Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Instant Replay Reviews - Will Substantial Delays Be the Norm?

It didn’t take long for Major League Baseball to test out their new instant replay system today.  For the Dodgers and Angels, it took a whole half an inning for the system to be challenged when Mike Trout was called out at the plate after he attempted to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park homer.  If what happened today is any indication of what we are to expect with the replay challenge, we are in for some long games this season.

Joe Torre is MLB's representative that spearheaded the current new replay policy.

A total of a minute and 12 seconds passed while the umpire crew chief communicated with MLB’s official in New York who reviewed the play.  Add to that the original rhubarb that Scioscia had with umpires (a minute and ten seconds), and then the  post-replay review explanation to both managers (another 50 seconds). The whole process delayed the game by about four minutes. 

I’m all for getting calls right, but not at the extent of substantial game delays.  There is a better way to conduct the replay review, and a review from 3,000 miles away seems to be quite troublesome.  There’s the crowd noise and the audio connection issue problem.  Why not have the fifth umpire that does reviews on site at the ballpark and within walking distance to the umpiring crew?  It would speed up the communication process in my opinion.

Four minute delays are lengthy.  That’s longer than between inning warmups even if you add in the 7th inning stretch and two verses of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”  The game is already long enough with the late inning double switches and one out specialist pitching changes that are so common now.

As much as Bud Selig wants to increase the popularity of the game, slowing it down with additional delays isn’t the way to do it.  Replays are a step in the right direction in an effort to get calls right but implementing replay review without substantial delays is problematic.  I’ve got a feeling that this change in procedure will have its share of snags this season.  

Review that NFL refs conduct is not an option for MLB umps.  Should they have a say in the review decision?

Hopefully the delays are simply growing pains and they’ll get the process speeded up as the season goes on.  Just like the NFL, right?


  1. Yes, you are right Evan - just like the NFL. lol.

  2. Oh boy another reason to DVR the game and fast forward through the commericals and time delays. Just start recording the game at the start and about 30 to 40 minutes into the game start watching the recording from the beginning. Generally speaking the time you save by fast forwarding through the meaningless parts you should be able to see the whole game and if the timing is correct you should end the DVR recording at just about the same time the game is actually ending thus saving about 40 minutes of nothing TV !!

  3. What's that you say Harold ?? What's a DVR ??