Friday, May 17, 2013

MLB to Consider 'Vast Expansion' of Instant Replay Review

MLB is considering a "vast expansion" of its instant replay video review system, according to an Associated Press report. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig stated in regards to instant replay expansion, "my opinion has evolved" while Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Torre said, "We're considering much more than the trap play and fair/foul."

The news comes on the heels of a mid-May period during which two high-profile calls were made in error, one involving instant replay use (Angel Hernandez's ejection of Bob Melvin) and the other involving an improper rule application (Fieldin Culbreth's suspension).

When MLB tested expanded instant replay in New York during August 2012, both tennis' Hawk-Eye and PGA golf's TrackMan software were considered. The results of that testing have not been released.

Torre, who is mindful of the unwanted focus on perceived missed calls that may have otherwise been overturned by replay, admitted "there are a lot of hurdles" in expanded replay implementation: "We have a rhythm in this game that we certainly don't want to disrupt."

Torre also mentioned certain calls that could be up for replay review might be too close to call—even with the video technology:
"Well, this past week, we had three umpires looking at a replay and unfortunately we got it wrong. So it's not always that easy. I watched a tag play at the plate in the White Sox-Minnesota game the other night and I still don't know if he was tagged. I couldn't swear one way or the other. And we had a lot of camera angles on that. It's not as easy as I thought it would be, because we're learning more and more.
"It's not an easy job. [The umpires] have a lot of pressure on them going out there. I can tell you in my three years here, they care a great deal. I think people have a misconception of that, like they're just showing up at the ballpark and putting in their time. That's not true. Have we had a bad week? Yeah, but the one thing was a rules interpretation. It had nothing to do with replay."
Though a challenge system like one used in NFL or NCAA football has made an appearance, Torre has voiced his opposition: "Managers have to make enough decisions...We've tried to stay away from technology telling us what to do."

Safeco Field's instant replay box.
The extent of MLB's proposed "vast expansion" of instant replay is not yet apparent, though Torre hopes to have proposals ready by the August 14-15 meeting of the instant replay subcommittee—featuring Torre, former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and Braves president John Scheurholz—which will take place in Cooperstown.

The sub-committee is an offshoot of Selig's Special Committee for On-Field Matters, created in 2009. That committee includes Torre, La Russa, Scheurholz, Tigers skipper Jim Leyland, Angels manager Mike Scioscia (who protested the Culbreth game), GMs Andy McPhail, Terry Ryan and Mark Shapiro, club owners and presidents Chuck Armstrong, Paul Beeston, Bill DeWitt and Dave Montgomery, Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and columnist George Will.

Despite proposals to the contrary, MLB failed to expand instant replay in advance of both 2012 and 2013.


Lindsay said...

Its great that the Special Committee for On Field Matters seems to include everyone but umpires.

Lindsay said...

This decision will not please one Angel Estulto Hernandez, considering that he intentionally tanked the replay call on Rosales' homerun.

Lindsay said...

This decision will not please one Angel Estulto Hernandez, considering that he

Lindsay said...

I shall call you Mr. Insane Conspiracy Theorist and shall enjoy many a laugh at your expense.

Lindsay said...

I'm assuming your either a member of Congress or work for FOX News since you believe every opinion and conspiracy theory you read!!

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