Instant replay improves the ballgame

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Game seven of the 2014 World Series was a historical one. The San Francisco Giants won the first ever instant replay challenge in a World Series.

It came at an important time of the game. In the third inning a close play at first base was overturned to give the Giants not only the out but the momentum in the game as well.

“The most important thing is to make sure the umpires make the right call,” said Marty Silmak, head baseball coach at California Lutheran University. “Instant replay was put in to prevent missed calls made by umpires. This gives both teams a fair chance.”

For years now baseball has been played with human error being a part of the game. Umpires cannot always make the right call. It wasn’t until the 2014 season that instant replay was introduced to the game of baseball which has greatly helped the game.

“The most important thing is that everyone wants the calls to be made correctly. The umpires in the Major Leagues are incredible at their jobs, but they are still human. Instant replay gets the call right in the very closest of plays,” Boston Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway said.

Before this past season umpires had a lot of pressure on them to make the right call on the spot. This is not an easy job with the fans letting you know if you made a bad call. Umpires have just as much pressure on them as the players, they play a big roll on the outcome of the game. One bad call can alter the game.

In 2010 Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game. According to wiHe had retired 26 batters in a row. The 27th batter to come to the plate and was called safe on a missed call by the umpire. The batter was clearly out by a full step but the instant replay rule was not in effect at the time.

This is an example of an umpire making the wrong call and changing history. Galarraga would have been only the 21st pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game.

The next day the umpire came out and announced to the public that he had messed the call up but that does not change the fact that he had taken away a perfect game from Galarraga.

Now each team is given one challenge to start the game. If the team wins their challenge they will be given a second. Each team will get no more than two challenges even if they are both won.

According to baseballsavant.com, 47 percent of plays that were challenged were overturned, a total of 608 plays. Mistakes are made by the umpires and instant replay is there to help them make the right call.

“Instant replay in the Major Leagues has helped the game tremendously. Umpires are able to get the call right on the field. At the collegiate level we get umpires who miss calls but we do not have instant replay to go back and review the play,” Slimak said.

Some people say that the instant replay challenge takes too long and ruins the game of baseball.

What team would not have the right call made on the field no matter how long it took to get it right? Baseball is one of the last sports to add instant replay challenges.

“There is instant replay in football and even basketball for certain plays. Fans and players alike would not put up with questionable calls not having the ability to be reviewed. Instant replay was a beneficial and necessary addition to the Major League game,” Lavarnway said.

 

Chris Whitmer

Published November 12, 2014