09/08/15 by Rennie Detore
Since the inception of instant replay, baseball finally seems to be ushered into the 21st century. And while some so called purists say the sport shouldn't be part of the instant replay way of life, you can't argue that getting the calls on the field right supersedes the idea that tinkering with your grandfather's pastoral game is a bad idea.
Even before instant replay, those old school fans argued that baseball was meant to be played without technology and even those who aren't so much concerned with that aspect of baseball said the game was already too long and replay was going to make it even more tedious to watch live and on television.
None of that really happened, quite honestly, as baseball and instant replay seem like a match that was long overdue. Watching a player called out at first or safe on a stolen base to second or third isn't a given anymore, and as fast as the game can move or a foot can slide under a bag and another one comes off it, umpires need that backup plan just as much as other sports that also implement replay as an assistance factor that sports needs.
But as much as instant replay has helped baseball, it also has spurred discussion about taking technology to new heights as it relates to America's favorite past time: make balls and strikes automated as well.
Most telecasts include the ball and strike grid that is on the right hand side typically of your television while you're watching a game on a national and even local level. They show with pinpoint accuracy that the umpire and his strike zone isn't quite spot on, and that is intensified when a player in a crucial situation is called out on a strike 3, when the pitch never came close to the plate.
So the thinking is if instant replay can fix plays on the field, why not include it behind the plate?
In fact, that's exactly what baseball should do.
If you can get the game and calls on the field right, why wouldn't you want to do it? I'm not a fan of eliminating jobs per say in the form of umpires, but behind home plate needs to be computer oriented and left up to being correct every time. Yes, you lose the spectacle of managers arguing with umpires and the trumped up strike three calls or players arguing the strike zone, but the opportunity presents itself to get it correct every time.
As much as you want to see baseball stay the course and have that error element as part of the game and left alone, you can't argue that getting the call right and not altering the game's outcome based on a bad call is a good idea.
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