View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



November 2004



Instant Replay

Written by , Posted in General

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the possible implementation of instant replay in Major League Baseball. I personally like the idea of having instant replay on certain “dead ball” plays like home runs, balls that should have been called foul that were called fair, and plays where Alex Rodriguez knocks the ball out of the fielder’s glove. In fact, let’s use instant replay on every play where A-Rod is involved, and only reverse the call if it goes against him.

But I also think there are many instances where instant replay just wouldn’t work. Remember in Game 5 of the 2003 NLDS when Kenny Lofton made a spectacular catch at his shoetops and it was not ruled an out? We all saw the catch on the replay, but the umpires got it wrong when the play occured. Well, there were runners on base whose decision to tag or go back to their original base depended on the result of the play in center field — if we used instant replay and that call was reversed and ruled a catch, then what happens to the runners on base? Do they get to tag up one base or do they stay where they were originally? It’s these kind of situations where instant replay simply couldn’t fix any mistakes made by the umpires because the outcome of the rest of the play depends on what happened at that moment.

Also, how the heck would instant replay work? Would the umpires decide when it’s necessary or would managers get an opportunity to call for it at the risk of using up one of their…uh…timeouts?
“Come on, don’t toss me C.B.! I haven’t even gotten to throw my red flag yet!”

And would there be a viewing machine near one of the dugouts where Cubs fans get to throw bottles at Bruce Froemming while he reviews his terrible call at second base?