SBD/Issue 43/Leagues & Governing Bodies

MLB GMs Neglect To Address Expanding Instant Replay At Meetings

Several GMs Say Instant Replay Never Open
To Discussion, Too Soon To Modify System
MLB GMs yesterday at their annual meeting "never addressed, let alone proposed the possibility of expanding the instant-replay system," according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Instant replay "will remain limited in 2010 to determining only whether potential home runs are fair or foul or cleared fences." MLB Exec VP/Baseball Operations Jimmie Lee Solomon: "I think we need to digest what we've got. I know some (general managers) have talked off-line about the expansion of instant replay, but [Commissioner Bud Selig] doesn't see any reason to consider it." Several GMs said that instant replay was "never open to discussion, but even if it was open to a debate, it is too soon to modify the system after being just implemented in August 2008, even in the wake of a postseason filled with blown calls by umpires" (USA TODAY, 11/11). Solomon said Selig is "going to talk to a lot of people in a lot of different disciplines before he makes a decision that impacts and changes" MLB, as he has been "very methodical about making those types of decisions and he will continue to do so." Yankees GM Brian Cashman: "We want what the umpires want -- to get the calls right. If the Commissioner's Office and the umps' union decides we already have the best format, then this is the best format. If there's a better way, we'll discuss it and pursue it, and we'll leave it in their hands." But Mets GM Omar Minaya said, "If you keep expanding it, it gets into areas where I'm not comfortable" (, 11/10). Angels GM Tony Reagins said instant replay is "working great, and for the most part the umpires are getting the calls right when replay is used." Reagins: "Can we always tweak and get better? Absolutely. But I think we're headed in the right direction" (AP, 11/10).

MIXED OPINIONS:'s Hal Bodley wrote, "Just the thought of umpires racing off the field to have a replay checked for something other than home runs angers me. Let's leave the human element of umpiring just where it is." MLB umpires "had a tough postseason, confessing after watching replays that they missed some calls that could have determined the outcome of the games in question," but MLB issues "go in cycles." Bodley: "I do not think that's reason to push the panic button and expand video replay" (, 11/10). But YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Kaduk wrote the technology "could easily be there to provide a safety net for the human element on the field." Replay "came through without much lost time" on a home run by Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez in World Series Game Three, and Kaduk wrote, "Why not let it come through in other spots that are just as crucial? Why must this be so difficult?" (, 11/10). SportsNet N.Y.'s Adam Schein: "You would think after what happened in the playoffs, this would be the first thing on the agenda" ("Loud Mouths," SportsNet N.Y., 11/10).

GOING GREEN:'s Ray Ratto writes, "When replay makes lots of money, you'll have replay. Until then, you won't. Simple as that." Selig is "flexible and even aggressive when you can show him how he and his employers make more money off a change in procedure, but is otherwise a profound traditionalist" (, 11/11).

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