Instant Replay in Baseball:
I’m Against It, and Here’s Why
Picture it: Montpelier, late 1980s.
The Abrams children are inside the house playing football. The game consists of my sister running the ball from the dining room to the living room and me trying to stop her.
It’s fun for a while. And, inevitably, it ends with us fighting with each other.
My sister gets furious and tries to hurt me as much as she can. She gets even more enraged when I forcibly stop her. And eventually she runs off to tell on me.
It made me so angry when I was the one who got scolded. I thought that I deserved a Medal of Honor for my heroic restraint. I told my dad that scolding me was not fair.
Guess what he did? No, he didn’t set up high tech cameras in the house so that he could waste five minutes checking the replay footage to see who was truly right. Instead, he always told me the same thing:
“Life isn’t fair.”
I am grateful to my father for teaching me this valuable life lesson.
I can’t imagine what an angry crybaby I would be if I got worked up every time something unfair happened. “How come that lazy idiot got promoted over me? This is an outrage!” “How come OJ Simpson got away with murder because he hired Kim Kardashian’s dad to defend him but I have to pay this speeding ticket? This is totally unfair!” Of course it is. Life isn’t fair.
When something unfair happens to you, it’s easier and more sensible to simply shrug your shoulders, accept it, and move on.
When a baserunner is pretty sure that he was safe at 3rd base even though he was called out, his initial reaction might be to argue the call. He’d even be willing to waste five minutes of everyone’s valuable time to have the umpires review the play in super slow motion from three different angles until they get the call right.
But, really, the umpire did his best to make a tough call. And baseball games are slow enough already without stopping the action unnecessarily. The baserunner would be better off shrugging his shoulders, going back to the dugout, and moving on with the game.
Because, after all, it is just a game.
Even with all the money and all the hype, Major League Baseball isn’t so different than Montpelier in the late 1980s – it’s just some kids playing a sport. It’s supposed to be fun and entertaining. And instant replay is neither of those things. So I’m against it.