The very thing Bud Selig and MLB feared in regard to instant replay came to a head Tuesday night at Chase Field: instant replay slowed the pace of the game even more.
I didn’t see this coming but obviously skippers have been thinking about the implementation of baseball’s new instant replay policy. Bruce Bochy certainly was. Every time there was a close call he exited the dugout and waited for confirmation from a minion that the call should be challenged or not. It wasn’t that he was vehemently arguing the call, he was just waiting to challenge the call.
This was an unintended consequence. Bochy just found the loophole.
This is going to prolong games and do exactly what Bud Selig and baseball executives do NOT want to see happen. If the manager comes running out of the dugout on every close play to speak to the umpires, waiting for confirmation from the dugout, they are really going to drag out games.
Forget about bad challenges or good challenges. Forget about every other stipulation, guideline of precept for instant replay. The purpose of instant replay is to get the calls right while not bringing the pace of play to a halt. And although Bochy had every right to do what he did, there was nothing “instant” about replay.