10/13/2005

It Hit the Dirt?

Should baseball use instant replay? That is the question that one of the announcers asked last night after the questionable call by an umpire in the Angels/Whitesox game. The situation is still unclear today as the LA Times article shows. So would instant replay really have helped? I do not think that instant replay would be good for baseball for a couple of reasons that I will try to relate to economics. Though on the surface instant replay seems like a good idea, there would surely be some negative externalities too. The first is the time it would take to implement it 3 or 4 times a game. Do baseball games really need to be any longer? Next would be the history of the game. I do not think that baseball games were ever meant to be perfect, s%@! happens. I think that there should be an element of human error involved in baseball, what is next an electronic umpire calling balls and strikes. This situation is like many other economic situations where on the surface it seems like a great idea, but if you take a deeper look the picture is not so bright. In closing, I would like to say go CHICAGO because ever since Jordan left Chicago has sucked at everything.

6 comments:

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sara said...

Dan, I think that you really had to stretch to come up with this blog. I just don't really see the relevance of the negative externalities. I don't really have any reason to think that baseball needs instant replay, but after reading your article I am now convinced that they do need some sort of instant replay. It's kind of ironic, but because your reasoning is so shallow, I now think the exact opposite of what you were arguing.

Alex said...

I agree with Dan, and disagree with Sara. I think we should leave baseball how it is and let it be America's favorite pastime in its original state. Plays are supposed to be made fast. So what if the umpire makes bad call, that's the way the game works.

Mia said...

The outcome of the game not only effects if the team will be able to continue to play but also its bank account. There is so much money involved with a team advancing in the playoffs that I feel it's important to use what technology we have. I'm not saying use instant replay for any little problem but at least for those affecting whether a ball was fair or foul and if there was fan interference. These problems with the help of technology can be handled quickly and efficiently.

Dr. Tufte said...

Dan has raised a good point about externalities.

I think if you put it all together this sort of argument tends to not support using replay (in any support).

The reason is that the good and bad calls should average out over the season. Yes, there are externalities associated with these, but on net they don't add up to much.

But, using the replay ends up imposing a deadweight loss on fans. That loss will not be netted out.