No more selling a play to an ump, there's a new sheriff in town and he's digital!
The game of baseball is changing forever in 2014.
Gone are the days when an umpire makes a ruling on the field, that it actually means something.
It used to be that when a call was made on the field, right or sometimes wrong, that call usually stood. A close play at first base, a shoestring catch, a ball that just looked foul. Those days are probably gone forever from a game that practically lived on those calls. Professional Baseball in the MLB is the last of the major sports in America where the call of a human being usually was good enough to stand up.
Yes, over the years there have been plenty of reason for an examination of whether or not using cameras for instant replay will indeed help a game like baseball get it right.
This instant reply opens a lot of questions, maybe more questions that the problems that it will solve. Namely, whenever there was a close play on the field, it almost certainly wasn't shown on the stadium jumbotron TV, whether it favored the home team or the away team. It's usually never done at most stadiums, now all that will probably change. Can you say that a stadium of fans shouldn't be able to watch a challenged replay on a play that the manager throws a flag on? The baseball fans have payed good money, to drive to a stadium, pay a lot of money to park, get into the ballpark and eat an overpriced hotdog and soda, and now they won't even see replays on challenged plays? You have to wonder how this will play out.
Think of the poor umpires that are involved in this now, they become instant mocking targets from fans if the play is determined to be not in the hometown team's favor, or even if a play is deemed right for the home town crowd, it's the umps that will suffer.
All baseball talked about during the last few years is how to speed this game of baseball up a little. Now, in the year 2014, it's all about slowing it down. Adding many minutes time to a game just so there can be a call made and by whom will it be made, the baseball gods in New York? The Commissioner of Replays, perhaps or will it still be a call by local umps that have to huddle down in the clubhouse and figure it all out.
Baseball could have done this years ago, they didn't choose to then, why are they choosing it now? The game of baseball existed for over 100 years without the meddlesome hands of instant replay but that will all change in 2014, will it become the season of discontent with fans, players, and umps alike?