On the surface you might think everything is good with professional sports especially now that we are sort of in the post-pandemic period.  In truth COVID-19 was a distraction from all that has and is ruining pro sports and the list is a long one.  However I’m focused on one specific item that has just wrecked watching games whether on TV or in person and that is video replay.

The system has never been perfect but usually in the end the consolation was they got the call right.  That is no longer the case.  As bad as it is in football and basketball (and it is) what is driving me out of my mind in the replay abuse in baseball. It’s almost laughable that MLB officials talk about efforts to speed up the game and then you sit through one in which the umpires seemingly spend as much time on the headsets as they do behind the plate and on the bases.  It is pure agony.

Baseball is full of bang-bang plays, especially at first base.  It’s bad enough that the umps blow so many calls that necessitate replay but what makes it even worse is that despite it often being pretty clear replay officials often don’t overturn the call.  I guess they don’t want the men in black to look bad but it is baffling.

Before replay games were decided by missed calls but for decade’s baseball touted the human element and the truth was the umps got it right 95% of the time even without seeing it from all angles and in slow motion.  I have watched way too many games this season in which the already slow pace of play was brought to a complete stop time and time again by replays…many of which are not necessary.

Baseball is completely deaf when it comes to making the right decisions…how bad have they blown the pitchers “sticky stuff” thing?  You want to know part of the reason the game is so slow and young people turn away…replay.  So my suggestion in the off-season is to refine the rule, limit each team to one challenge per game and allow umpire reviews only on home runs and foul balls and let’s move on before the fans that are left will move away.

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