BALTIMORE – Buck Showalter has long been an advocate of increased use of replay in baseball. He’s just a little fuzzy on the details.
“It’s a start. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve got to start somewhere. It’s going to be better than it was. It improves our game. It think it improves it for the fans,” Showalter said.
“It’s kind of like the Wild Card and different things, by gosh, why didn’t we do this before?”
Showalter has been irked because the technology has long existed to correct wrong calls and baseball has been reluctant to use it.
“I knew the capability they had. They can take it as far as you want to take it. When you have to watch a replay three times to see if it’s right or wrong, it shows you the challenge they have. I can’t imagine a harder sport to umpire or officiate,” Showalter said.
A one-time college basketball official, Showalter insists he has empathy for the umpires.
“That’s why a lot of times I give them a lot of leeway because I know just how hard it was. The only time it gets me sideways is when it gets a little emotional or vindictive with some things. That doesn’t happen as often as it used to. You’re eliminating a lot of arguments and calling three or four guys together.”
“I think you’d be surprised at how little delay there actually is. There’ll be some problems. They haven’t sat down and talked to us and shouldn’t because it actually isn’t until next year.”
Showalter and the other big league managers will go through replay training at the winter meetings in Orlando in December.
“I think you’ll only see it get tweaked and better. I guarantee if you look back at the NFL, I bet they’ve tweaked some things through the years,” Showalter said.
“They’ve thought this through. This isn’t something they’ve pulled out of the air. The bottom line: they’re trying to make our game better, more enjoyable for the fans and more enjoyable for the coaching staff and the players and the umpires…They want to get everything right. They do, and it’s a tough job. They face an adversity that we can help them stay away from. They don’t want to be part of the game. They want the players to decide the game.”