Friday, July 27, 2012

Bud Selig: MLB Expanded Replay Reluctantly on the Way

Expanded instant replay is coming to MLB, said Commissioner Bud Selig during an interview with ESPN New York on Friday: "We're now going to add it on trapped balls in the outfield and as I call them, bullets hit down the first and third base lines."

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig: Expanded Replay is on the Horizon
During a year in which soccer, international rugby and the NBA all voted to adopt expand instant replay, while the NFL has vowed to give fans a glimpse under the replay hood, showing instant replay angles on jumbotrons and big screens around the league, baseball, long reluctant to the expansion of replay review, might give into peer pressure sooner rather than later.

In December 2011, MLB's proposed labor deal included a provision that would have expanded instant replay to cover Selig-described "bullet" fair/foul calls (supported by 36 percent of UEFL'ers), catch/trap calls (30 percent of UEFL'ers) and the expansion of replay to include all spectator interference calls (68 percent of UEFL'ers). The proposal was ultimately rejected due to a lack of logistical and implementation solutions (e.g., a fifth umpire vs. a booth official, how would runner placement be enforced during a foul-to-fair call reversal?).

Nonetheless, Selig warned, "I'm very cautious in spite of the fact that we've made more changes in baseball in the last 20 years than we have in our history."

Selig continued, citing concerns for disrupting pace of the game, indicating he is "inclined to agree" with those who are opposed to expanding instant replay, stating, "there is little appetite in the sport today for replay."

In regards to umpiring, Selig said, "I read the umpire scores and you'd be surprised how well they do. Nobody second-guessed umpires more than me when I owned the Milwaukee Brewers, I admit it."

News: Selig confident replay will grow
Related: MLB Wants to Expand Instant Replay: A Comprehensive Look at the Proposed Deal (Dec. 2011)


MattAB said...

I suppose this was just a matter of time. But, for all of the people who think this will solve every controversy, don't kid yourselves. The whiners and complainers will now just move on to criticizing things like runner placement on reversed calls. I personally have mixed feelings about replay expansion, but there will never be a truly 'perfect' system. I guess we'll just have to see how this all works out.

Anonymous said...

Im excited, this is going to cause more ejections because of runner placement. Unless they make a rule that they only get one base or something.

Anonymous said...

They will just make a rule that you cannot argue runner placement after instant replay review. Just like it is now that you cannot argue the decision after replay.

wwjd said...

The use of expanded replay is long overdue it should of happened two years ago and they were stupid not to do it this season when they had agreed on a pretty good format

MattAB said...

@Anon 8:48, Even if you had some form of mandatory placement rule for an overturned foul call, i.e. everyone gets two base, you are still going to have arguments. Just imagine, a ball is hit sharply down the line, with a runner on first, and is called a foul ball. After replay review it is overturned to a fair ball. Even if you had a rule that simply said "every runner gets two bases" people are still going to freak out and complain, and the line they will use wil be something a long the lines of "if you would have gotten the original call correct that guy on first would have scored". Even with replay the umps will still get blasted, whether there is a mandatory base rule, or if it is left up to the umpire's discretion. Some poeple just want to complain.

Arik said...

The point totals in this league are going to take off when this takes effect.

Anonymous said...

Crews are going to have to be trained to make "the least obstrusive call". And they still haven't gotten the hang of it with the HR Replay. Example: Batter hits a questionable HR. The BEST ruling - with replay available - is to emphatically keep the ball IN PLAY so the runners can determine their own base advancement. If replay says HR, simple, just send everyone to home.

How does this apply to fair/foul bullets? The BEST ruling is to call it FAIR - with replay available. If it is judged foul on replay then it is just a do-over, runners return and batter goes back to the plate as after any foul ball.

Outfield traps will be the worst. Failure to initially rule CATCH deprives the defense of a shot at a double play. If replay shows a trap, then runners will be placed at discretion. Crews should best hedge to a CATCH call. I can only imagine the heartburn and rancor if a crew can assign a double play after a trap review.

But I doubt MLB will encourage this logic. Crews will call 'em as they sees 'em - which was the only way to do it before replay. However, with replay the "Nash Equilibrium" (remember the movie "A Beautiful Mind" about John Nash and his Game Theory?); anyway the Nash Equilibrium changes and there is a new win/win solution.
Anon= LMS1953

Anonymous said...

Also, try explaining to the average fan over even announcer the nuance of a "bullet down the line" that first lands before first or third and there is a judgment of where it crosses the bag and the bullet that may have hit the foul line past the bag (like Beltran/Santana)

I predict the next hue and cry will be for plays at the plate. And why not? There is not much difference between that and a HR review. And once you allow replays at the plate, then why not third, second and first?

Anon= LMS1953

Anonymous said...

What about that Dale Scott ejection recently with the out/trap reversed call that turned a double play into two men and none out? I know it was the "right call," but Terry Collins still got tossed, and he admits it was intentional. If this replay goes into effect, expect a lot more Terry Collins style of ejections on reversed call.

Anonymous said...

I don't really understand it. For the second time, Selig is claiming that he is the one spearheading the expansion of instant replay and that he has been the leader of all these changes MLB has made over the past few decades, yet he says he's hesitant about imposing said changes. True diplomacy, you'd think Selig was a Washington DC Politician with that double-speak.

Anonymous said...

It would be much more cost-effective to just employ line umpires in every game.

Anonymous said...

SO many of you talk like you really know what your talking about.
Why change runner placement,,,,, moron
Not a bad idea to get as much right as possible
To bad we arent as concerned over our country getting it right. Replay it Nope live with it
work harder, dont make it close Dont blame the umps, you slow, uncoordinated , over paid whiners Boy that felt good,,, go ahead throw me out.

Anonymous said...

Selig....there were no ties in baseball until you put your hand in it. And there were no replays until you did the same thing. This is such BS...i think the 3B and 1B umpires should just ignor "rocket shots" down the line then. Heck the booth can make them. But that aside YOU CANNOT place runners if yuo reverse a foul ball call into a fair ball because everyone stops playing people. Who knows what "would have happened?" And traps are the same thing. Let's not forget that the game has three teams out there. The Home Team, The Visitors and The Umpires. And all of them may make mistakes from time to time. That is what makes this game so human and so enjoyable. Other sports are too sterile.

Anonymous said...

Let's just replace all of the umpires with robots and get it over with :)

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