MLB Owners Meetings: Torre Hopeful Replay Will Expand In '14
MLB Exec VP/Baseball Operations Joe Torre today said he is said "hopeful" of the league implementing expanded instant replay for the '14 season, with the scope of potential changes now enlarged to include everything outside of ball-strike calls. Speaking at the conclusion of quarterly owners meetings in N.Y., Torre said the future possibilities regarding replay have now moved far beyond a previously debated move toward including trap plays and fair/foul calls down the lines. He also acknowledged MLB umpires "have had a bad week or so" following a recent spate of high-profile gaffes, but added those mistakes are not motivating the larger replay talks.
Among other topics at the meetings:
- League attendance is down 3%, with 22 rainouts thus far, exceeding the number for all of last season. But Commissioner Bud Selig said he is "optimistic" the league can rebound from that decline, particularly as more makeup games are played in warmer weather.
- The Dodgers still have not formally submitted their proposed $8B TV deal with Time Warner for league approval. But the team and MLB execs continue to discuss the parameters of the deal and revenue sharing implications.
- MLB Exec VP/Economics & League Affairs Rob Manfred said the league and the MLBPA are currently engaged in "active discussions" regarding a worldwide player draft.
- The league is still aiming to open next season overseas, with games in Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Australia among the possibilities.