NEW YORK – Baseball is moving ahead with plans to expand instant replay next year.
“We’re confident we’ll have it for 2014,” said the MLB executive vice president, Joe Torre.
Video review has been in place for umpires on home run calls since August 2008. Commissioner Bud Selig initially wanted to add trap plays and fair-or-foul calls down the lines for 2013, but the change was put off while more radical options were examined.
Still, Selig has wanted to proceed cautiously.
“Look, life isn’t perfect. The sport isn’t perfect but we live with it and it’s been great,” he said Tuesday. “We have to be careful in our zest to improve things not to affect the game as we’ve all known it.”
Part of a replay subcommittee that includes former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and the Atlanta Braves president, John Schuerholz, Torre has said all options are being considered, including an NFL-type system that would give managers the ability to challenge calls. He hopes to have plans for owners to consider when they meet next month in Cooperstown, N.Y.
“We certainly don’t want to get stuck in the mud saying we’re not going to do anything when technology is out there saying that we can improve it somewhat,” Torre said. “We’ve got to decide, how much replay do we want? Because if you start doing it from the first inning to the ninth inning, you may have to time the game with a calendar.”
Selig said the calendar was an issue in MLB’s refusal to make players available for the Olympics. Baseball was an Olympic medal sport from 1992-2008, then was dropped for last year’s London Games. The IOC president, Jacques Rogge, said baseball should make its top athletes available as they are in basketball and hockey. The IOC will vote in September to select one sport from among baseball-softball, wrestling and squash to add to the 2020 Games.
Stopping the baseball season for the Olympics is impractical.
“First of all, we’d be playing to Thanksgiving, maybe Dec. 1,” Selig said. “It just isn’t possible. I wish it was.”
MICHAEL WEINER, the baseball players’ association head, said the union will appoint a deputy executive director because of his health issues as he battles a brain tumor.
Tony Clark, a former first baseman who joined the union staff in 2010 after a 15-year playing career, has emerged as the top contender.
REDS-GIANTS: Cincinnati will wear home uniforms and bat last, if needed, in the first game of a July 23 doubleheader at San Francisco.
The clubs said a July 4 game at Cincinnati that was rained out will be played as the first game starting Tuesday, the 23rd, at 7:05 p.m. The game already scheduled for that day at 10:15 p.m. will become the second game, with the Giants changing from their uniforms as home team in the second.