4. Umpires must announce the result and reasoning for a call on replay on a microphone
The NFL does this and it has worked well. MLB planned to do this early in 2020, per MLB umpire Jim Wolf in this podcast with Jomboy’s Chris Rose (you can listen to it here at the 55:00 mark) but with the pandemic, they scrapped it.
It’s unknown if it’s scrapped for good or just temporary but it is desperately needed, particularly for fans in stadiums.
Why MLB needs to include the fans more in the discussion
On TV, you can usually decipher what happened after replay but, for example, on this play in Game 3 of the 2021 ALDS between the Astros and White Sox, there wasn’t even a challenge on the play.
But there was a conference between the six umpires and an argument from Astros manager Dusty Baker. Over 40,000 people in Guaranteed Rate Field had no idea what had happened or what was even being argued.
An umpire announcing the ruling (or what happened/what was being argued) can alleviate a lot of issues for fans in the stadium as well as educate fans on the rules. It’s a win-win.
5. Let managers have unlimited challenges for calls on the field
Managers are limited to two challenges until the 8th inning. After that, they can ask the crew chief to look at a play. Some will grant it, some will not.
But if MLB truly wants the right call each time, there shouldn’t be a limit on reviews, with the exception of balls and strikes.
Will it take longer? Probably, but there are plenty of other ways to help the “pace of play.” But that is a conversation for another time and another day.
What do you think of these ideas? What changes would you make regarding umpires in 2022? Let us know in the comment section below or on social media.