Balls and Strikes now Challengeable: MLBPA Reports
Report- In midst of the new challenge plays in major league baseball, Commissioner Bud Selig has now confirmed that managers will have the ability to debate ball and strike calls throughout the game. In such a case, the confronting manager will ask the home plate umpire for a replay review. Both managers will then take out the folding table and chairs tucked in the backstop behind home plate, sit down, and have a debate on whether or not the pitch was a ball or strike. To facilitate the debate, Major League Baseball will have an official member from the New York replay center in attendance at every game. At the end of the debate, the New York official will confer with the umpire crew chief, tally up points, and decide who they think won the debate. Selig has stressed the importance that both managers understand the opposing side to the argument. “We don’t want the debate to last more than 10 minutes.” Selig said. “If each manager goes into the debate mindful of the opposition’s point of views then we can resolve the situation much more quickly.”
Obviously it is not ideal for every pitch to be debated during the game, so Selig and the MLBPA have established that each manager is only allowed to initiate seven pitch call debates each game. This could potentially result in 14 debates. After further assessment of players and fans views of the new replay system, Selig felt like this was the best solution. He noted that when looking at Major League Baseball’s fan base, there were older fans who value the original system of human error, and there are those who want every single call to be correct. “You want to make everyone happy, but in the end you have to do what is best for baseball.” Selig said. Older fans no doubt remember the managerial eruptions by Lou Pinella and Bobby Cox after a call did
not go their team’s way. The new system gives such fans an opportunity to watch these kinds of spectacles, but in a more civilized fashion. In fact, Pinella has shown keen interest in signing a contract with the New York officiating office to facilitate all nationally broadcast games on ESPN. Cox on the other hand, mentioned in explicit terms something along the lines of a cow dumping pies into a donkey’s mouth that then spewed out this joke of a sport that baseball has become. So even among the older, nostalgic baseball fans this is a questionable decision. As for those sticklers of the “right” call, the system ensures that the correct ball or strike call is made, and everyone will go home happy knowing that baseball did everything in their power to make absolutely certain that their children were treated fairly.
In another five years baseball is planning on installing lasers in the batter’s box and base baths to track the ball and make indisputable calls. Umpires have already begun to search for other job opportunities as health inspectors and little league coaches.