The time for broader expansion of video review in Major League Baseball may be coming sooner than later. While instant replay for the use of MLB umpires began in August 2008, reviews have been limited to checking whether potential home runs were fair or cleared over fences.
The expansion of instant replay review has long been a discussion among top MLB executives, including Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig who is a known advocate of the development of the rule.
"He was talking about really basically fair-foul, trap plays. But we're looking into more than that," Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations, said Wednesday at the general managers' meetings.
Torre went on to mention that MLB ran experiments at both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field with the Hawk-Eye animation system that is used to judge line calls in tennis and the TrackMan radar software used by the PGA Tour.
"We still have some questions on the way it is now, if that's going to fit with baseball," Torre said. "I'm not saying it can't be adjusted or they can do something would make it work for our game."
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He pointed out tennis courts are smaller than baseball fields.
"It's easier to cover as opposed to what we have," he said.
According to the Associated Press, any changes made in MLB operation would most likely have to be negotiated with the umpires' and players' unions.
Despite what the executives might have to do in order to expand the rules, Selig has said he hopes to have wider replay in 2013.
“I know what the commissioner said, that he expects it to be done, but again, he relies on us,” Torre said at the meeting.
The call for wider use of replay in MLB has long been request by players and coaches, especially with the increasing number of blown calls in key games.
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi became an advocat after second base umpire Jeff Nelson blew a call at second base in Game 2 of the AL championship series, leading to an argument and Girardi's ejection.
Nelson admitted he blew the call on the play, which should have ended the eighth inning before Detroit expanded its lead from one run to three. The Tigers won 3-0 and swept the Yankees before getting swept by San Francisco in the World Series.
"Too much is at stake. We play 235 days to get to this point," Girardi told the AP. "In this day and age when we have instant replay available to us, it's got to change. I have been thrown out of games enough to know it would be quicker to get the call right or wrong or right on replay than for me to go out there and argue."