Replay is Bad For Baseball


I never wanted replay.  Never.  I thought baseball was the game that didn’t need it.  Untouched by technology – or, at the very least, spared its touch more so than the other major sports – baseball could survive without it.

The marginal good of correcting a few missed calls wouldn’t be worth, I thought, slowing down the game and pulling it further away from the old-time feel that made it special.

Now, two weeks into the season, I’ve only been emboldened.

Admittedly, my position isn’t backed by statistics.  I haven’t analyzed the problem’s sabermatrics.  I haven’t charted or graphed its causes and effects.  All I have is an opinion informed by the feelings that have bubbled up watching the young 2014 season.

Feelings that all trend the same direction: Replay is bad for baseball.

Again, irresponsible though it may be, I don’t have any numbers for you explaining how many botched calls have been corrected or how often its been used, all I know is I’ve rolled my eyes each time a play has been challenged.

There was a charm to the tradition of baseball.  That the game played in 2013 was essentially the same one played in 1913.   That if they put the Yankees and the Red Sox on the field of dreams rather than Fenway Park, it’d still be major league baseball, and it’d still be Yankees-Red Sox.

The purity of baseball is used as a punchline by those who argue against the game’s slow evolution, but I’d prop it up as its biggest asset.

History is good.  Tradition is good.  And acknowledgement of both is good – it’s what makes a Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field feel special.

Tearing that down because Dean Anna may have stood up too quickly after stealing second in the fourth inning of game 13 seems like a crime.

The sentence for which is the burning discontent of those who love what made the sport great.

Author: Joseph White

Joe Bianchino is a writer, producer, and radio host located in upstate New York. He is a life-long New York sport fan, Chelsea supporter, and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter @JoeBNTS. Email him at