SBD/Issue 24/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Calls For Increased Replay During MLB Playoffs Continue To Grow

Calls For Expanded Use Of Replay Growing
As League Championship Series Begin
No league is "more married to tradition" than MLB, but it is "time for MLB to march fully into the 21st century with expanded video replay in the post-season," according to Bob Smizik of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. The league "doesn’t need to go any further" with replay during the regular season than using it for home runs, as it currently does. However, in the playoffs, with the championship on the line and a plethora of camera angles available, MLB has to use replays to preserve the integrity of the game" (POST-GAZETTE.com, 10/15). USA TODAY's Christine Brennan writes as bad as umpire Phil Cuzzi's missed called was during Yankees-Twins ALDS Game Two, when he called a fair ball foul, "it could have been worse." The call "could have happened in Game 7 of the World Series." Without increasing the use of replay, Brennan writes, "Problem is for Major League Baseball, it still might." But MLB Commissioner Bud Selig yesterday said that he "doesn't favor an increase in replays because he doesn't want technology to interrupt the revered pace of the game." Selig: "Once you start opening up Pandora's box, there's no way to stop it. I believe that would be a disservice to the game" (USA TODAY, 10/15). ESPN.com's Rob Neyer wrote, "We're not going to see more video review in the foreseeable future. We're not going to see it because nothing happens in Major League Baseball without the commish's assent, and the commish is finished with this one" (ESPN.com, 10/13). But ESPN's Buster Olney said, "I do think that if there continues to be some missed calls the rest of this postseason, those voices will get louder within Major League Baseball" ("Outside The Lines," ESPN, 10/14).

LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS: ESPN's Jim Rome said of Selig, "The next postseason game that you play in under four hours will probably be the first. ... There's no clock in baseball. Nobody cares if the slowest game ever takes another five or seven minutes. But we all care about some ump butchering a call which costs somebody a game. Join the rest of us here in the 21st century, Bud" ("Jim Rome Is Burning," ESPN, 10/14). FANHOUSE.com's Jay Mariotti wrote, "It's not healthy for the sport's future when playoff drama is haunted by perpetual anxiety over the next umpiring blunder. If baseball wants high credibility, not the current crudibility, Selig and his men will act swiftly for a change and recognize their crisis at hand" (FANHOUSE.com, 10/13).

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