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MLB Commisioner Bud Selig

Is Instant Replay Coming to Baseball?

May 23, 2008 02:07 PM
by Denis Cummings
Three blown home run calls this week have many fans clamoring for instant replay, but Major League Baseball was already developing plans to use it on a limited basis.

30-Second Summary

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The news that Major League Baseball is planning to use instant replay in the Arizona Fall League this year comes soon after three home run calls were missed in four days. General managers had voted last November for baseball to explore the possibility of replay.

Home run calls and possibly fair/foul call would be eligible for review; on-field umpires would still determine all ball/strike and out/safe calls. Depending on results, instant replay could be used in Major League games in some capacity as early as next season.

The other major American sports leagues—the NFL, NBA and NHL—all use instant replay to varying degrees.

Baseball has customarily been slow to implement changes to the game, however, and commissioner Bud Selig opposes replay. He, like many other traditionalists, feels than the “human element” is part of the game.

“What makes the game good is the human element of it. The mistakes. Like the strike zone,” said Mets relief pitcher Billy Wagner said. “Those are human decisions. If it’s right or wrong, you just go with it.”

Proponents of replay think that baseball’s first priority should be trying to get every call correct, even if it means breaking 150 years of tradition. “If a minimum use of video replay makes the game better, I must reluctantly say it should be tried,” says self-described purist Hal Bondley.

Headline Link: Baseball to test instant replay

Reactions: Players, managers and executives share their opinions

Background: General managers push for replay

Historical Context: The replay debate

Opinion & Analysis: Should baseball use replay?

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