Rich Rieker, who serves as a liaison between MLB and its umpires, said in a recent chat on the Houston Chronicle’s website that replay is coming to baseball.
“Replay is coming,” Rieker said. “If done properly we have an opportunity to set the gold standard in replay, learning from pros and cons from other sports. But we must do so in a fashion that will not delay the game further.”
MLB is currently making tentative plans to experiment with replay in the Arizona Fall League.
“The times are such that our fans are used to seeing all the high technology and they’re used to seeing the other sports that use these systems to make determinations, and the fans are clamoring for all the sports to look at that,” said Jimmie Lee Solomon, MLB’s executive vice president for baseball operations.
Rieker was asked in his chat if the plate umpire would be the one to do the reviewing, and he didn’t think so.
“Probably not,” he wrote. “Use of a possible replay official could come into play and we really don’t want to take the umpires off the field to look at replays. Replay could slow down the game, but it could also eliminate unnecessary arguments. So there might be a canceling effect. But surely, there will be some delay.”
ESPN.com points out several instances that could have used replay:
â€¢ At Yankee Stadium, umpires reversed their correct call and concluded a home run by the Mets’ Carlos Delgado was foul.
â€¢ The following night in Houston, umpires mistakenly ruled a ball off a center-field wall was in play, prompting a reconfiguration at Minute Maid Park the next day.
â€¢ And, again at Yankee Stadium, a ball hit by Alex Rodriguez that struck a stairway beyond the outfield fence and bounced back into the outfield was ruled a double when it should have been a home run.