MLB Considering Time Limit for Manager Challenges
The MLB has had a few interesting ideas to improve the pace of play over the past few years. This time, they may have hit upon a keeper.
There have been quite a few ideas to improve the pace of play in the MLB. From pitch clocks to limiting mound visits, the idea is to bring the game back to a manageable length, trying to make the three hour game the exception as opposed to the norm. Yet, no matter what the game tries, these contests seem to last longer each year.
This time, the powers that be may have finally come up with an idea that we can all agree with. Major League Baseball is considering instituting a 30 second limit for managerial challenges, eliminating those times where coaches delay for several minutes while their replay personnel look over the play from every conceivable angle.
In theory, instant replay is a good idea. It helps to get calls right, and in a lot of cases, validates that umpires around the game are making the right call in those close plays. Yet, there is nothing wrong with getting those calls correct when one is obviously wrong. Just ask Jim Joyce if he would have wanted instant replay in Armando Galarraga‘s near-perfect game.
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However, the current rules surrounding replay just are not working. The decision to ask for a review of a call has gone from what should have been a few seconds to a drawn out process. How many times do we need to see a manager delaying just outside the dugout, wasting time before ultimately heading back down the steps because the call was proven right by the replay personnel?
Naturally, this proposed rule will not be enough. There needs to be a way to keep managers from stretching the limits once again after following the time limit for the first few weeks. Perhaps an extra strike on the batter, or a ball for the pitcher, depending on which side the team is on.
Does the MLB need to speed up the games? Well, having nine inning contests that take over three hours is not exactly going to help grow the game amongst youth or casual fans. But, in reality, there are limits to what can be cut out of a game that does not have an actual time limit.
This idea is a great step in the right direction. Hopefully, this comes to fruition.