Monday, January 20, 2014

Replaying America's Pastime

"The one constant through all the years, has been baseball."

A memorable quote in the greatest baseball movie of all-time, Field of Dreams, by James Earl Jones where I get shivers every single time. It's the one "constant," the stopping of the motion of the game shouldn't be decided by replay or the re watching of what happened in the split second by taking a second look or another angle. The game was predicated on the split second decisions of what was the right call. Mistakes happen in life and what happens in baseball should emulate what happens in life. Baseball is the game of life; not everything is going to go your way even though some things are clearly terrible, but that is life.

On January 16th, Major League Baseball instituted a rule where managers will be allowed to challenge potentially two plays throughout the course of a game (guaranteed one, but two if they get the first one right). This will be instituted as a one year trial for major league baseball, but could be expanded for more years if it goes well this upcoming season. Plays that can be challenged will be Home Runs, Ground Rule Doubles, Fan Interference, Boundary calls, Force Plays, Tag plays, Fair/Foul (outfield only), Trap Plays (outfield only), Hit by pitch plays, Timing Plays (Runner scoring before 3rd out), Touching Base with appeal, Passing runners, and Record keeping (Ball-strike count, outs, score, & subs).

Thank god they are not allowing the strike zone to be challenged or foul balls on the infield, but the one that gets to me the most, the Force Plays. How can you have a play that is in the essence of the game challengable? So many force plays will be challenged this year you won't know what to do with yourself. Granted, I think it's a step in the right direction to help umpires get the call ultimately right, it's going to take away from the tradition of the game and slow down the process the game takes to matriculate through time. Baseball is a game based upon the human element and the more that is structured through instant replay and the more technology is implemented into the game, the less value the game will have over time.

I know I'm supporting the old man argument here in saying that the game is going to whittle down into a game where robots determine the strike zone, but that's the path we are heading towards with the way technology is today. I want to emphasize to people who read this blog that baseball truthfully blossoms when the game has less technology, hence why it's hard to watch on TV half the time because it is not the same than it is in person. When you watch the game in person, you notice the bad calls, but you're not bombarded with instant replays showing them constantly, you move on and keep a mental note. When watching baseball on TV, you get constantly reminded and shown all that could have been, then what is laid out in front of you. Keeping the game simple and how it's been since the 1800's isn't what I'm asking for, I just don't want the game we love to turn into this "need to get it right" mentality because the design of this sport was not built upon perfection. It was built upon the mold that the human element has it's flaws and baseball does too.

I just don't want instant replay ruining that notion that this game was built to be perfect. The flaw of baseball and the way of life have always been a "constant" to go hand in hand. Hence why James Earl Jones's quote should be kept in the lure of baseball history forever. CLICK LINK!

Don't let this game turn into robots making the calls. Let the human element speak for itself.

I'll see you all next week with my Super Bowl 48 Prediction Blog! Listen to the Radio Show that Martin Elm and I do on Mondays and Wednesday (Speed Hump Sports) at 8 PM Pacific Time. 

No comments:

Post a Comment