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We Got Our First Taste Of Umpires Announcing Replay Review Decisions And It Is A Game Changer

So this is a neat little wrinkle in baseball this year and we got our first look at it last night. When managers challenge a play and the umpires come to a decision on the ruling, the crew chief will have a microphone and will talk to the press box to explain their ruling. Fans will also get a chance to listen in so they can hear what went into the ruling which makes all the sense in the world. It's the same thing as a NBA official talking to the guys at the scorers table or the NFL refs announcing penalties to the crowd. The fact that umpires didn't have to say why the call went the way it did or didn't go was bizarre. Now we get that behind the scenes look at it all. It used to be infuriating when a call was made and we had no idea, now we get to find out why so and so was called out or safe.

It's crazy this hasn't been a thing already. How many times are you at a game and a challenge happens and they come out, make a call, and it's onto the next play. Sure you can jump on twitter and try to find what the broadcast said, but why not have the umpires announce it loud over the speakers. Shocking it wasn't already implemented. I think this is a great move towards the fan experience. Now we can hear "the runner popped off the base while the defender held the tag with the ball." and we can understand what went into a call, why the decision was made to keep the call or overturn it, it will help clear up a lot of the confusion that happens when these calls would get reviewed. We saw it happen in the Anaheim and Los Angeles game in Anaheim on Monday night and it seemed to go over well. I think the TV viewers will love it, in person fans will love it because now we know what the hell is going on while they look at the monitor, it's a great move. 

Apparently the umpires were a little nervous about speaking publicly about the calls because they've never asked to do it before. Umpires are scared to talk to the crowd and press box? They're directly behind a man attempting to catch a ball going 100 MPH with a piece of leather and they're scared to talk? That is something they've got to get over. Sports fans have always said that umpires need to be held accountable and even have press conferences after the games to talk about the calls. This isn't that but it's a step in the right direction. I think this is a really good addition for the season and am excited to see how it goes. 

I'm also taking bets on which umpires will be AWFUL with this. Imagine Angel Hernandez leaving his mic on for half an inning. It'll be glorious.