By: The Frisco Kid
Is Instant Replay Killing Professional Sports?
Instant Replay and Professional Sports. I am at a crossroads. I’m a huge baseball fan, have been my whole life. I consider myself a baseball purist. Thinking about yesteryear and how baseball “was” is a major part of my day at times.
Major League Baseball is the oldest professional organization. It was founded in 1869. The National League and American League forming in 1876 and 1901 respectively. With the past in mind, is instant replay killing professional sports?
Baseball is at the top of my discussion. The reason is simply because baseball is the only game on TV as I write this. Replay issues are not specific to MLB.
The National Football League, the National Hockey League and to a lesser extent, the National Basketball Association all have their own issues that need to be dealt with.
This is a betting website, so I will also touch on ways instant replay effects sports bettors as well. Right now I’m getting straight into my biggest issue with replay in baseball.
Pace of play has been the most common source of contention with the MLB replay system. Talks of a “pitch clock” have been discussed. This would act much like a shot clock in the NBA.
You need to deliver the pitch before the clock runs out. The same way a basketball team needs to take a shot before their 24 seconds is up.
Recently baseball stopped making pitchers throw 4 pitches on intentional walks. Now an intentional walk is awarded with the flash of four fingers.
Other rule changes, like limiting mound visits and inning break timer have been enforced. Instant replay is not only the biggest culprit for pace of play issues,. It’s slowing the game during critical situations that are effecting the outcome as well.
It was known that MLB teams had 30 seconds to decide whether or not they would challenge a play. The first 10 seconds was to get the umpire’s attention. The other 20 were to look at the play.
Well, it seems this 30 second rule has gone by the wayside. Up to 60 seconds are now being taken by teams to study a play frame-by-frame. Is this what instant replay was brought in for?
Players FOREVER have thought they were safe on close plays. That they made a terrific catch in the outfield. Then, only to watch after the game that he was in fact out at the base. The ball did skip off the ground before it made it into his glove.
Now, players just stay on the base and wave at the dugout. They give the new international sign to prompt his guys to look at it.
This is where my baseball purity comes into play. Umpires are making these calls in split seconds. When you calculate how fast some of these guys can run and how fast they can throw the ball the amount of called they miss is minuscule.
They are making bang-bang calls in high pressure situations, with hundreds of thousands of people watching.
To fix this situation, teams should only get 10 seconds to decide. They should only get the same view as umps. What they saw with their own eyes from the same angle and perspective. Maybe how emphatically a player can convince his manager to challenge would provide some drama in and of itself.
I’d like to see the stats on that one. Don’t give a team’s replay booth time to study frame-by-frame. It’s too easy compared to how tough a job it is to be a Major League umpire.
Instant Replay has Issues in NHL and NFL
Hockey sees more replays than I would like to see. Offsides is a common replay. Sure, you’d like to see the linesmen get it right all the time. That’s sports, and sometimes not everything goes how you’d like it. That is what provides the drama we crave so much as sports bettors and fans.
The replay numbers are up in the NFL too. This one will be a separate topic of it’s own when the NFL regular season gets a little closer. The biggest question may be, will we finally determine what a catch is this year?
I lost a big bet a last year when a touchdown was taken back. It was on a play when everyone in the room thought it was a catch. This is when replay leaves a bad taste in your mouth. When it seems the wrong decision was made after waiting 5 minutes to hear the call.
Momentum is a strong force in sports. It can be the difference in putting a team away and caving under pressure at the end. Instant replay simply cannot be used as a stall tactic. Especially when teams feel like they need a standing-eight count to stop momentum.
This is a touchy subject, with large camps on both sides of this debate. Sure we want to see them get the call right.There needs to be a line drawn somewhere so instant replay isn’t the primary factor determining a game’s outcome.