‘Under Review’ Overdo
Perhaps the most apt analogy I can produce is this:
“Replay = Fed Gov”.
Despite everything we’ve seen with instant replay – i.e., what a fiasco it is, how inefficient it is, and how it fails to meet its original intent (as favorite columnist Phil Mushnick often points out in his NY Post column), the only solution the people who run professional sports can come up with is MORE replay. Sounds like the Federal Government, doesn’t it? Any program that fails is simply the result of there not being enough of it. Hence, every solution proposed is “more of this program – i.e., more spending, larger/broader role of government, etc.”
Now, here’s what I consider to be the dumbest part. You, as the MLB manager, get one challenge (though you can ask the umpire to review calls of their own volition in an unlimited fashion). However, if you use your lone manager’s challenge and the call is overturned, you get to keep your challenge and use it again later (though only once).
That’s like saying you get one timeout, and after you use your timeout, depending on what happens during your timeout, you might not get charged a timeout.
Baseball already has long had the problem of “unmanageable” (as YES broadcaster Michael Kay dubbed them) game durations. Now, we’re going to, in effect, give managers and umpires the ability to review ad infinitum – though the manager is limited to two challenges, he can lobby the umps after the 7th inning to review other questionable calls.
This essentially removes the aspect in which a manager would have to make the tough decision of whether he wants to use his one challenge per game at a certain point in time. Instead, as long as he is completely convinced the call will be overturned, he can challenge away – knowing he’s not taking too big a risk of losing his challenge ability later.
Meanwhile, one guy on Twitter had it right today. He wrote something to the effect of, “Who’s ready for Yankees-Red Sox with thousands of replay challenges added?”
And, while following #Yankees during last night’s New York Yankees-Houston Astros affair, a replay stoppage was conducted to double check that the 3-1 count on batter Yangervis Solarte was accurate.
That prompted fellow Yankee aficionado “Joey D” to send this irreverent Tweet (click on image to enlarge):
The above exchange illustrates the lunacy of instant replay and the fans’ reaction to the incessant delays they produce.
Yet, the geniuses in charge of professional sports – after everything we’ve already witnessed with the NFL and stoppage after replay stoppage – can only envision implementations involving the expansion of instant replay usage. Never will anyone suggest to scale it back.
In other words, the prevailing mentality is: “If it ain’t broke, fix it.”
To stick with my original analogy, I’d suggest that professional sports is in dire need of a Tea Party movement.
I mean, if this is what it takes to “get it right” then I guess I want to be wrong.
Somebody stop the madness!
UPDATE: the aforementioned and often-mentioned (on this site) Phil Mushnick agrees with my analogy. See his column, hot off the presses, here. (Thanks for the nod! Maybe we’ll pick up a few readers.)