Skip to content

Expanded instant replay off the table until 2013

Mar 13, 2012, 7:13 PM EDT

Bud Selig Getty Images

Expanded playoffs were rushed across the finish line in time for the 2012 season. But expanded instant replay? Unfortunately we’ll have to wait for at least another year.

The new collective bargaining agreement called for replay to include calls on trapped balls, fair-or-foul calls and fan interference. However, Ben Walker of the Associated Press reports that MLB and the unions representing for the umpires and the players were unable to agree on a plan to implement it for this season.

“We weren’t able to come up with an acceptable set of agreements between the three parties,” MLB executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “We hope we’ll be able to do it in time for the 2013 season.”

There are still some logistics to work out, such as who would ask for a challenge and whether umpires or an MLB official would be tasked with making the final decision on calls. Not surprisingly, most of the resistance seems to be coming from the umpires. Walker notes they want something in return for the use of expanded replay, perhaps in the form of additional retirement or disability benefits or even a seventh umpire for postseason crews.

  1. Dave Barker - Mar 13, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Why the umpires view this as something to be asked of them, rather than something given to aid them, is a mystery to me. Pride, I guess. I wish they would realize most reasonable people know their job is difficult and that they could use some assistance from modern technology. Technology each of us has in our living rooms.

    • donniebb23 - Mar 13, 2012 at 7:50 PM

      Agreed. The idea that they “want something in return” for accepting a policy that helps them do their job better is laughable.

    • stex52 - Mar 13, 2012 at 8:22 PM

      Excellent point. I suspect they may think this is a step toward hiring cutting the number of umps and hurting their job security. Also possible that they just don’t want help. A friend of mine who used to be a basketball referee suggested that I never underestimate the importance of ego in them doing their job well. You need to be pretty sure of yourself to take the pressure of the constant decision-making with millions watching you.

      • donniebb23 - Mar 13, 2012 at 8:29 PM

        That’s true, I hadn’t thought about the idea of them cutting umps down the line. But that’s a looooooooong way from happening if it ever does. I think it’s more about ego, which I have a problem with. An employee (granted a unionized one) shouldn’t be able to dictate advancements in their profession on the basis of ego. That’s like a unionized construction worker asking for extra vacation in exchange for using nail guns instead of a regular hammer. Dumb dumb dumb.

      • cur68 - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:15 AM

        Let me add my voice to all this reasonableness going on; I agree. This helps umpiring. Might even add another job to the crew working the game: the booth umpire. I don’t what their problem is, but I think ego is as good a guess as any other.

  2. leftywildcat - Mar 13, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Bud Selig is not in the best shape of his life.

    • ptfu - Mar 13, 2012 at 7:58 PM

      Unfortunately for us, he might be…

  3. fearlessleader - Mar 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    So happy to see that MLB is fixing the problems we don’t have and ignoring the ones we do!

    • JBerardi - Mar 13, 2012 at 8:04 PM

      I don’t really mind it. As much as baseball needs a good replay system, I’m somewhere between 99 and 100% sure that whatever replay system Bud Selig actually institutes will render the game completely unwatchable.

      • Bryz - Mar 13, 2012 at 8:39 PM

        Phil Cuzzi was unwatchable after calling that Joe Mauer liner a foul ball in the playoffs a couple years ago.

  4. ireportyoudecide - Mar 13, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Baseball, unlike football or baseketball doesn’t really have any judgement calls. I vote for radical change, but I think the biggest chance for improvement would be a computerized strike zone, get it right 100% of the time, the technology is there to do it.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 14, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      You’re insane. Everything about baseball umpiring is a judgement call. Why don’t you get out and try it sometime. Start at third and work around the infield to home. It’s not nearly as easy as you seem to think it is.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 14, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        Yet you guys still don’t get it. You hire guys to make judgements calls over 300 times a game, then want to replace them because you don’t trust thier judgement.

        And you wonder why they oppose it. If your boss had technology that second-guessed every decison you made, you wouldn’t like it either.

        It’s a this/that situation. You can have this, or you can have that. But both don’t work. The NFL has already shown that replay doesn’t work right, and is inconclusive many times.

        If it’s not going to be perfect, then why have it?

  5. cereal blogger - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Bud Selig, asleep at the wheel as usual….”what,,,when,,,instant reply,,,who ? Wha,,,how do you turn this dern internet machine on ?” What a crazy old cook. Has there been a worse commissioner in the history of pro sports ? I doubt it….Oh well, but somewhere old Bud is asleep drooling on a park bench with a half eaten bologna sandwhich resting comfortably in its brown paper bag home. Meanwhile the pigeons look on curiously

  6. Walk - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Could you imagine the unions not approving trucks because it takes away jobs from people carrying groceries from one side of the city to another? I kinda got that feeling here. Another feeling is along the lines of pay us to use equipment that allows us to do our jobs better and faster.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Wright (2639)
  2. G. Stanton (2597)
  3. D. Span (2442)
  4. Y. Puig (2420)
  5. B. Crawford (2348)