Apparently Braves president John Schuerholz was a member of the replay committee who came up with this new challenge system.
It makes sense that Schuerholz would be part of this committee–everyone remembers that “infield fly” right? Right.
But I do think it’s a bit disappointing that a smart guy like Schuerholz had these things to say about the challenge system:
“We believe this will be very impactful and very, very meaningful and useful for all sides,” Schuerholz said. “Managers will have a new tool that they’ll have to learn how to use.”
“We want to prevent stalling,” Schuerholz said. “If it’s a reviewable play, he (the manager) has to tell the umpires he’s going to review it.”
“We know we have to prepare people for this,” Schuerholz said. “Everyone is embracing it. We believe managers will in time.”
Like Craig Calcaterra has said on Hardball Talk, it shouldn’t be the manager’s job to determine if a call was made correctly or incorrectly, that–quite literally–is the job description of MLB umpires. Here is a bit of what Calcaterra said in his column:
I want ALL calls that are missed being corrected, not just some. I want baseball and its umpires working to make sure the calls are correct — not managers — because it is their responsibility to get calls right in the first place. I want a fifth ump in the booth who can watch plays on video in real time and call down to his crew-mates if a mistake is made. Short of that I want a guy in a control center in New York who can, effectively, do the same thing. The key is for umpires to get collaborative, constructive assistance in getting things right, not to be challenged — literally challenged — when they make a mistake.
Both of the options that Calcaterra mentions in that paragraph would be better replay systems than the currently proposed challenge system. It would minimize the time spent going over the replay, it would mean more plays got corrected (instead of potentially just three), and it would mean the manager could do his job while the umpires could do their’s.
Heck, it could even allow up to 32 more umpires to have MLB jobs, which I think is a great thing.
What I think of every time I hear people talking and writing about this instant replay system is what good ol’ Dolorus Umbridge said a long time ago:
“Progress for the sake of progress must be discouraged.”
Don’t be dumber than Dolorous Mr. Selig.
Just because everyone is clamoring to get replay in the MLB doesn’t mean you just throw something out there to pacify people. Take the time to get it right and make sure the system is as good a fit for the game as possible. Unfortunately this time, Bud Selig seems to be doing just that, and John Schuerholz is right behind him.
What do you guys think about the replay system? What kind of system would you prefer? Or do you wish there was no replay at all?