That's good news for those that want it - and I am one of them. Especially after watching a Little League Baseball game today between Panama and Puerto Rico.
In the LLWS, Managers have a challenge they can use if they believe a call made on the field is incorrect and can be corrected (such as a force-out or a play at the plate that would otherwise end the play for that sequence. If the challenge fails, that team can no longer challenge another play. If the challenge is successful, the team retains the challenge and can challenge another play should the chance arises later on in the game. MLB has proposed that Managers are given 1 challenge for the first six innings, then given an additional challenge in the 7th inning (having at most 2 challenges in the game)
Here is the situation faced today: With Panama leading 8-4 in the top of the 5th (Puerto Rico batting), bases are loaded, and 1 out, batter hits a ground ball to the pitcher, who throws to home plate to get the lead runner for 1 out then throws to first base to attempt to catch the batter and end the inning with a double play.
The batter was called safe on the play that was extremely close. The Panama Manager comes out to first argue the play, then quickly challenging the play at first believing the batter to be out. Video replay gave clear evidence that the batter was about a quarter step short of the bag when the ball made it to the first baseman's mitt, thus the batter is out. The umpire did give the ruling of an out after about 45 seconds looking at replay, ending that half of the inning.
The argument of having instant replay is keeping the human element in the game and that it will waste more time adding on to the game than what it already is.
While keeping the human element in baseball is critical, the fact is this: Technology today has made umpiring more difficult where there are times where umpires could make a bad call and not have it blasted on Sportscenter. Now every single game can be view by anyone today, which means every umpire if they make a bad call that wins or loses the game is viewed by everyone on ESPN or other channels that would broadcast highlights.
The other reason being that games will last longer I believe is hogwash. The reason? The situation I presented today actually DECREASED the amount of time that game took. Why did it decrease? If the "Safe" call stood, another batter comes up to the plate in the Top of the 5th instead of the game moving to the bottom of the 5th. It would take at least a minute for that batter to complete his at bat, an average of probably 2 minutes during a normal game if that next batter happens to be an out. If not, then it would go to another batter before eventually ending the inning, adding 5 minutes or so of unneeded game time when they weren't supposed to bat on the out call.
Now will there be calls challenged to prevent an out? Yes, and those situations will even itself out and in the long run will barely (if any) increase the amount of time to play the game by virtue of instant replay. I would love to see the stats on game times when replay is used in the next few years. I seriously doubt I will see any increase.