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Competitive balance fine, no need for expanded replay, says MLB President

Nov 10, 2009, 10:55 AM EDT

Baseball’s president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy was on “Mike & Mike in the Morning” yesterday, and was asked about the Yankees’ alleged buying a title. His response:

“I don’t think that’s a fair statement. Competitive balance has been a hallmark of the entire tenure of Commissioner [Bud] Selig. The numbers tell an awfully compelling story. Twenty of the 30 clubs have made the playoffs the last 10 years, when we’ve had eight different World Series champions. There is too much disparity. We’d like to see that gap close. That’s why we’ve been pushing revenue sharing. But if you look beyond the Yankees, that ratio is more compressed than people realize.”

That last bit reminded me of the famous Marion Barry quote in which he said that if you take out the killings, Washington D.C. actually has a very very low crime rate. Absolutely true! Totally not comforting!

DuPuy went to call for a reformation of the draft to add international players. Though he didn’t say it explicitly, he was also clearly advocating for hard slots on amateur signing bonuses. Both of those things will be demanded by the owners the next time the Collective Bargaining Agreement is up for renewal. If I had to guess now, I’d say that the players will give that to the owners, simply because neither of those things directly impact current players.

Finally, DuPuy was asked about the bad umping during the playoffs. In response he dismissed the call for expanded replay and said “Our job is to get the very best umpires on the field and for them to get the calls right.”  Given that he called some of the plays this postseason “inexplicable” I’m inclined to believe that there are some umpires — say, Phil Cuzzi and Tim McClelland — who are going to get blasted back to the stone age as a result of their performance this fall.

That’s not enough for some GMs, however, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports today:

“The playoffs were a mess,” a National League general manager said.”There is no reason not to have a replay ump upstairs.”

A second GM agreed but said he expects no action on replay in 2010. “That speaks to a real lack of vision and leadership at the commissioner’s office,” he said.

Psst! Bob! He’s talking about you.

  1. Bill@TDS - Nov 10, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    Ugh. If DuPuy doesn’t see the problems, DuPuy himself is the problem.

  2. smokehouse - Nov 10, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    With head firmly placed in sand.

  3. JBerardi - Nov 10, 2009 at 11:42 PM

    Why is baseball so determined to use an outdated, sub-optimal method of umpiring it’s games? Who stands to gain by doing this? Why can it never be changed?

  4. opalboy - Nov 11, 2009 at 9:07 AM

    they obviosly don’t want to get it right, less control over who gets to the playoffs!

  5. Old Gator - Nov 11, 2009 at 10:52 AM

    No, with head firmly placed between two natural cushions in a way that requires extensive yoga practice.
    Frankly, I don’t think we need real umpires at all – nor, for that matter, real, overpaid, tail-chasing, wife-beating, osturing, egotisitcal, whining players either. We’re getting to the point where we can play entire games with nothing but idoru, like those virtual movie stars in TV commercials. We can even program in random events like fatal beanballs a la Robert Coover’s The Universal Baseball Association, J. Henry Waugh, Proprietor. You could even have a virtual Player’s Association director…though only Buddha knows why you’d want one.

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