Here’s a list of situations that Instant Replay may be helpful:
-Strike 3 and Ball 4: Disputing every pitch will definitely slow the game down. Strike Zones aren’t always the same. They are also specific to each individual umpire. On strike 3 or ball 4, however, the zone should be consistent and a challenge should be allowed on borderline pitches and blatent bad calls should be checked by the “extra official” watching the close ups. This also might help check swing disputes.
-Bunts Fair/Foul: This one is more about whether or not the ball hits the batter or enters the field of play. It would also be helpful for swinging and “accidental bunts”.
-Plays at the plate: This should be fairly obvious. Every Run is important. Safe or Out can be the difference between W and L so, should be a priority.
-Outfield Fair/Foul: Most of the time, the outfield umpires make the effort to get to fly balls down the line. It wouldn’t hurt to give them a little help on the deeper line drives. Stopping or continuing play as it happens might be difficult.
I’ve weighed the options. Both sides of the argument make valid points regarding the issue of instant replay in Major League Baseball.
Some believe that this could slow the game down. The NFL and NBA take time outs for officials to watch replays. This does take time.
I subscribe to the “extra man” idea regarding instant replay. When this game and its rules was invented there was nowhere near the type of technology that exists today.
Slow motion and replays will be valuable but, with the advanced camera work on the field we have now, an umpire paying attention to the play via a close-up can overturn a missed call almost immediately.
If there is any doubt, technical crews can show multiple angles of replays quickly. With proper communication the right call can be made relatively fast.
The key won’t be so much the replay itself but, in knowing when to overturn calls. This game is an imperfect one. Like the strike zone, the umpires’ “styles” will vary so, the matter of opinion will exist.
I believe it’s important to allow the umpires enough respect to make their own calls. Instant replay should be helpful without dominating the game itself.
In the future, these theories can be expanded to player statistics; RBI vs E, SB, BA, etc.