Base­ball gen­eral man­agers rec­om­mend­ing in­stant re­play

The Covington News - - SPORTS - By Ron­ald Blum

OR­LANDO, Fla. — Base­ball could have a new po­si­tion next year: re­play judge.

Gen­eral man­agers rec­om­mended for the first time Tues­day that in­stant re­play be used to help um­pires make dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions.

The pro­posal, ap­proved by a 25-5 vote, was lim­ited to bound­ary calls — whether po­ten­tial home runs are fair or foul, whether balls go over fences or hit the tops and bounce back, and whether fans in­ter­fere with pos­si­ble homers.

“We’ve taken the first step. The ques­tion will be now, what do we do?” said Jim­mie Lee Solomon, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent for base­ball op­er­a­tions in the com­mis­sioner’s of­fice. “We have glacier-like move­ment in base­ball, so I’m hope­ful that we can at least start mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sions about it. I think that this will be some­thing we’ll have to go very de­lib­er­ately on.”

Solomon said the next step will be to speak with com­mis­sioner Bud Selig, who op­poses the use of re­plays but said last month he was will­ing to let GMs ex­am­ine the is­sue. If Selig gives the go-ahead, Solomon and staff in the com­mis­sioner’s of­fice would draft a de­tailed re­play pro­posal that GMs could vote on when they gather next month at the win­ter meet­ings in Nashville, Tenn.

Re­play even­tu­ally would have to be ap­proved by the unions for play­ers and um­pires, and pos­si­bly in a vote by own­ers.

“It’s very im­por­tant that we do get Bud’s agree­ment on this,” Solomon said. “He seemed to be softer, at least, on the con­sid­er­a­tion of the sub­ject lately. I would not con­sider him an ad­vo­cate of in­stant re­play. He will have to be con­vinced.”

Television re­plays can be used for many calls in the NFL. In the NBA, they are of­ten used to de­ter­mine whether play­ers get shots off be­fore time ex­pires. In the NHL, re­plays are ap­plied to check whether pucks cross goal lines. In grand slam ten­nis, re­plays can be used to as­cer­tain whether balls are in or out.

Solomon likened this to the NHL model. He said the GMs’ tech­nol­ogy com­mit­tee felt that the best method would be to have all video fed to a cen­tral lo­ca­tion to be judged.

Solomon said if re­play couldn’t be put it place for the start of next sea­son, it was pos­si­ble it could make its de­but in the post­sea­son.

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