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The lack of instant replay usage is what decided the Giants-Dodgers game, not the so-called “strike.” It’s time MLB reviews its instant replay policy.
It’s what allows fans watching from home to rewind and rewatch game-changing moments in slow motion.
It’s also a tool that’s been used to protect players, uphold fairness and properly officiate during a game.
Unfortunately for Major League Baseball, the instant replay system wasn’t used to prevent the San Francisco Giants from being robbed of their NLCS chances due to an erroneous strike call.
Perhaps like the NFL, the MLB can learn from this costly post-season mistake and change their instant replay policy for the better. But considering their past with play reviews, it’s uncertain whether baseball officials will be interested in the change.
MLB needs to expand instant replay in order to rectify Giants checked swing mistake
MLB was the last of the four major American sports to institute an instant replay policy, likely because the centuries-old game has long relied on the eyes of its officials to make calls.
MLB joined the instant replay club in 2008. At that time, only the umpire crew chief could initiate the review, and it was only used to review boundary home runs.
In 2014, the league adopted the instant replay review system that remains in place to this day. With the current system, each manager is allowed one challenge per game, but more challenges can be granted if the previous challenge was successful. Like before, boundary runs can be challenged by the crew chief at any time, but from the eighth inning onward, they are allowed to initiate their own replay review on any play.
The challenge rules are a little different during the postseason, explained Andrew Crane for New York Post.
“Eleven categories of calls are reviewable, and therefore challengeable, according to the MLB’s replay review glossary, and each manager gets two challenges during playoff games — as opposed to one per game during regular-season games. But check-swing calls and pitch location aren’t included in the plays that can be reviewed.”
While umpire Gabe Morales stood by his mistaken call after the game, claiming he did the best he could without the benefit of multiple television angles, it’s an excuse that no umpire should ever be able to utter.
The NFL had to adjust its instant replay policy after a missed pass interference call cost the New Orleans Saints a potential trip to the 2018 Super Bowl. It’s time the MLB does the same to prevent what happened to the Giants from ever happening again.