If there was some good to come from the Jim Joyce/Armando Galarraga blown perfect game call, aside from the excellent comportment and sportsmanship displayed in the event’s aftermath, it was that the issue of instant replay has become more prevalent. I have long been a proponent of adding instant replay to MLB and now there seems to be a groundswell of support in its favor. Even Bud Selig, notoriously slow to change, has said he will examine the use of instant replay in baseball. Now that we got this far, we have to make sure the changes are integrated well. Here’s how to do it.
Much like the system used by the NFL, MLB should allow each team two challenge flags to throw per game. Challenges should not be used to review balls and strikes called by the homeplate umpire as this is one of the accepted “human element” aspects of the game that should be left alone. Much like Jeff Passan described at Yahoo! Sports, the subjective calls that are up to umpire interpretation should be left alone. Challenges could be used to review calls at the bases, runners tagging up, tag outs, catches vs. traps, fair vs. foul balls, hit by pitches, and fan/catcher interference. Just like in the NFL, if the team wins its challenge, it gets to retain its challenge but it loses one if the challenge fails.