Replay was used in Thursday’s Yankees game to check if a count was accurate.
New York’s Yangervis Solarte was at-bat in the ninth inning when there was discrepancy if the count was 3-1 or 2-1. The umpires initiated a review, got on the headphones and went over the count with the replay center.
Yankees.com’s, Bryan Hoch wrote: “The challenge was initiated after Astros catcher Carlos Corporan asked home-plate umpire Brian Knight about the count.
“I asked the umpire, ‘What’s the count?’” Corporan said. “And he said, ‘I don’t know, I’ve got 2-1.’ I said, ‘I’ve got 2-1 as well.’ I kind of forgot about the pitchout that we made. [Solarte] was like, ‘No, it’s 3-1,’ and [the umpire] said, ‘Of course you’re going to think it’s 3-1.’ They wanted to make sure, so they took a little time.”
Replay was expanded this season to incorporate many aspects of the game, and has been used a handful of times during in this season’s infancy. On the surface, replay is a good thing. Baseball needs to get the calls right. Human element has actually detracted from the game over the last several seasons with people seemingly more interested in umpire mistakes than in the game play.
But are these pauses hurting more than helping baseball?
The delay in the Yankees game lasted 3 minutes from the time the umpires conferred to when the proper count was given at 3-1. The time of Thursday’s game came in at a reasonable 3 hours, 17 minutes.
On Monday’s full-scale Opening Day, the five replays that day took an average of 93 seconds, USA Today reports. The A’s challenged a call at home plate on Wednesday where the review took five minutes.
Three days into the season may be a bit premature to decide whether replays need to move faster, but the pace of play has been an issue long before this season began. MLB has instituted few rules over the years to help with the pace only to add a big one this year that could drag games out.
Broadcasters are going to have to start coming up with stories to fill the gaps, and at least attempt to keep listeners engaged.
Are you willing to sacrifice the pace of play to get a call right?