Posted by: thescoundrel | August 26, 2008

Baseball Set to Utilize Instant Replay Cameras on Boundary Calls

According to an article by Ronald Blum, Baseball will unveil its long rumored version of Instant Replay cameras this Thursday. The cameras will be used to confirm fair or foul umpire calls on homeruns and to determine if baseballs did or did not clear the outfield fences. I think I can live with that.

Okay I am hot and cold about Instant Replay, especially in Major league Baseball. Baseball, by nature, is a leisurely sport that can last several hours. One person once put it to me –> as the only sport where they cram fifteen minutes of action into a two to three-hour span. Okay, so it is not the Indy 500, I understand that –> But I still love the sport! It allows me plenty of time to drink Mt. Dew and Munch on Peanuts in the Shell. (None of that dry roasted pre-shelled garbage for me during the game.) I am hoping that the Instant Replay on Homeruns is a positive move by MLB. There have been numerous questionable home run calls over the history of the game. I am holding my overall decision about Instant Replay in Baseball until I see how much it infiltrates the game. Baseball has a lot of close play events during games because it requires snap decisions that are mostly made correct by the Umpires. But if Instant Replay were to infiltrate too many areas of the games the game tempo could go from blinding turtle speed to a snails pace. I think rather than get too hung up on Instant Replay that MLB should use electronic technology to improve the way umpires can actually make a call. Though homeruns are probably the sexiest attraction in MLB. There are other areas where mistakes are more common. The biggest problems are not homerun calls but the strike zone, close calls at first base, stolen base calls and checked swings. After watching replays of questionable calls during televised games, the questionable calls that players/managers think the umpires miss, would probably not be overturned very often. Most of the time the Umpires do a great job. However I also think that ESPN has has displayed that ball-strike calls could use a technology update in some form since their unveiling of K-Zone. That is another place high-tech might actually make a difference without slowing the game down. I personally think the game would be better off with a strategically placed camera focused in on home plate and the batter where a fifth umpire could sit and watch a video monitor of the pitch. They could probably even build in some sort of electronics that would allow the umpire, from inside a booth, to dial in a 3D strike zone for each different batter giving him an image of the pitch like ESPN’s K-Zone. It’s just a thought but with technology advancements a setup similar to K-Zone might actually take some of the contention out the balls vs. strikes calls which is a far bigger problem than homerun call mistakes. Not only would it give a more accurate strike zone it would help the pitchers and hitters get a better command of the strike zone. I think it is something positive that could and should be done to take away some of the guesswork at the plate.

Chicago Cubs play the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at 6:05 CDT on WGN TV and Radio! Big Z is on the mound. Would Cubs management please hire a burly 300+ lb security agent to rip the baseball bat out of his hands when Big Z strikes out! One of these days Big Z is going to put himself on the disabled list breaking his bats over his thighs after he strikes out. Big Z on the disabled list over a childish event of bat breaking would be far more costly to the team than hiring someone to take his bat out of his hands before his rage gets the best of him. 😥



  1. Some of the posts on this blog are not like the others.

    Good to see Zambrano get rocked again, despite the offense getting him off the hook (again). He can kiss the Cy Young goodbye, but more worrisome for the Cubs has to be this recent trend with him. They’ll need ace in a short playoff series. Ted Lilly aint it.

  2. You see what you want to see, everyone does. That is life. We all see things through our own life experiences.

    Actually for a four man playoff rotation the Cubs are set pretty good for the playoffs. Most teams would love to have a Ted Lilly as a number four pitcher.

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