Joe Maddon was understandably upset at the Joe West nonsense last night, so it’s not surprising that he said after the game that there should be more instant replay in baseball. Speaking to reporters after a good night’s sleep, however, he had a pretty good idea:
“If you really want to be intelligent about it, technology is a part of our game. The fact that replay is already utilized, those are moments that you can review at the end of the season. Log them all and then see if there is any kind of common thread and say, ‘Now this should be reviewable.'”
It’s cool and radical so baseball will never do it, but why not start up a review pilot program. Or a shadow program or whatever you want to call it. They can do it via TV monitors back at Major League Baseball headquarters if they want. Just have a guy pretending to be that eye in the sky I’m always going on about. Figure out how many times he’d call down to the crew chief to overturn a call. Figure out how long it would take him to make a different call than the umps on the field and make his phony call. Log which calls would be most frequently subject to it and how many total calls replay would overturn a year.
Doing such a thing would, at the very least be instructive. If certain patterns were found it would help train umpires. If replay is ultimately expanded into other areas, you’d have some factual findings which could head off pushback and criticism from umpires and players and whoever else may be inclined to knock the idea.
Knowledge is power, right?