Today, MLB commissioner Bud Selig announced on ESPN Radio in New York that MLB would expand the use of instant replay. Selig said that the new instant replays would be instituted on fair/foul calls down the outfield lines and on trapped balls to see whether or not they were actually caught for an out. This implementation is easy enough.
We will see umpires more than likely lean towards to calling close plays down the line fair balls and letting the game play out. If they’re wrong it can be reviewed and changed into a foul ball. It would be easier than calling a ball foul and have it actually being fair. Trap plays are already written into the rule book that the umpires can place batters where they believe they would have ended up is they needed to change a call. We actually saw this in a recent Mets/Braves game. (We’ll get to that shortly) No time table has been set for when the expanded replay rules will go into effect. In my opinion, the sooner the better.
Where would we have seen the new replay rules come into play?
The first and probably biggest example is from Johan Santana’s recent no-hitter. Carlos Beltran hit one down the left field line that was called foul, but upon further review was actually a fair ball.
If these new replay rules were being used. Mike Matheny simply had to ask for a review and the Mets fan base would still be starving for the franchise’s first no-hitter.
Our second example takes us to July 14th of this season. Jason Heyward hit a liner to left field and was trapped by Jordany Valdespin of the Mets. There was some confusion as one umpire called it an out, another called it a trap. They huddled up and got the call correct. It would’ve been nice if they had instant replay to make sure that the call would be right.
Our last example is an infamous one. I’m not completely sure if it falls into the new trap rules. Dewayne Wise “caught” a ball as he jumped into the stands. The umpire called the play an out when clearly Wise had dropped it. Could umpires use the new replay rules to review this type of play if a manager asks if Wise trapped it as he jumped into the stands?
These are just a few examples of where the new replay rules could be used. Plays like this could have been “the straw that broke the camel’s back” an led to the newest extension of instant replay. What are your thoughts on the new replay rules? Fair? Foul? Should there be even more replay implemented? Let us know in the comments!
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)