Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Since it's professional beginnings in Cincinnati, baseball has seen some changes, yet it's also pretty much stayed the same game over all these years.

Recently though, the game has started to change due to advanced technology. The commissioner insists it's for the better and in some instances I can see how it might be. But in my heart, there are a lot of the proposed changes I just plain hate. MLB.com writes about how Rob Manfred is proud of the new technology side of baseball:

"We've come so far in such a short period of time. We're closer than we've ever been. We're better informed, too. We know how fast the center fielder runs and how hard the shortstop throws. We see the spin on pitches, the break, the everything.

'I think what's important is that you offer our fans alternatives in how they engage with the game,' MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said..."

Look, I can see how some of this can make the game more fun for people to watch. We can learn and know everything about a player and his tendencies instantly. We can learn about the history of the game...everything from the last time a batter for the Yankees had a 3-2 count with 2 outs, the bases loaded and hit a grand slam, to the last time a player came to the plate with his grandmother in the stands and got the game-winning hit.  Crazy stuff... and immediate.

And all of those stats are just fine and dandy because they don't actually effect the game itself. Some are actually fun to learn.  But the thing I really hate, is instant replay and other on-field changes that have been proposed and tried. For me, personally, instant replay has taken some of the fun away from the game. This piece from 2013, in the Huffington Post shows why MLB is making an error with it.

"...Major League Baseball (MLB) will institute limited Instant Replay to decide close plays and the, on the whole, rare missed-calls by its professional umpires. I say Boooo! While all of us want all the calls to be right so the deserving team wins based on its true merit, Instant Replay will ruin practically the last thing in America that isn’t ruled by technology."

I agree. While instant replay might be good in other sports, in my eyes at least, it has no place in baseball. In the long run, there aren't too many plays that really affect the outcome of the game, throughout the season. It's not like football, where 1 game can make or break a season. You can look back in the history of baseball and pretty much count all the controversial calls that might have been overturned or confirmed by instant replay.

As mentioned in that Huffington Post article, there are many things that have occurred that have led to the lore of the game. Leave some stuff for us fans to bitch about with our buddies after the fact. You know what I mean?  In a strange way, the controversy makes us happier and gives us more incentive to cheer or boo and be more involved with the game. Imagine a world without Yogi Berra insisting, until his death, that Jackie Robinson was out!

Photo: Monroe Gallery of Photography
Think about that. Leave the replays for us fans to sit and debate for years to come. Leave the replays so we can laugh as the ball bounces off Jose Canseco's head and over the wall for a home run. It's the game and it is what it is so please just leave it alone.

It's sad. The days of managers like Earl Weaver, Bobby Cox and Billy Martin are gone. Leaving us with iPad-toting and strategic managers that rely on match ups and data to decide what to do just seems so weird to me in this wonderful game.

Just my opinion... what's yours?

--Michael Carnesi
BYB Writer

Follow me on Twitter: @sevn4evr

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