Baseball to Seriously Consider Expanded Replay for 2014
Now, now, settle down. Before you get all excited, just remember that the A’s have been looking for a place to move to since roughly Bill Clinton came to office, but this is still good news.
The new czars of replay recommendations are now Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, and John Schuerholz and, in addition to looking at the kinds of systems employed by tennis and the NFL, are investigating the possiblity of having a fifth umpire in the booth and giving umpires headsets to wear.
The fifth umpire and not a challenge system has been the one I’ve long championed as the point of expanding replay is not to create another layer of strategy, with managers trying to mete out their challenges, but to get the calls right. Having a fifth ump who is only watching video footage can only aid in that regard.
To top it all off, if umpires are given headsets, perhaps finally fans will know what’s going on during bizarre stoppages on the field. Too often I’ve been at games where a play is called off, runners are re-arranged on the bases, and it’s up to a search of my Twitter feed to find out what has happened on the field.
I understand how difficult the umpire’s job is and I think they do a good job 95% of the time. Utilizing the technology we now have, we can make that number inch that much closer to 100.