Abner Doubleday invented the game of baseball in Cooperstown, New York in 1839. By today’s standards that game, their original equipment, and some of their rules seem archaic; there were no helmets, no inside chest protectors, no oversized gloves, and no replays of disputable home runs.
Over the past 173 years, the game has seen many changes. It has appropriately evolved with the times, it’s popularity, and it’s marketability. Changes have been made to make the baseball player more comfortable and quicker like the transformation of the old wool uniforms to mass-produced team brands made from space age fabrics.
Point is, because of changes in technology, the game and those responsible for running it, have made many necessary adjustments that have enhanced its enjoyment and popularity. But have they done enough?
Case in point, we have now come to yet another point in time where it is necessary to ‘update’ the game again in order to make its outcome fair to both sides. The cry for instant replay made its greatest plea almost 2 years ago to the day; June 2, 2010, when Detroit Tigers pitcher Armondo Galarraga was denied being credited with baseball’s 21st perfect game because of a blown call made by verteran umpire Jim Joyce involving the 27th batter to come to the plate.
Fast forward to June 1, 2012 and Mets pitcher Johan Santana who was vieing for his team’s first no hitter in their franchise’s history. A ball hit by former Met Carlos Beltran clearly was fair on replay but was determined to be foul by umpire Adrian Johnson.
If called correctly, Santana doesn’t have his no hitter and history would not have been made.
Since at the present time, only ‘disputed’ home runs are subject to replay, aren’t the two stunning examples above reason enough for instant replay to be instituted by MLB? Naysayers would cry that “You’re compromising the integrity of the game”. Or “It’s not the way the game is supposed to be played.” Well, it was supposed to be played with little kid gloves once upon a time. The typical first baseman’s glove is now almost 2.5 times the size of the ones that were used in the 19th century!
Some others insist that ” Baseball games are too long already.” With a centrally located area designated by the Commissioner, a panel of umpires could review a call in a matter of seconds. How long was it, if you watched the Santana no hitter, before replays appeared on the screen of the blown foul ball by Betran? Literally seconds!
Furthermore, if a typical game lasts say 2 hrs. 40 min. and with replays in force the average game was delayed by an extra 5 minutes, wouldn’t it be worth the extra time in order for the calls to be correct so that its outcome need not be questioned or disputed?
Today we have the technology for instant replays and if it were available in 1839, don’t you think that Abner Doubleday would have implemented it as part of the rules, the same way he would have had all ball players wear helmets if they too were accessible?
The NFL has adopted many new rules and regulations and it still the most popular sport in the country. They have managed to keep up with technology and utilize it so that it’s advantageous to both teams on the field. Moreover, the average football game is close to 3 hours and no one complains.
It’s high time that MLB join the NFL, NBA, and NHL and begin the use of instant replay. It isn’t 1839 any longer…
Doubleday Didn’t Invent Anything hehehe
We All Know That Now.
He Wasn’t Even In Cooperstown In 1839.
He Was At West Point, Then. hehehe
I Like This Post, Sir.
It DOES Make You Think About It.
I’ve Never Been Much For Replay…
…But It May Be Time For It.
This is from Wikipedia: “The Mills Commission, chaired by Abraham G. Mills, the fourth president of the National League, was appointed in 1905 to determine the origin of baseball. The committee’s final report, on December 30, 1907, stated, in part, that “the first scheme for playing baseball, according to the best evidence obtainable to date, was devised by Abner Doubleday at Cooperstown, New York, in 1839.”
I just write ’em like i see ’em…
But thanks for commenting Brad. You’ve been one of Fantasy Furnace’s most loyal supporters and I appreciate it!
Great post, its hard to believe there was a time when baseball was the top sport in America. Until the baseball traditionalist loosen their grip the game will continue to loss fans and the fate of the deceased Montrel Expos will soon claim another franchise like the Pittsburgh Pirates or Kansas City Royals who rarely sale out games and are barely making ends meat.
You can also add the San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics to the other two. Sad. But yet that’s another reason to update the rules and include instant replay. It’s time…
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It may well be time for instant replay but remember Bud Selig still has a hard time adjusting to the fact that players used steroids and other banned substances throughout the entire 90’s and now in the 2000’s . His antics after the Braun “fiasco “ shows how much on a_s he just happens to be ! He chastizes the arbitrator (Shyam Das) for his decision but it wasn’t the arbitrator who mishandled the player’s test specimens or failed to follow the proper protocols in following the chain of evidence .
Doubleday is rolling over in his grave and asking why Selig is still in charge of the game ?
There are ways to speed up the game that haven’t been discussed. One idea I always thought had merit would be to make it mandatory that the pitcher and hitter stay where they are during an at bat. No moving off the mound or stepping out of the batters box.
That being said, I can’t bring myself to like this instant replay business. What happens if a batter hits one down the line with the bases loaded and the call is changed from foul to fair? Where do you put the runners? And which ones score? It’s problematic.
Of course, I’m a traditional guy on most counts. I would do away with wild card teams, interleague play and teams that play in retirement havens such as Florida and Arizona. Of course, that last one is out of bitterness (See 2001 and 2003 World Series results).
You have some good points Cayman. However I can’t imagine the other professional sports existing without instant replay. I’m a bit old school myself but I wouldn’t want to see my team lose a seventh game because of a disputed call by a ref or umpire…My heart still breaks for Galarraga and even Jim Joyce who broke down over his blown call.
Arizona and Florida? Really? :)