Major League Baseball umpires may soon have microphones on the field for the purpose of explaining the rulings of replay reviews, as reported by the Associated Press on Tuesday.
Currently, the only “official” word is the umpire’s signal — out, safe, etc. If umpires on the field were equipped with microphones, it would allow them to give a brief explanation of why a call stands or is overturned. Although an announcement is usually made in the press box — and sometimes shared with fans and teams — there would be less need for speculation and guesswork by everyone if the umpires just stated the reason themselves.
The National Football League has had referee microphones for ruling explanations since 1975, and it seems logical that MLB will take the step eventually.
One issue with this is that depending on placement, a microphone could pick up some, er, unintentional bits of dialogue as fans react. Additionally, the umpire would be regurgitating information fed to him from the replay official. It would make more sense to give the replay officials, located in a central office in New York, microphones so that information would come directly from the individuals making the decision.
So what do you think?
Is on-field microphones for the umpires a good idea?
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