Fixing the MLB Replay System

by | Apr 15, 2021 | Baseball

MLB Replay

Major League Baseball caught some serious heat over the last week because the MLB replay system, which has always seemed a bit flawed, made a couple more horrendous mess ups. 

The biggest issue came when Phillies runner Alec Bohm failed to touch home plate on his ninth-inning slide. But was called safe on the field and replay officials allowed the call to stand. It was the deciding run a 7-6 win for the Phillies. It was something that as a Braves fan you have all the right in the world to be pissed off about. 

Player Reactions to MLB Replay System

Players and people all around baseball absolutely popped off after the blunder, clearly upset that this is still such an issue despite the replay system being in tact for quite a few years now. Before we get into some possible ways to fix the MLB replay system, here are some of the reactions. 

Will Middlebrooks: “How do you watch that replay and say he’s safe. Hahaha this is a joke.”

Justin Turner: “Absolutely brutal, saw two angles that were clear he never touched the plate and we get a call stands? I’m with everyone else, what’s the point of replay?”

Rich Eisen: “The dreadful live call in the Phillies/Braves game and the ensuing replay emoji shrug to uphold it is made far worse by the fact that MLB umps are not required to explain their call “after further review” to the crowd and, thus, home audience like NFL, NBA and NHL refs all are.”

Drew Smyly: “We have five different angles on a national televised game, and it’s clear that his foot didn’t touch the plate. That it was on the chalk. For MLB not to overturn that, it’s embarrassing. Why even have replay if you won’t overturn that?”

I happen to agree with all these things and especially Smyly who currently pitches for the Braves. It really doesn’t make sense that in a game that has more TV angles than any other game typically does, they are somehow able to still get it wrong. On top of that, the fact that no one has to come out and explain why that was the call was made is really what makes it even worse. On top of that, replay has been made worse by the length of the reviews. When it was first announced, baseball said it would be under a minute to review and that just hasn’t been the case. 

Potential Solutions

In order to fix it, the league needs to establish a much quicker pace to these reviews and way more transparency. I also think that someone needs to be in the stadium who is reviewing these calls. To send these crucial moments to a person sitting inside a building in New York that is not experiencing how crucial that moment is of the game seems atrocious to me. These officials should also be able to judge things like whether or not a player leaned into a pitch or whether or not, foul tips, and infield fly rule. 

By: Matt Lively