MLB finally moves into the 21st century with instant replay

The MLB season is now underway in earnest, and that means the long offseason for many baseball fans is finally over and innocent fans of the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros can once again say, “This is our year, why not us?”

The start of this baseball season also finally brings in full-fledged, honest-to-goodness replay. It’s been a long time coming; a very, very long time. In fact, the more you think about it, the more ridiculous it is that it has taken this long to do it.

The most popular sport in the U.S. right now is football. The NFL has had a form of instant replay since 1986. That was six years before current National League All-Star Bryce Harper was even born.



The MLB has a long and storied history in this country, and that may be why it took so long to get something so simple instituted into the game.

Baseball is filled with and run by a lot of people who have been around the game for a very long time. When you’re around something for that long, it can be hard to want to change the way things are done.

I think most people would agree, though, that just because something was done when the first baseball game was played in Hoboken, N.J., in 1846, doesn’t mean it should be done the same way in 2014.

The system in place now is similar to the NFL’s in that the manager has a challenge to use when he feels a play was incorrectly called. The system is still not perfect, though I’m not sure if the replay system in any sports league will ever be perfect, but at least the MLB is starting to realize the game has to evolve to stay relevant.

Reach the columnist at or follow him on Twitter @bill_slane

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