Last Thursday Major League Baseball began a new venture into the realm of technology....the use of "limited" replay.
Last night was the first time that replay was actually used to uphold a decision on the field of a home run by, and fittingly so Alex Rodriguez. The "Lightening Rod" hit his 549th homer putting him into 12 place all time passing Mike Schmidt. The ball was a towering shot that was hit above the fair/foul pole. The umpires gathered, left the field to review the video, a process that took 2 minutes, 15 seconds and upheld the call.
As for most sports they have already adopted such a system and have had it in place for some time now. Even the CFL had it first, which is a little embarrassing. nevertheless MLB has it at their disposal but only for disputed home runs and only at the decression of the umpiring crew chief, unlike the NFL there are no challenges.
In fitting MLB fashion they screwed up but implementing this 3/4 of the way through the season with no testing but here were are and lets go from here.
It is an interesting venture and one that is a good idea in theory, but then again Communism works in theory too.
Home Run calls are one thing, however there are other plays that may be just as important that are unreviewable. The one thing about baseball is that 1 small seemingly unimportant play sets off a chain of events that dictates how the situation will become resolved, more so then any other sport, it really is all about the flow of a play until its completion.
This is why C.C. Sabathia’s potential no hitter could not, and should not have been overturned. Yes it was a bad call to call that play a hit and not an error but you can’t reverse it now if you wanted to. Based on that 1 hit being on the board would have not only changed the mindset of the pitcher, his approach to the rest of the game, the increasing drama and stress and how the team played behind him. Just like the home run debate 1 call changed the outcome of that entire game.
Surely in the future it will be tweaked and more will become reviewable, I just hope they know when to say when and draw the line.
In a sport like baseball you can’t take the element of human error out of the game, it is part of the fabric of the sport and one of the reasons the game is great.