One of Commissioner Bud Selig’s objections to the use of Instant Replay in Major League Baseball is that it slows down the game. I’ve always found that one a somewhat soft argument. Case in point: I turned on the TV this afternoon and caught a small part of the Little League World Series Ohio vs. New Jersey game. In the bottom of the third inning, the 3B for Ohio made a great play on a grounder and threw out the runner at first. However, the first base umpire called him safe.
The Ohio manager came out, asked the umpires to get together and see if anyone got a better view of the play. When no umpire said he had a better view, the manager asked for a replay. Obviously the replay showed the runner was out. After about 1 total minute, the play was reversed.
How did this slow the game down? If the awesome Derek Jeter can step out the batter’s box after every pitch and readjust both gloves, his helmet and tap almost every part of the plate with his bat, how is that any different?
Under the LLWS rules, the manager can pretty much request a replay of almost all plays as long as the calls continue to go in his favor.
Although I support the use of replay in baseball, I do agree with Selig on one point – replay should never, ever be used to challenge balls and strikes. The fact that every umpire has a slightly different strike zone is one of the little intricacies of baseball that should never be altered.