Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Instant replays in baseball would instantly ruin the play

Unlike American football, where replays have been largely successful for more than a decade, baseball is not neatly interrupted.

The blown call made by Jerry Meals, the home plate umpire, coming as it did in the bottom of the 19th inning of a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves last week, had two unfortunate effects.

First, it wrongly gave the Braves a win which they did not deserve. Almost as troubling, it also gave rise to a renewed call for expanded use of instant replays in baseball.

The former, unfortunate though it may be, nothing can be done about. But the demand for increased instant replays is wrong-headed, and baseball would be wise to continue using them only in very limited applications.

If the game listens to the wrong voices, it could make a mistake. Unlike American football, where replays have been largely successful for more than a decade, baseball is not neatly interrupted.

In American football, a single play is isolated. It starts, stops, and there is a break in action.

A single baseball play is more complicated. With the bases loaded, for example, a ball hit to the outfield sends four runners in motion, plus several defenders, all at different parts of the field. If a call is missed on one runner, it directly impacts them all.

What if a double-play is made based on an incorrect first call - would an umpire erase the first out without erasing the second?

These and other scenarios should serve as a reminder that expanded replays, though a popular response to umpiring mistakes, can be its own slippery slope.

sports@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 An tenant in the Al Barsha area of Dubai has been sent a non-renewable contract by the landlord. Randi Sokoloff / The National

Dubai landlord refuses to pay back Rera fees after losing rent case

Keren Bobker helps a tenant who wants to know how to reclaim his RERA case fees and who has also been sent a contract with a “one-year nonrenewable” note.

 A Brabus Mercedes 6x6 Sports Utility Vehicle is readied for display during Auto China 2014 in Beijing, on April 20. Adrian Bradshaw / EPA

In pictures: Auto China 2014 exhibition

Leading automakers have gathered in Beijing for the kickoff of China’s biggest car show, but lacklustre growth and environmental restrictions in the world’s largest car market have thrown uncertainty into the mix. More than 1,100 vehicles are being showcased.

 A customer looks at a large mock-up of videogame console Game Boy.  Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP Photo

Nintendo’s Game Boy at 25: hand-held legacy lives on

Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks its 25th anniversary Monday with the portable device’s legacy living on in cutting-edge smartphone games and among legions of nostalgic fans.

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 A projectionist takes a break in the projection room at Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan. Going to the movies, once banned under the Taliban, has become a popular form of entertainment in Kabul, but women and children rarely take part. All photos by Photo by Jonathan Saruk / Reportage by Getty Images

Afghan cinema: Forbidden Reel

The lights go down and the projector whirls into action as Sher Mohammed, 35, begins his routine, bouncing back and forth between two projectors, winding reels, and adjusting the carbon arc lamps inside the projectors.

 Business class seats inside the Emirates Airbus A380. Chip East / Reuters

In it for the long haul: flying 16 hours with Emirates to LA

Our executive travel reviewer tries out the business class offering on Emirates' longest A380 route - and finds time passing quickly.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National