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TAKE 2: MLB video review is discombobulated

Published: Sunday, April 6, 2014 3:19 a.m. CDT
(AP photo)
MLB umpires Pat Hoberg (left) and Chris Guccione review a play challenged by San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy (15) in the fourth inning Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix.

Like it or not, video review has arrived to Major League Baseball. Sports editor Jon Styf and columnist Tom Musick discuss:  

Musick: Finish this thought. Baseball’s new replay system is _____.  

Styf: Discombobulated. The Cubs six-hour game that didn’t need to be six hours Wednesday proved it. The neighborhood play at second isn’t supposed to be reviewable. But if it’s deemed that a bad throw caused the fielder to leave the bag he’s supposed to be tagging, it can be. But who makes that judgment call? The guys on the field or the mystery men on the other end of the headsets. And there needs to be a clock on these decisions. Because a three-minute delay and a five-minute delay can’t happen in a game like that. Heck, Don Baylor broke his femur the other day and it didn’t delay the start of the game five minutes.

Musick: My favorite part is when the manager trots out to the umpire, but the manager is not certain yet whether he wants to challenge a ruling. So he makes some small talk, kills some time, and then finally makes his executive decision a minute or two later after someone on his team has studied the replay. I’m a big fan of small talk, especially in elevators. I think I’d chat with umpires about their favorite dinosaurs.

Styf: I like Cryolophosaurus. But the Orange Dinosaur (Martellus Bennett) is about to have a big year too. Which reminds me of a joke my daughter likes to tell. What do you call a dinosaur that breaks everything? ... wait for it ... Tyrannosaurus Rex. 

Musick: I’m stealing that. Are stolen jokes reviewable? What about stolen bases?

Styf: It appears like pretty much anything is reviewable, which changes the game significantly. Can we go back and give Armando Galarraga his perfect game now, even though he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012? I think we should review Bartman too. The kid could get his life back and we could posthumously give the Cubs the NLCS, then simulate the World Series on the new R.B.I. Baseball game.

Musick: I’m throwing the challenge flag or the challenge rosin bag or whatever baseball managers use. Because I don’t think Bartman had much of a life in the first place, so how could he get his life back? Let’s go to review. If you want to know what I really think, I’d eliminate all in-game video reviews from sports. It slows down football, it slows down hockey, it slows down basketball and now it slows down baseball. Why do we do this? To appease gamblers? To pretend this stuff actually matters?

Styf: Whoa ... easy there on the sports don’t matter thing. I don’t want to have to get a real job. This place suits me fine.

Musick: Yeah, good point. But if worse comes to worst, you always could go on the dinosaur joke circuit.

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