MLB's New CBA Includes Changes To Rules Governing Video Replay, Player Conduct
MLB's new five-year CBA contains several changes that could be implemented by next season, including "more video replay" and the "possibility of players wearing microphones during games," according to Ronald Blum of the AP. MLB "wants to expand replay to include fair-or-foul calls, 'whether a fly ball or line drive was trapped' and fan interference all around the ballpark." Umpires "still must give their approval and it's uncertain whether the extra replay will be in place by Opening Day." The new agreement also will allow teams from the same division to "meet in the playoffs before the league championship series." In addition, there is a "ban on players getting tattoos with corporate logos," and "quick uniform number switches will be a thing of the past." Players "must tell the commissioner's office by July 31 of the preceding year if they want a new jersey." The CBA states that is unless "the player (or someone on his behalf) purchases the existing finished goods inventory of apparel containing the player's jersey number." Meanwhile, the All-Star break "will be expanded to four days, rather than the traditional three-day gap." The CBA states starting in '13, MLB "shall have the right to elect to switch the All-Star game from Tuesday to Wednesday and the Home Run Derby from Monday to Tuesday." There also are "several provisions regarding players' conduct." New language in the deal allows MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to "discipline players for violating federal, state or local law or for conduct 'materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of baseball.'" Players also can be "disciplined for violating MLB's social media policy, which still is being developed." The MLBPA has "already ratified the hundreds of pages contained in Major League Baseball's Memorandum of Understanding." Owners are "scheduled to vote Thursday" (AP, 12/13).
PROOF POSITIVE: ESPN.com's Mark Kreidler wrote fans would "have to say, even grudgingly, that Major League Baseball has entered some wholly new realm in its drug-testing program when the system takes down one of its own" MVPs in Brewers LF Ryan Braun. It "suggests a test that is working." But the league had to watch one of its stars "take a massive header, with word leaked nationally of that fact." Kreidler: "Not typically your best day at the office." The Braun case "suggests very loudly that the sport may be no closer than it ever was to being drug-free" (ESPN.com, 12/13). In Milwaukee, Michael Hunt writes under the header, "Braun Saga Has No Positives." Hunt: "Braun and baseball have been embarrassed by the way the news got out before either side was prepared to deal with the bombshell. There is nothing to do now except wait on more definitive results" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 12/14). ESPN's Jim Rome said, "Braun’s a great talent, he’s a great guy. I hope he didn't do it, but I would not be surprised if he did. Nothing would surprise me at this point" ("Jim Rome Is Burning," ESPN2, 12/13).