Major League Baseball began its 2014 season earlier this week with expanded rules for the use of instant replay. It's about time.
During games on Monday, a handful of calls were challenged by managers. In one instance, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers was initially called out, but the umpire's call was challenged and overturned after it was reviewed. In another instance, an umpire's call was upheld during a game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Critics of expanding replay in baseball have long complained that instituting such a system would interrupt the flow of the game with unnecessary delays. In Monday's games, one video review was completed in 58 seconds. In another instance, the review delay lasted less than two minutes, which means the delay of game argument carries little to no weight. Tennis, one of the fastest-moving sports, already has instant replay reviews and it doesn't seem to hold up play in that sport.
Baseball should have made these changes years ago, but nonetheless, we're glad the changes are finally here. What should matter most in baseball and other sports that have instant replay is getting the call right. If that takes an additional 58 seconds or an extra two minutes, it's certainly worth it. Professional umpires and referees make mistakes, but taking advantage of technology to insure that the right calls are made as often as possible should be the goal of every professional sports.