Baseball GMs pass on expanding instant replay
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) – Baseball general managers failed to take a vote Tuesday on expanding instant replay following a postseason filled with blown calls by umpires.
Baseball began video review in August 2008 but only to determine whether potential home runs were fair or foul or cleared fences.
“We talked about the mechanics behind instant replay. We talked about the structure. We talked about where it’s housed, the umpires’ procedure,” said Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner’s office. “But it was all confined to the current instant replay system that we have.”
Commissioner Bud Selig opposes widening the use of video review.
“I know there are some who have talked off line about the expansion of instant replay,” Solomon said. “Right now, the commissioner doesn’t see any reason to consider it.”
The GMs also heard a report from umpiring vice president Mike Port on training, evaluation and structure.
“I think commissioner Selig is going to look at the entire umpiring structure and he’s going to seek ways to enhance the entire structure,” Solomon said.
Other topics touched on during the GMs’ initial 4 1/2-hour meeting were restructuring the Arizona Fall League to include younger players and modifying the amateur draft to reflect the previous year’s postseason performance.
Solomon said there was no discussion on pace of the game, a topic that came to the forefront during the World Series after numerous visits to the mound by Yankees catcher Jorge Posada.
Video review by umpires is in its infancy.
“There are those who clamor for more and more instant replay. I think we need to digest what we’ve got,” Solomon said. “The commissioner is going to vet a lot of different people and a lot of different disciplines before he makes a decision to impact our sport or change our sport.”
No major trades were expected at this shorter-than-usual annual meeting, which ends Wednesday. Agents also are on hand at the gathering, being held at a hotel in O’Hare International Airport. Among the top available free agents are outfielders Matt Holliday and Jason Bay, pitcher John Lackey and infielder Chone Figgins.