Wednesday, December 14, 2011

MLB News: Proposed Labor Deal Includes Expanded Instant Replay

When MLB first introduced instant replay in 2008, the release was limited to potential home run boundary calls. Now, in possibly the first ever revision to the original replay release, MLB has indicated a desire to expand instant replay to the following situations and calls:

  • Fair/Foul (Supported by 36 percent of UEFL'ers)*
  • Catch/No Catch (Supported by 30 percent of UEFL'ers)*
  • Expansion to include all spectator interference calls (Supported by 68 percent of UEFL'ers)
*According to the UEFL's August poll regarding the subject.

What does expanded replay mean for MLB in 2012? What does it mean for the UEFL and ejections? 

Consider these case plays which have no correct answer: 

IR 1: With one out and one on, B1 hits a line drive to F8 who dives for the attempted catch. U2 rules "no catch," as he believes the ball was trapped. R1, upon seeing U2's "safe" mechanic, rounds second base and arrives at third base safely while B1 hustles into first. Meanwhile, F8, believing he caught the ball and unaware of U2's call, throws the ball to F3 who tags first base (after B1 already overran it). Believing they have just completed an inning-ending double play, the defensive team leaves the field as R1 makes a mad dash for the now-uncovered plate. Instant replay indicates the ball was clearly caught. What happens to R1?

IR 2: With one out and two on, B1 hits a line drive to F7 who dives for the attempted catch. U3 rules "catch," as he believes the ball was caught. R1, unaware of (and unable to see) U3's mechanic and believing the ball was not caught, advances to and rounds second base. R2, upon seeing U3's "out" mechanic, returns to second base where he runs right by R1, who has already rounded the second base bag. U2 immediately declares R1 out for passing R2, while R2 runs toward third base and B1 takes second base. F7 throws to F5, who steps on the bag before R2's arrival. F5 never tags R2's person. Instant replay indicates the ball was clearly trapped. What happens to our runners?

The umpires still must ratify this proposal for it to take hold in 2012, but according to our August poll, these three issues (fair/foul, catch/trap, fan int.) are the three issues that have been most supported as expansion candidates.


Anonymous said...

I suppose if they want to expand Replay, this is the easiest way to start. MLB must have looked at the UEFL poll, huh...

Anonymous said...

Just incredible...MLB's expanded use of replay continues to hurt the game. Considering there are about 10 trapped ball/ fair foul ejections per year I don't think it will affect the UEFL greatly, but we shall see.

tmac said...

I can only remember a couple fair foul (non home run) ejections the past couple of years. The reason for MLB wanting to make fair foul reviewable is due to the two missed calls in the postseason by Cuzzi and Hoye. There is a push to correct those type calls. My solution is switch to a 4 man system for the postseason. It's a much harder call to have a ball coming at you and your perspective is different b/c you are down the lines almost never. If you are not used to it these calls become very dificult.

Fair foul reversals offer a slippery slope. Once the ball is called foul and then reversed you have to place runners.. and THAT will result in ejections more then getting the call right.

Also apply this to changing a catch to a no catch (especially with two outs) all eyes are on the baseball and now you have to plce runners... GOOD LUCK!!

MaestroBen said...

"Fair foul reversals offer a slippery slope. Once the ball is called foul and then reversed you have to place runners.. and THAT will result in ejections more then getting the call right. "

tmac, because of this, do you think (IF replay is expanded) there will be a push to call it fair if it's at all close, because it's a whole lot easier to fix?

tmac said...

Maestro Ben said, "tmac, because of this, do you think (IF replay is expanded) there will be a push to call it fair if it's at all close, because it's a whole lot easier to fix?"

I think that's always been the case, especially in the minor leagues where poor lighting and undesirable sun locations can cause you to miss (not see) a play. Umpires are trained if they don't see it and the ball is in the field of play always errr to call it fair b/c you can't change a foul ball.

BUT you still have to call what you see... I"m sure umpires will be graded in same way and if there are umpires calling foul balls fair consistantly then they will be handled accordingly. A majority of the time the disputed calls are bounding or line drives that an umpire has to avoid (remember Justin Klemm's play). BOunding balls without an accurate camera right on the line willl NEVER provide a difinitive answer as to where the ball crossed from fair to foul.

Gil would probably be able to tell you how many ejections have resulted in fair foul decisions (non-home runs) over the past few years. I would guess it's about 3 a year. I once went a full season without a tough fair foul decision. They don't happen as offen as you think.

Lindsay said...

Of the 199 MLB ejections in 2011:
101 were for Balls/Strikes (including check swings)
45 were for Safe/Out (tag, time, trap)
20 were for Throwing At
10 were Miscellaneous/NEC
8 were for Balks
7 were for Fighting
5 were for Interference/Obstruction (including fan interference)
2 were for HR/Not HR
1 was for Fair/Foul

That's right, just one and that one (James Hoye [1], the infamous White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen kicking Cubs catcher Geovany Soto's mask ejection) would have been confirmed as correct on instant replay.

The Phil Cuzzi Twins in the playoffs type of a call hasn't happened since...the Twins were in the playoffs and that call happened the first time. And that only happened because the LF umpire position is unusual and uncomfortable for a group of umpires who are used to working as a crew of four (or three).

tmac said...

James Hoye missed a fair Foul this year in his playoff series. He was working the left field line the ball hit off the wall in fair territory. He called it foul. Interestingly enough there was a horrible sun glare for his call!

and as always thanks for the info!! it really is much ado about very little!

tmac said...

and for those who didn't see the series between Arizona and Milwaukee here is the article:

Jeremy Dircks said...

I think the question with the fair/foul call may be similar to what they face in the NFL and NCAA post-implementation of instant replay. The axiom has sort of changed from no cheap fumbles to keep it live (fumble vs. down by contact) because you can correct the on field fumble call, when in only very rare instances you can change a down by contact call. We may possibly see those close calls that are 50-50 go towards keep the ball live and fair. Though it really is a reaction call and the fact is you go with the call you believe to be correct. If umpires go with fair calls time in and time out on anything close, they may be utilizing instant replay many times than a lot would like.

Post a Comment