The Red Ball Review
In light of the "perfect game" pitched by Armando Galarraga (see the video of the bad call below), is it time for Major League baseball to invest in the instant replay to review close plays?
I say, "Yes, but on a limited basis." Balls and strikes should ever be subject to review. Just about everything else in the game can reasonably be reviewed to get the call right. Jeff Leadbetter's article, How Major League Baseball Could Implement Instant Replay… Right Now, reflects most of my point of view. I differ with him on a few matters: balks and catcher interference need to be reviewable. Five minutes for review is way too long. Baseball doesn't run with a clock, but let's give the umpires no more than 120 seconds to rule. Jeff Leadbetter's system of limiting the manager to the number of reviews per game makes sense. Let's allow for the addition of one additional, non-cumulative Red Ball Replay for extra innings.
Here's my idea that is uniquely baseball. Instead of a reg flag like football, I propose the use of an offical red baseball ball being tossed onto the diamond to call for a review of a play. The manager would toss the red ball in the general area between home plate and the pitcher's mound before the pitcher starts his motion for the next pitch.
The Red Ball Review would add a measure of excitement
and anticipation to the game. One of the side benefits of the Red Ball Review instant replay option is that it might just speed up the game because it discourages much of the managers' posturing with umpires on disputed calls. Now they have to think before they burst onto the field in protest because they actually have an option other than being two inches from the umps face yelling and spitting. This option remains, but it gives the Manager a true means to resolve the egregious errors by the umpire crew.
If the Red Ball Review rule were in effect, then Mr. Galarraga would be
in the record books as one who threw a perfect game. Finally, I don't advocate that Armando Galarraga be awarded a perfect game. I do advocate baseball learn from it and add the Red Ball Review.
On-Purpose Persons of the Week Award
Yes, the record books will never reflect his "perfect game," but what we all witnessed from this historic baseball event was the behavior of two perfect gentlemen. Character endures, accomplishments diminish over time. Mr. Galarraga and Mr. Joyce (the umpire) will, in fact, long and best be remembered more for being models of behavior in this instance outside the lines than perhaps more anything that takes places within the foul lines. That's why I'm making both of them my On-Purpose Persons of the Week!
Tell me what you think of the Red Ball Review rule:
Please use the comments section below. If you really like the idea, please share this post with friends and fans using the Share button above. Best of all, write to Major League Baseball and ask for the Red Ball Review rule.
Mr. Bud Selig, Commissioner,
Major League Baseball, 245 Park Ave., 31st Fl., New York, NY 10167
Phone: 212-931-7800, Fax: 212-949-8636, Toll Free: 866-800-1275