COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Major League Baseball Executive Vice President Joe Torre has given his instant replay proposal to the executive committee to consider as baseball’s brass huddled for two days of meetings.
Commissioner Bud Selig was to address the media on Thursday morning to discuss what is on the table.
“I thought it was very thoughtful and well-done,” Selig said Wednesday evening. “We’ll discuss it in more detail tomorrow. We haven’t even discussed it.”
MLB is looking at a vast expansion of video review for the 2014 season and is examining whether all calls other than balls and strikes should be subject to instant replay.
Torre said at the All-Star Game in New York last monthn that he was fairly confident a new system would be in place for next season. Video review has been in place for umpires on home run calls since August 2008.
“You know me, I’m always encouraged,” Torre said Wednesday.
Selig initially wanted to add trap plays and fair-or-foul calls down the lines for 2013, then decided to proceed cautiously, and the change was put off while more radical options were studied.
Torre has said all options were being considered, including an NFL-type system that would give managers the ability to challenge calls.
The replay subcommittee also includes former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz.
Umpires have come under increased scrutiny following several missed calls this season.
After initially failing to award Oakland’s Adam Rosales a tying home run in the ninth inning at Cleveland on May 8, Angel Hernandez’s umpiring crew reviewed video and still didn’t change it to a homer even though replays clearly showed the ball went over the fence.
The next day umpire Fieldin Culbreth’s crew allowed Houston manager Bo Porter to improperly switch relievers in the middle of an inning, leading to a two-game suspension for the crew chief.
An admitted blown call cost the Red Sox the potential tying run in a loss last month at Fenway Park. Boston manager John Farrell told reporters afterward that with better technology baseball could get more “out or safe” calls correct.
Trailing by a run in the eighth inning of a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay, pinch-runner Daniel Nava was called out by home plate umpire Jerry Meals attempting to score on a fly ball. After watching the replay, Meals later admitted to a pool reporter that he was “wrong on my decision.”
Replays of the game at Fenway showed that Nava slid into the top portion of the plate before Rays catcher Jose Molina came across to make the tag. Farrell and Nava argued, and Farrell was ejected.
Shortly after the game ended, Meals said: “What I saw was Molina blocked the plate and Nava’s foot lifted. But in the replays, you could clearly see Nava’s foot got under for a split second and then lifted, so I was wrong on my decision. From the angle I had, I did not see his foot get under Molina’s shin guard.”
Farrell said he just wants to see the calls made correctly and understands that the lengthening of games is something that MLB wants to avoid.
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