Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baseball Instant Replay: A Look One Year Later by SportsJudge's First-to-Third

In baseball's year of using replay, under half of the reviewed plays resulted in umpire calls being overturned. Umpires have overruled themselves 18 out of 48 times replay has been used since the first use of replay upheld an Alex Rodriguez home run on September 3, 2008. For a game that isn't known for embracing change, baseball's integration of instant replay has gone surprisingly well.

Baseball purists lobbied against the implementation of replay, arguing that a slow game would become even slower. After reviewing many uses of instant replay, each use of replay required the umpires to leave the field for under five minutes. Another predicted criticism of replay would be that it would lead to calls for increased uses of replay. Would managers ask for a red flag to throw to review a close play at first base, like the NFL? Did the second baseman or shortstop really touch second base on that double play turn (probably not)? Thankfully, for those purists, that hasn't been the case. What we have seen, however, is the effective use of technology by a game that stands close to its traditional roots. Close calls are reviewed, the call is made correct if it wasn't already, and the game continues. What more can fans ask for?

MLB.com's history of replay use.

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Marc Edelman said...

18/48 seems like a high rate for overruling a call. I assume the rate in football is far lower.

I take this to mean foremost that umpires limit the review to cases where it is most needed.

Mike Colligan said...

Although dated, these stats would be comparable as far as the NFL is concerned since they only include booth-initiated replays:


40/168 comes to 23.8% as opposed to the 37.5% (18/48) in baseball so I think you are right.

Rob Burckhard said...

So will there be a time when umpires think they need a review at first base on a close play... or home plate?