clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This Is Probably Not What Selig Had in Mind When He Approved the Replay System

When Major League Baseball began using instant replay for the first time last season the main criticism was that the reviews could take too long, slowing down what is already a slow sport. My stance then was that the couple extra minutes was worth it to get the call right. After watching the debacle that took place last night in the WBC, I’m not so sure about that. ↵

↵The situation: In the seventh inning, with Venezula up 1-0 against Puerto Rico, Ramon Hernandez came to the plate. He crushed a belt-high fastball over the oversized wall/scoreboard in left field. It was clearly a home run. The second base ump, however, ruled that it hit off the top of the scoreboard, and Hernandez slid in with a triple. Shortly thereafter, they decided to take another look at it on replay. ↵


↵So, under the stadium the umps went for a closer look. Ten minutes -- 10! -- they emerged. Apparently, the replay feed from New York wasn’t functioning properly. Yet the television audience watched it about 83 times during the delay on ESPN. Luckily, the third base ump said he was positive it was a home run, and it was ruled as such. (This also brings up the question, if he was so damn certain, why did they spend 10 minutes trying to see a replay?) ↵


↵Obviously, this was a freak occurrence that caused a delay about eight times longer than a review is supposed to create. But imagine if this happened during a regular season MLB game. Or worse, a playoff game. There would be a tidal wave of backlash. Perhaps the league should consider coming up with a more efficient system, lest they find themselves with another Bud Selig-Deer-in-headlights moment. ↵


This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.