the plate, home runs, and verifying perfect/no hit games and that’s it. But nope! Now every, single, meticulous play in the world’s slowest sport is up for debate and its absolutely abysmal.
Just look at the Sox past weekend in New York. We’ve got Farrell trying to play “gotcha!” with the Yankees on 2nd base which I haven’t seen used since recess and people arguing over what defines catching a throw to 1st which is absurd. If you think managers are fired up now MLB just remember its only April! I can’t imagine the shitstorm this is going to cause in August and September when things are getting down to the wire and everyone is breaking out their telescopes and rule books to decide pivotal moments in crucial games.
Now, to be clear, I agreed with the Umps handling of the “gotcha!” challenge by Farrell. That’s not what replay is suppose to be used for. Even if during replay you can clearly see that, technically, Dean Anna was off the bag, tagged, and should have, by the letter of the rule, been out the Umps decision to forego that was the right one. I mean, if they reversed that call every single slide would be up for review which would be an even bigger nightmare. Can you imagine how slow a baseball game would become? It’s borderline coma inducing now it would be straight up sports-Ambien if it goes down that road.
That being said, I can see why Farrell lost his shit Sunday night. If you are going to let one rule slide in the name of gamesmanship how can you reverse the call on the throw to 1st that scores a run in the name of a technicality! Just isn’t consistent. So I don’t blame him for losing it no matter what John Kruk or the MLB says is the definition of a catch.
That brings me to what really drives me nuts. The MLB basically said everything can be reviewed. All these dinky, dunky, small time plays but left the strike zone totally up to the Umps. Uh, what? How? Why?! That is, literally, the only thing that really needs to get shored up and standardized and the thing that drives players and managers up a wall more than anything. Yet, in the infinite wisdom of the Selig Syndicate, it remains as it always has, even in the advent of all this technology. If you are going to let the Umps make judgement calls on the most important aspect of the game then let them actually ump the whole game. Stupid to nitpick small-time plays and put them under the microscope while you sweep frivolous strike zones under the rug.
Baseball, probably more than any other sport, is about the calls that go for you and against you. If you eliminate that all the gamesmanship and the passion is bled out every 4 minute conference to determine the precise moment a ball enters a glove or a foot touches a bag. It becomes mired down in technicalities instead of being a fun distraction. If a call goes against you, deal with it. Baseball fans have been able to deal with it for 140 years, I don’t know why they need to stop now.