Friday, January 17, 2014

Waiting for Replay, Who Knows How Long

Major League Baseball has finalized its rules for replay in the coming season. As someone who still bears the psychological scars of Phil Cuzzi's call in the 2009 ALDS, I kind of don't understand the opposition to replay. But I heard plenty this morning from Jim Memolo on Sirius XM's MLB First Pitch. He had a bunch of objections (including the lack of a challenge flag--please, this is baseball, not the NFL), but the most credible to me is that challenges will slow down the game, break the pitchers' rhythm, make fans lose interest, etc.

That's his opinion. Mine is that the way it's being done (calls reviewed by an umpire at MLB Advanced Media in New York) will minimize delays. But they're both opinions. So I propose this: By August, it's reasonable to think the kinks will be worked out of the system. In August 2013, the average nine-inning game took 180.4 minutes to complete. (Thanks, Retrosheet!) My call is that that average will not move meaningfully in August 2014. We'll see. Look for an update around Labor Day.

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