Major League Baseball’s instant replay system is flawed. But there’s a simple solution that could appease everybody and bring the game into the 21st century.
MLB needs to add one umpire to every crew. The five umpires in the crew could rotate with home plate umpire from the previous game sitting in a booth monitoring replays.
It is a simple solution and there are several reasons why it is infinitely better than the current system.
Speeds up the process:
The current system used by Major League Baseball is horrific. The umpires huddle on the field to decide if they will look at a replay. Three umpires then have to jog off the field into a room where they may not even have the same replays available to them as the fans have at home.
It is a painfully slow process that doesn’t need to be. With an umpire up in a booth, he can be looking at all available replays even before the umps on the field decide to use them. The umps can then communicate directly with the booth, make a quick decision, and get the game going again.
The umpires will approve the move:
Umpires hate instant replay because they don’t want to be second-guessed, and they don’t want to feel like a video is doing their job. They also don’t want the job of making calls on the field put in the hands of somebody that is not an umpire.
With this system, not only are the calls still being made by the crew, but the umpires’ union gets to add 15 more jobs.
In addition, the umpires would get a game off the field after having to work behind home plate, a job that is far more gruelling than most fans understand.
According to reports, a first-year umpire makes approximately $120,000. That’s $1.8 million for 15 additional umpires. That’s a middle reliever. And that cost is spread over 30 teams at about $60,000 per team.
Plain and simple, it is a cheap solution to make the game better.
But is MLB willing to change?
Ultimately, the biggest problem is that MLB, as they always do, tried too hard to make everybody happy and ended up with a system that nobody likes. And until baseball stops trying to cater to the delicate sensibilities of the traditionalist fans, it will continue to remain in the dark ages.
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