Yes, I know I’m beating this to death. Sorry. It’s what I do. You want more A-Rod stories? Didn’t think so.
Anyway, a companion to that “MLB wanting us to accept the challenge system on their word” thing is the “declaration of victory” thing. People talking about yesterday’s replay announcement as if it were overwhelmingly well received. Baseball does this a lot, actually. It says something and then asserts that everyone is on board and points at anyone saying otherwise with the “wow, that guy is crazy” look on their face. As the guy often being pointed at as crazy, I’ve seen it happen a lot. I realize I look like this much of the time.
But here is what I’m talking about. The headline from USA Today:
The people have spoken! Now here are quotes from two managers from the article. First Bob Melvin, who is portrayed as one of the people approving of the change:
“So, if someone’s watching it and is on top of it and has the use of replay very quickly, that certainly doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me,” says Melvin, who admits he used to be against replay.
See that assumption? “someone watching and on top of it.” Actually, Bob, this proposal does not have someone watching and on top of it. That’s on you. If you decide a play was made improperly it’s your burden to alert everyone. Then someone steps in for a review. That’s yesterday’s proposal.
Then Joe Maddon, who first offers some pithy quotes about technology being great and replay being part of that:
“I just don’t like the idea that the earlier part of the game is considered less important,” he says. “I know we’ve lost games in the first inning. You can lose games in the second inning. I don’t know if that’s something based on research that there are fewer umpire mistakes in the first part of the game than in the latter part of the game.”
But, he’ll take whatever version he can get.
If people want to call this a positive reaction that’s their right. But it seems to be actually negative with respect to the actual proposal.
Everyone wants the calls right. That’s not debatable. So when someone says “we just want the calls right” or even “replay is good,” that is not an endorsement of yesterdays’ announcement. The only specific comments I’ve seen thus far are either skeptical of a challenge system or skeptical of the one specifically proposed.
If there is to be a debate about the merits of this plan, let’s have the debate. Let’s not make sure everyone lines up behind MLB’s proposal and have some premature declaration of victory.