Baseball and Expanded Replay (Bumped for Positivity)
Hooray, some actual BaseBlogging on the--what's this, That Deadly Pit? Ah well, we'll get to that later.
I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before, but I used to be against expanded replay. That changed, however, due to two things. Firstly, either an increase in blown calls or an increase in the ability of fans and news organizations to analyze these calls. Secondly, the efficiency of the National Hockey League's policy of replay.
Perhaps the biggest element in changing my mind was Armando Galaraga's "Imperfect Game", in which the should-have-been-last call of the game was blown by Jim Joyce--one of the best umpires in Major League Baseball. Galaraga and Joyce got over it rather well, but the fans and the press had a much harder time. Thanks to replay, everybody watching the game on multiple networks at that point (MLB Network was where I saw it) were fuming at Joyce (though few knew his name until the network broadcasters dug through their stat packs to find it) for "stealing" a perfect game from Galaraga of the Tigers. Joyce obviously didn't know he had blown the call. and he was kicking himself for the call after the game when he finally did see the replay. Since then, in my opinion, there have been a steady increase in blown calls, and the glaringness of these failed calls also seems to grow more obvious.
However, my qualms about instant replay still remained. The first and foremost was the length of time. The National Football League uses a challenge system, and certain plays get a mandatory review. Close plays, however, take forever to decide. A simple in/out-of-bounds call can take five minutes. Since the NFL is the most popular of the four major North American sports leagues (five if you're a MLS fan--I'm not, but there are some. I actually come across more Premier League fans.) MLB was always more likely to emulate their instant replay format. If calls took five minutes for baseball, it would add a lot of dead air to the TV and radio broadcasts and turn off some fans, particularly since so many people consider baseball to be a slow, dull sport already. (They're wrong by the way. I don't care if it's their opinion--they're wrong. Baseball is just better. SO TAKE THAT NFL!)
However, the NHL has what I consider to be a very efficient replay format. Rather than using challenges, every hockey game is watched by special replay officials at what is called the "War Room" in Toronto. These officials decide which plays deserve a replay and then make their call, sending it to the NHL officials in whatever city the game takes place. I have seen maybe two missed calls in three years of watching hockey that go to replay, and that is just my opinion--both were tough calls even with replay. I also find that the replay officials make their decisions quite quickly, and the puck gets dropped almost right after the TV station has been able to let the folks at home view the replay. Hence, I favor replay, but more specifically, NHL style replay.
(Special mention to the Little League Baseball World Series' replay system. They use challenges, but they're pretty quick.)
However, we've only seen a little of the replay system that has been proposed so far. It uses a challenge system, but I'd like to see it in action before I decide whether I like it or not. Plus, we don't know that this is the final system yet either, so it's hard to really judge it. If you're interested in reading more, I suggest reading Ken Rosenthal's analysis of the story on Fox Sports here.
Also, how about Yasiel Puig? NL ROY easy. He's killing it. Unfortunately, thanks to Biogenesis, one also has to be wary to see if Puig is for real. Yasiel probably will be having a lot of drug tests. I hope he is for real. I've had enough of A-Rod.
P.S. Oh yes, and I said I'd explain the blog name change. I'll be changing it back before I leave BZP, but having played Portal and Portal 2 recently, I finally know what those weird blog titles mean now. (i.e. Hey Hey Lady, and its former subtitle, SPACE, WANNA GO TO SPACE) So I decided to have a little change of pace and name my blog something different. I don't think I've ever given it a title that didn't include "BaseBlog" somewhere.
Now please, just jump down, would you?