Cheap Seats

August 15, 2013

Today could be the day instant replay gets out of Pandora's box

Cheap Seats

Looking at the Cards from a fan's perspective

Major League Baseball club representatives are meeting today and on the table is a massive expansion of baseball's instant replay system.

According to multiple news reports, everything is under consideration except balls and strikes. I can't imagine how much this could potentially interrupt the flow and natural beauty of a ballgame.

I readily admit that umpires are human and that they're going to make mistakes. But it's a part of the game that has existed for 175 years. I don't see why the people in charge of promoting and preserving the game have suddenly decided that it has to change now.

I'd rather see an occasional bad call than see the game stopped for five minutes a crack three, four or five times per contest.

Besides, as we've learned with the National Football League, instant replay isn't foolproof. I was shocked to see how often referees still get things wrong after instant replay, which seems to always be tweaked and adjusted because no one is satisfied with it. Either the camera angle doesn't show a clear view or the official seems to interpret things differently than everyone else on the planet.

How many times a game does the announcer say that a play is going to be overturned because of obvious video evidence only to have the referee eventually take to the microphone after a long delay only to announce the exact opposite?

Even with its flaws, I wish the folks in charge of baseball today would only have the good sense not to mess up something that has been wonderful for nearly two centuries.

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About Cheap Seats

Scott Wuerz has reported for the Belleville News-Democrat since 1998​. He writes about the St. Louis Cardinals from a fan's perspective in his Cheap Seats blog.

Contact him at swuerz@bnd.com.

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