Sources: MLB Umps May Wear Mics To Announce Replay Decisions
MLB's replay review decisions this season "could be announced at the ballpark by umps wearing microphones," according to sources cited by Ben Walker of the AP. MLB and the umpires are "actively discussing the possibility." If the technical aspects "can be worked out and the umps are comfortable with the concept, they could be mic'd up sometime this year." However, both sides say that there is "lots of work to do, making it uncertain whether this could be in place by opening day on March 26." Under the innovation, an umpire "might tell everyone at the park whether a challenged call is confirmed, stands or is reversed." It is "not known whether there would be any additional explanation of a ruling beyond the basics" (AP, 1/27). YAHOO SPORTS' Mike Oz wrote, "Get ready for a bit of the NFL to come to Major League Baseball -- and it sounds like a good thing." Having mic'd umps "seems like a necessary step to help the viewing experience, both in-person and at home" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/27).
A WELCOME CHANGE: MLB Network's Jayson Stark said the move to mic up umpires is "long overdue." MLB Net's Brian Kenny said umpires' "knowledge of the situation or the rules usually comes across as very impressive," so "this will be good for them" ("MLB Now," MLB Network, 1/27). MLB Net's Matt Yallof: "Do you ever get a text from someone at a game ... and you are watching on TV and they say, 'Why are they reviewing this play?' Well, that's over. Now we are going to know" ("MLB Tonight," MLB Network, 1/27).