Should MLB Expand Use of Instant Replay?

(CBS/AP)The verdict has come down.

The imperfect game will stand.

But will baseball's rules on instant replay?

While ruling that he will not reverse umpire Jim Joyce's botched call that robbed Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga of a perfect game, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig invoked one of the biggest taboos in the sport.

"I will examine our umpiring system, the expanded use of instant replay and all other related features," he declared.

Galarraga: "Nobody's Perfect"

The notorious blown call has revived a festering debate that pits baseball traditionalists against frustrated pragmatists. Should baseball, like other sports, rely on TV replays to review controversial plays? columnists disagree. Gregg Doyel says don't mess with baseball's perfect imperfection. Mike Freeman says it's time for baseball to wake up.

The NFL, NBA, NHL and the NCAA all employed some form of replay before baseball started trying it late in the 2008 season, limiting its use to questionable home run calls.

Photos: Controversial Calls in Sports

On Wednesday night, hockey twice turned to replay to review possible goals in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals.

"Baseball being traditionalists, I guess they don't want to go that way, and that's fine by me. For us, it works out great," Chicago Blackhawks center John Madden said.

Added Philadelphia goaltender Michael Leighton: "Obviously, baseball's wishing they had it and the guy in Detroit wishes they had it."

Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia was among those who opposed additional replay in the majors.

"I think there's too many plays that are close that could possibly be up for review, and I think it would become dysfunctional," he said.

Soccer remains the biggest sport that wants no part of replay, which could become a focal point when the World Cup starts in South Africa later this month.

Replay is a popular part of Grand Slam tennis, and the man who designed the Hawk-Eye system said it could work in baseball, too.

"All decisions in baseball could be resolved definitively and accurately without causing delay to the game," Paul Hawkins wrote from Britain in an e-mail to the AP.

"In my view, the main benefit of using technology in sport is that you want the story after the match to be about the contest and the players, not about the officials," he said. "If you want to make artificial stories out of 'creating controversy,' then you don't have much faith in the sport."

To Hawkins, there are several challenges to a sport deciding to rely more on electronic — and not human — eyes.

"Most governing bodies are made up of former players and do not have anyone with a technical knowledge to have an understanding of what is technically possible," he said.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for