Up for Debate: MLB Institutes New Challenge Rule

Spring is finally here, and for baseball fans, that means one thing: Major League Baseball (MLB) is starting up again. For many, this brings great joy, competitive spirits, and passion. For others, such as major league managers, this brings the occasional headache, high tantrums, and shouting matches with umpires. Issuing managers “challenges” could prevent many arguments and just “let the players play.”

MLB has a history of missing obvious calls regarding whether a player is ruled “safe” or “out” running to first base, missing strike zone pitches, etc. This has resulted in managers storming out of the dugout, ready to kick dirt and receive a nice, warm ejection from the umpire. An ejection is when a manager, coach, or player is kicked out of the game due to some form of misconduct. In the 2013 season, there were 180 MLB ejections (closecallsports).  In an effort to reduce these ejections, MLB should allow managers to have “challenges.” For those familiar with football a coach is allowed two challenges (if successful on both, he is issued three) in an NFL game. A “challenge” occurs when a coach questions a call or ruling on the field from the referee’s original call. They would then review the call using video replay and talk amongst themselves to make a final call. If MLB were to give its managers a challenge, it would prevent managers from getting ejected and instead, give the umpires a chance to fix their possible mistaken call without drama. Players are called “out” too often when they are clearly safe. However, after the umpire has made their calls, the play cannot be overturned.  Here is how the new system is supposed to work: Each manager enters the game with one challenge. If he uses his challenge and any part of the play is overturned, he keeps his challenge. He can only use it one more time afterwards, though, making the limit two per game.

This new system should save lots of debate between managers and umpires. It is an effective way to reduce the number of missed calls and make MLB games more fair.

Sources: Close Call Sports

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