Thursday, October 19, 2017

The case for expanded replays and challenges in baseball

Since the 2013 season, baseball managers have been allowed to challenge most plays in baseball (managers get 2 challenges in a playoff game). One play not reviewable is a foul tip on a called third strike. I argue that every play but balls and strikes should be eligible for review

The Situation

In game 4 of the NLDS tonight, Dodgers CF swung and missed on a 2-2 pitch that home plate Jim Wolf called Granderson out on saying that Granderson missed the ball. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts came out of the dugout and convinced the umpires to conference and eventually overturn the call. This allowed Granderson an extra swing. One thing to note is there was one out in the 8th inning and the Dodgers had a runner on 1st and the Cubs were ahead 3-2. This means Granderson could have hit the next pitch out of the yard and given the Dodgers a late lead.

My Take

First of all, this was an elimination game for the Cubs. While it is important to get the calls right, in a playoff game it is even more crucial as a wrong call can end the season for a team. Baseball purists would argue that we should limit the use of challenges/replays to protect the purity of the game, which for over a century allowed for human error by the umpires. I disagree. The stakes are simply too high. While Granderson struck out the next pitch, what would have happened if Granderson had hit a HR and the Dodgers won? Or what if this was game 7 of the World Series and Granderson had the potential to win the game? Technology is so much better now and fans can see every replay at the park or wherever they are watching from. So why not utilize the technology to get the calls right? The only place where challenges should never be used is on balls/strikes.

What do you guys think? Comment below

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