Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mountain Mobile may avenge Rox Series showing as MLB GMs vote 25 - 5 to add instant replay

Denver-based mobile unit company could affect who wins & loses future games, pennants

"No replays today fellas, it's a dual feed."

You can see it now can't you?

Or can you?

A drive down the left field line scores the tying and go ahead runs late in a game one summer night. The home team manager and half his team screams in protest that the ball was foul. The 3rd base umpire looks to his colleagues for help. They huddle together and look toward the press box. The call will be decided by replay.

An MLB official views the play again. From high home there's no way to be certain precisely where the ball landed. The shot is too wide. High 1st was iso'd on the trail runner, who scored from 2nd. Low 1st scored the lead runner. Low 3rd was in the home dugout on the starting pitcher who may have just lost his chance for a win. Tight Center was on the batter all the way. Center field? Stayed with the relief pitcher as he backed up the play.

What about the visiting feed? Their high camera was on their dugout. Their tight center was on the batter too. And their low camera? Well the studio kit & 20X lens wouldn't have seen much in the outfield even if the operator had shagged. Or if he was being recorded.

Oh, the X-MO! Well there's no telling what the fuzzy image was that floated through the screen, or even if that image was shot in the same stadium.

Perhaps there would have been a conclusive replay if it was 1999, back when both teams had full shows of 5 or 6 cameras and at least 4 replay machines each. But in 2009, the risk that dual feeds fail to provide enough looks to make a correct call may be very real.

What are the chances that MLB will envision such a scenario? Not so good.

Will producers & directors have to alter their shows just to increase the odds that they have tight shots of the ball in case a controversy arises? Will reaction shots give way to golf shots?

We can see it now.

Or maybe we can't.

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