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Should MLB Further Expand Instant Replay?

Major League Baseball instituted instant replay to try and rectify the results of home run calls in 2008, and since then we've continued to be teased by the idea of more and more replay in baseball. The AP reported that MLB was leaning towards expanding instant replay to include fair/foul ball rulings and trapped balls on Thursday.

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The Astros clubhouse, reports Brian McTaggart, seemed to be in favor of the ruling. Third baseman Chris Johnson was the lone voice quoted in the article that was against the proposal:

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Chris Johnson was worried about replay's effect on the pace of games.

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"I think the game's pretty good right now," he said. "Just as long as it doesn't slow the game down a little bit. Every time you have to go inside and check a home run, it takes a little while, and if you're doing that three or four times a game, it's going to slow the game down and some fans are going to lose interest. That's kind of how I feel about it. But if it helps me get a hit here or there, I'll take it."

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The problem with instant replay in baseball more than any other sport, is that there's so many things that could possibly be reviewed. It wouldn't be the hardest thing in the world to modify Pitch FX to be a ball-strike machine and put chips all over the gloves, balls, bases, and lines if fairness was the only issue anyone cared about.

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Unfortunately, MLB is stuck with most of the rest of the current sports in mid-transition right now. Challenging calls on the field is going to lengthen the game, and the last thing MLB needs is longer games. Players, of course, want everything to be right, as do fans. But pushing for incremental bits of instant replay every year doesn't rectify every call. Or even come close to it. 

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.