Photo: FOX Sports Prime Ticket/MLB.tv
During a spot on the “Mike and Mike in the Morning” radio show, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com discussed how Major League Baseball plans to expand instant replay.And the level of expansion just might surprise you.
Stark revealed that expanded instant replay is coming when he was asked about the horrible call that may have cost the Detroit Tigers a chance to beat the Boston Red Sox yesterday.
Here are the details of what MLB is planning according to Stark (via ESPN Radio):
- A group of umpires will watch games from a central location
- On plays that are “clearly wrong” the group would then signal the umpires at the game and let them know there is an obvious call that needs to be changed
- MLB hopes to implement an introductory version of the system in 2013
- The initial system would only review home runs, whether a ball is fair or foul, and whether or not a player caught a ball
- The system would then be expanded “after a year or so” once the system is optimised
- At that point, the system would be expanded “to all sorts of calls.” However, Stark says exactly what would be included would have to be negotiated
There are two important points here. First is the use of umpires at the central location. This is clearly a move to placate the umpires’ union, who would likely be against expanding replay. By using umpires, MLB will be increasing the number of umpiring jobs, something the union would have a hard time turning down.
Also, the use of a central location will keep the game from being slowed down too much. One person watching a monitor in New York will work much faster than four umpires going into the clubhouse to review a play on a monitor.
But the most important point is when Stark concluded by saying this system “is being discussed, and is going to happen.”
It’s about time.
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