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Expanded replay unlikely to be ready for Opening Day

Dec 3, 2012, 8:09 PM EDT

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig speaks during a news conference in New York Reuters

Amidst all the exciting free agent and trade talk from the Winter Meetings is this dispiriting report by ESPN’s Jayson Stark. While commissioner Bud Selig said in October that he wanted to have expanded replay in place for the 2013 season, it seems increasingly likely that it won’t happen.

Two sources familiar with the replay discussions told ESPN Monday that it’s now highly unlikely that baseball will be ready to increase its use of replay by Opening Day, because it still hasn’t settled on which technology it wants to use or how to employ it.

“I wouldn’t say there’s no chance,” one source said. “But given where we are, I’d say there’s almost no chance.”

Well, that’s a bummer. The plan calls for expanded replay to cover fair/foul balls and trap/catch calls, changes which were actually agreed to in the new collective bargaining agreement last year, but there’s a divide whether to use traditional replay or two experimental technologies which were tested in Yankee Stadium and Citi Field late in the season. And if additional “replay umpires” are needed to help expedite the process of replay decisions, those changes would need to be negotiated with the umpires’ union. There’s momentum to eventually get this right, as Stark details, but it seems there’s too much red tape to get it in place by April. It’s a shame.

  1. serbingood - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    This figures. But with all the blackouts that come with MLB.com At Bat, there are tons of games I will never be able to see and if I can’t see them, then Extended Replay is meaningless to me.

    Chelsea Clinton will be President by the time MLB gets it’s collective act together.

  2. tomtravis76 - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    The LLWS used instant replay and it worked just fine, it didn’t slow down the game, and you know what everyone was happy that the calls were right. A league for 12-13 year olds can use it just fine, yet MLB can’t figure out that the fans, players, managers, broadcasters want the calls made correct.Technolgy is making the game look stupid when the fans at home get the correct calls, but the umps and MLB don’t want to ruin the integrity of the game?

    Use instant replay for fair /foul balls, plays at the bag/plate, questionable catches. Just get it correct before next season.

  3. chumthumper - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    The pic used with this post is so apropos. Bud’s body language says it all about his opinion of instant replay.

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