Ever notice that you rarely get replays of close plays up on the jumbotron at the ballpark? Sam Mellinger tells us why:
MLB limits replays to once, at real speed, but not during an argument over the play and not in a way that might start an argument or create a negative reaction from the crowd. In practice, pressure and insecurity from umpires has created pressure from the league office that means most stadiums won’t show anything but the most mundane replays.
Mellinger also explains that this policy, according to some league sources, could be under review and he argues that, as a part of expanded replay, MLB should junk this stupid and antiquated rule.
Also of note: Mellinger notes in passing that there is an unwritten rule among umpires that if a manager or player arguing calls on the field uses the word “replay” that he’s basically going to be ejected. Which is beyond stupid. And we think these people are going to be totally cool about MLB handing managers the rule-created right to challenge their calls via replay? They’re not going to retaliate, subtly or otherwise, when their authority is challenged? Good luck.
Larger point: any system which encourages the denial of reality or which, by design, prevents people from getting otherwise easily-obtained information, is inherently flawed and begging to be cast aside. This one is no exception.