SBD/Issue 34/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Selig Says He Is Proud Of Umps During Playoffs Despite Miscues

Selig Feels Expanding Instant Replay
Would Break Pace Of The Game
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said while there have been several missed calls during the postseason, he is “proud of what the umpires have done.” Selig: “We had a little series of bad calls, there's no question about that. … There were very controversial calls. Actually, a couple of them weren't so controversial, they were just wrong. But I have faith in the umpires.” CBS’ David Letterman noted “everybody's talking about the umpiring in the playoffs,” to which Selig said, “Why am I not shocked that that was your first question.” Letterman: “It's all anybody was talking about.” Selig said of implementing broader usage of instant replay, "I'm not afraid of change. We've made more changes in the last 17 years than ever before. But … baseball's a game of pace, and when you go to a game, you can't have calls being looked at, pitchers waiting on the mound for three or four minutes. It breaks the pace of the game” (“The Late Show,” CBS, 10/28).

NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT GOING FORWARD: Fox’ Joe Buck said while he did not believe expanded use of replay should be implemented during the World Series, “it needs to be looked at going forward in 2010 during the postseason alone.” Buck: “I just think there's too much technology out there and sophisticated viewers that look at these things in high definition and I think expect people to get it right. Maybe umpires after awhile would embrace knowing that they had that security blanket, that they didn't have to wake up the next day after a 10-1 game like they did after Game Four of the ALCS and read and look at all the missed calls” (“PTI,” ESPN, 10/28). L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke: "Bud Selig has done some great things for baseball. But for his legacy right now, I think it hangs in the balance with instant replay." Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said, "There has never been a lower time for baseball in regard to its umpiring. We've seen over the years in World Series mistakes made, but we haven't seen in the postseason mistake after mistake after mistake. Come into the new technology, new millennium, Bud” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/28).

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT: In N.Y., Mike Puma notes the umpires working Phillies-Yankees World Series Game One "got one right," as a "group discussion in last night's fifth inning led the umpires to overturning an initial missed call." Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins caught an infield bloop, then threw to first for a double play, and replays confirmed that the umpires were "correct in their reversal." Crew Chief Gerry Davis said, "We got together to make sure we were all on the same page." Puma notes it "certainly was a step in the right direction for the umps during a postseason marred by bad calls" (N.Y. POST, 10/29).

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