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Updated: August 15, 2010, 10:19 PM ET

Make the right call and expand replay already

Ravech By Karl Ravech
On Sunday morning, as I sweated on the elliptical machine, I watched "Outside The Lines" delve into the subject of expanded use of instant replay and was moved to write this column. Expanded instant replay in Major League Baseball is coming. It will happen. Of this I am absolutely certain. The arguments against it are old, worn-out, outdated, and lack the tangible, know-the-ice-is-solid-enough-to-skate-on reasoning of the arguments in favor of it. I am a proponent of it, and the reasons are numerous.

Beginning Friday in Williamsport, Pa., the Little League World Series will utilize expanded instant replay. Fans who watch will be able to see that expanded instant replay delivers on its main promise. That is to assist a human being in eliminating mistakes.

The basic premise for everyone who engages in the debate has got to be that the call be correct. If you come to the table with any other foundation piece than getting the call right, then the argument is moot. Ask any person who has an opinion on the subject if, first and foremost, getting the call correct is the ultimate endgame. If the answer is yes, then there can be no valid counterargument against using expanded instant replay.

Let's take a few of the arguments being made by those who don't want it, even though they claim they want the call to be correct.

1. "I love the game the way it is, the way it has been and the way it should stay."
Really? Really? If you love the game so much and you have lived through a strike that canceled a season, an All-Star Game that ended in a tie, the advent of the wild card, expanded playoffs -- do we even get into PEDs? -- and you're still a fan, expanded instant replay will be but a small pill to swallow. (Pardon the pun.) I can't begin to articulate the massive advances in other industries which have served all of us. Where would we be if we stuck to the argument of "That's how it's always been done and it should never change"? Think about health care, transportation, food industry, education, communication. Imagine if we all took a horse and buggy to the ballgame. Where would we park them, and who would clean up the mess?

2. Takes too much time.
Wrong. If we can eliminate the prolonged arguments and decide right away a play is to be reviewed, the entire process could take less than 60 seconds. What do you think is going on in the television production truck while a manager and umpire argue? Exactly, the replays are being looked at, and often it takes only one look to conclude the call was correct or wrong. Less than 30 seconds later you have the answer. Expanded instant replay, you could argue, may actually speed the game up.

3. Eliminates the human element and drama.
This sounds like the argument of people who believe that if you put a net under a high-wire act, you've eliminated the human element that the person may fall. Next time you go to a circus or witness a daredevil do something to risk his or her life, are you less inclined to watch because there is a mechanism in place to save the person's life? I don't think so, but if you are, that's something you have to deal with.

Saturday night in Bristol, Conn., I called a Little League game that would have benefited from the use of expanded instant replay. Late in the game there was a close play at first base and there was a questionable hit-by-pitch call. Let's say instant replay had been used to confirm the questionable calls or overturn them. (Given the benefit of seeing the replays, it did appear both plays were called correctly.) Regardless, the game came down to a bases-loaded situation, home team trailing 1-0, relief pitcher in the game, 3-2 count, 7,000 people on their feet and holding their breath. Instant replay would not have impacted the human element or drama one bit. It would have only enhanced the one argument that holds water in this case, which is that the umpires in fact did get the calls right.

I can't wait to get to Williamsport to see expanded replay in action, and then I'm really looking forward to the reaction of everyone who has an opinion. This will be a defining moment for baseball, at every level.

Karl Ravech is a host for "Baseball Tonight."

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