FanPost

Why doesn't baseball use more technology in officiating? I can't think of a good reason


The whole argument against the increased use of technology in baseball officiating is completely absurd.  It generally consists of two “points”.  First, blown calls are “part of the game”.  Second, the game is already too long. 

 

The first point clearly has no validity at all:  there was a time when gangrene infections, surgery without anesthetic and water-borne illnesses like cholera were “just a part of life”.  So, when scientists/engineers/doctors figured out ways of eliminating those problems, was humanity supposed to ignore their solutions because these aforementioned problems were “just a part of life”?  Of course not!  The same is true here.  Yes, umpire mistakes are a part of the game, but they are a bad part of the game, a problem with the game.  If the technology exists to mitigate this problem, then it should be used, plain and simple unless it negatively impacts the game in some other way.

 

Would increased use of technology negatively impact the game somehow?  The most prevalent argument is that it would slow the game down.  Is that even true?  Balls/strikes could be called electronically at the same speed with which an umpire does so.  The technology is already used in tennis; it could easily be adapted to baseball.  How about reviews of calls in the field (safe or out)?  Assuming that we can’t automate that (and we may well be able to – but let’s leave that aside), we are left with review/replay.  People point to the NFL (and its archaic replay system) as evidence that review, by necessity, causes large delays in the pace of a sporting event.  However, I believe that the majority of the delay time comes from the inefficient manner in which replays are performed in the NFL.  First, the head coach has to wait for a replay to be shown on the scoreboard (or broadcast) in order to decide if he should challenge the call, then officials waddle off the field in order to look at monitors, put on a headset, look at a bunch of different angles in slow motion and then waddle back onto the field to announce their decision.  Much easier would be to have one umpire in the press box watching the game on HD TVs with all the different angles right in front of him and have that review ump decide what gets reviewed and handle it all himself.  This is what they do in a number of NCAA football conferences and it is far less disruptive than reviews in the NFL.  There is already a sizable pause between pitches in MLB, during which time decisions could be made about what to replay – and the revision decision itself could be made during that pause in many cases.  I can’t imagine this adding more than 5 minutes to the average game.  3 hours versus 3 hours and 5 minutes is probably not even a detectable pace difference.

 

For me the conclusion is inescapable, and I have been a proponent of this for over a decade, technology should be used.  Umpire mistakes make the game worse and MLB should be doing everything in its power to give us, the fans, the best possible product.  The arguments against increased use of technology don’t hold much water in my opinion.



This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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