Baseball needs to revise its policy on instant replay, and it needs to happen now. Yet the answer isn't to replay every single play on a whim. There's a more sensible solution, and all we have to do is look to the NFL for the answer.
This has gone on long enough. Baseball needs to revise its policy on instant replay, and it needs to happen now.
Tuesday night's debacle at Turner Field that saw home plate umpire Jerry Meals call Braves' infielder Julio Lugo safe after he was clearly out after being tagged by Pirates catcher Michael McKenry is just the latest example of the prominent need for instant replay.
But here in lies the problem - Bud Selig can not implement replay for every single questionable ball or strike. There needs to be a method to the madness. Thankfully, there's a way to solve this dilemma, and it comes from the NFL.
The simple answer to the instant replay debate? Coach's challenges, but let's call them "manager's challenges" since we're talking about baseball.
Think about that, it's the perfect solution. A manager is given one challenge that they can use for anything in the game. To use it, managers could even toss a red flag out of the dugout just like coaches do in the NFL. Once a play is challenged, the umpires would gather and head into the dugout to contact the commissioner's offices, where a final ruling will be made - just like the current system in place with instant replay regarding home runs.
Under this rule, home runs would remain automatically reviewed as is the current rule. Then, managers would have their one manager's challenge to use on anything throughout the game. If they issue a challenge and the umpires at the commisioner's office deems that they were correct, then that manager is rewarded another challenge.
If the manager who issued a challenge is wrong, then they lose their ability to challenge for the rest of the game.
This would solve the problem of instant replay in baseball while still keeping the human element of error intact. Now, the umpires won't be to blame for a bad call. It will all be in the hands of the manager, where it should be.
If a manager wants to save his challenge because he thinks it could be useful later in the game, then so be it. But if he uses it early in the game on something trivial like a runner called out questionably on a steal, then they run the risk of not having it late in the game on a more important play.
In truth, it's the perfect solution to the instant replay debate. It's up to you now, Bud.