Major League Baseball is constantly trying to speed up the game, in hopes that a quicker game will attract more viewers. This was evident when recently Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that this upcoming season teams will just signal from the dugout if they are intentionally walking a player.
Now another area that baseball is struggling to shorten up is replay review, and the answer may be very simple.
The League should copy the College World Series, and put cameras on the umpires hats, but for every game. For those of you who may not be aware, in 2015 in the College World Series ESPN had all of the umpires wear cameras on their hats, giving another perspective to the viewers at home.
Now, this is where umpires wearing cameras on their heads comes in to play. There are generally two sides people take on the replay system in baseball, some say, just get the call right, and the others say human error is a part of the game.
What if we could have both? If a manager wants a play to be reviewed the people in New York who watch and decide on the call, instead of looking at all of the angles that the broadcasting stations have, they look at the umpire cam.
One other thing the MLB should add to the game with this system is the length of time managers have to argue a call. Instead of the 20 seconds they have to decide it should be immediately after the play is over and before the next pitch is thrown, similar to the NFL.
If you can only see the play as the umpire did it would be a smooth process, that shouldn’t more than 30 seconds, and this can help the league see who really is their best umpires. It will also show who may need a refresher on what angles to take on close plays. Now the pluses of having cameras on the field don’t stop there.
This past season the NFL started streaming games on social media outlets in order to gain viewers. Major League Baseball could put a twist on it, and stream games with the usage of the umpire cam as a viewing option, along with the regular broadcast. This is a different perspective that fans definitely would enjoy.
Being able to literally see the game from the point of view from the umpires, and players will bring in viewers for sure.
Will Major League Baseball invest in this? Could it hurt to try to give fans a new perspective on the game? Rob Manfred is pushing to speed up the game, but obviously wants technology to be involved, this is a perfect mixture.