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MLB Finally Ready To Expand Instant Replay?

It takes a lot of men to REALLY blow a call.

It takes a lot of men to REALLY blow a call.

Well let’s not get ahead of ourselves on this one. It seems MLB is once again flirting with the idea of expanding instant replay, but we’ve been down this road before.

This subject has been an ongoing debate in baseball dating back almost 30 years now. In the early days of replay the league was steadfastly against implementing it in any form. In 1998 Commissioner Peter Ueberroth was very adamant, stating:

“There will not be instant replay of any sort. We’re just not going to do it. The umpires making split-second decisions is part of the flavor of the game. We don’t want to lose that flavor. You can make a dish so bland that it’s not worth sitting down at the table.”

What’s amazing is that Ueberroth’s hardline stance came days after one enterprising umpire—who cared more about getting the call right than pretending like he got it right to begin with—actually reversed a call after seeing it projected on the scoreboard.

Getting it right has always been just too damn bland for baseball. Because if there’s anything fans like more than sitting through a four hour game on a Monday afternoon, it’s seeing their team lose the game because the commissioner likes the drama created when idiot umpires are terrible at their jobs.

Decades old devotion to humor error began to thaw slightly in 2008 when the league began allowing the use of review for home run calls. There was discussion of expanding instant replay in 2013 to include trap plays and fair-or-foul calls, but that plan was scrapped in hopes of implementing something more expansive in 2014.

Exactly what that may look like isn’t entirely clear yet, as there are still many conflicting opinions within baseball. That being said, MLB Executive Vice President Joe Torre said: “We’re pretty confident we’ll have it in place for 2014.”

That’s assuming 75 percent of the owners support the expansion when they come together to vote this November—which is a pretty big assumption. So much about baseball defies logic and reason that it will be a major league stunner to a lot of us if this actually does pass, as Torre and Commissioner Bud Selig seem to believe it will.

Who knows though…maybe it will happen. In which case I will be the first person to stand up and welcome Major League Baseball to 1999!

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