It's been a rough October for the umpires so far, as several calls have been missed - and not just by those pesky outfield umpires.
Some have called for the expansion of instant replay, but anyone who has seen The Matrix knows that machines can take over any minute. Those who watche the American League will tell you baseball games are long enough. Where's the compromise? How about taking a page out of the NFL's book and giving the managers a challenge flag and a set amount of challenges per game. I'm a purist, so I don't agree with this at all, but let's have some fun.
I tell you what, baseball loves this idea of a series. The Reds will play a three game series against the Pirates in May (and no one will show up!). Why not give managers three "challenges" per series (or four for a four game set). Dusty Baker can use all three in one game or none at all (they won't carry over... this isn't rollover minutes, people). Baker can challenge boundary calls just like the umpires can now. The umps can also review a play on their own - managers can't provoke this without using a "challenge." He can't challenge balls and strikes, but maybe he can challenge a close play at first base. How would that change the game? Would we really be worse off then? Would games be officiated more accurately? Would the pace of play slow to a halt?
Photo Credit: BizofBaseball.com