Blog Entry

GMs pass on voting for instant replay

Posted on: November 10, 2009 4:28 pm

CHICAGO -- The word at the general managers' meetings here Tuesday: Don't hold your breath for expanded instant replay in 2010.

The GMs discussed instant replay as one of their agenda items Tuesday morning, then they quickly moved on to other topics -- like revamping the Arizona Fall League in order to get younger prospects in and possibly modifying the amateur draft so it more accurately reflects the previous season (e.g., the World Series winner would draft last, even if it didn't have the game's best overall record).

As for discussing what was expected to be the hot topic this offseason ... not so much.

"If the general managers would come up with some kind of consensus of what they'd like to see [regarding instant replay], they would likely do it through a subcommittee of general managers and the committee probably would speak for the GMs in general and then a report would be made to ownership and to the commissioner," said Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice-president for baseball operations.

"If that took place then the commissioner would have probably the deciding vote on it."

As of now, Commissioner Bud Selig, who instituted replays on boundary calls (mostly, involving home runs) during the 2008 season, is on record as saying he is not enamored with adding more.

"Life is changing and I understand that," Selig said during a conversation at the World Series last week. "I do like the human element and I think the human element for the last 130 years has worked pretty well. There have been controversies, but there are controversies in every sport."

Part of the reason the GMs didn't wade too deeply into the instant replay question could be because it's been on their agenda in multiple years over the past decade and never got very far.

Also, it is not up to them to make the decision. As White Sox GM Kenny Williams said Monday, it's up to Selig and the owners. Williams long has been a proponent of instant replay and has placed it on the agenda at the GM meetings himself in the past.

"The commissioner is a very forward-looking person but he also has an ample respect for tradition," Solomon said. "So he doesn't take this lightly and doesn't make a lot of changes without giving them a thorough vetting.

"I think the current process we have came into play because he thought about it long and hard, he saw where technology was and made a decision it would not have an adverse affect on the pace of game, so much so that he decided to go forward with it."

Like most of the rest of us, the GMs watched umpires like Phil Cuzzi, Tim McClelland and C.B. Bucknor stumble their way through a miserably umpired postseason.

Yet here, it's as if that happened years ago, not simply a month ago.

"You've got to understand, we just put instant replay in in 2008," Solomon said. "We only have a season and a couple of months of experience. And now there are those who clamor for more and more instant replay.

"I think we need to digest what we've got. We need to look at the technology and look at where we are in the sport. The commissioner will talk to a lot of different people before making a decision on whether to impact our sport. I think you all will agree that he is very methodical in making those decisions."


Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: November 11, 2009 8:29 am

Instant replay is no panacea

Just ask any fan of SEC football.

Since: Apr 24, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2009 9:30 pm

GMs pass on voting for instant replay

Wasn't in the 2005 playoffs when AJ Pierzinski (spelling?) ran to first on strike three that wasn't actually dropped but the umpire called him safe anyway, and the White Sox won because of that?  I forget who it was against (angels?) but you'd think Kenny Williams would not be so strong a proponent for instant replay because it's likely that the Sox would not have won that game if it was in effect.

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