Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Instant replay expansion off the table for 2012

Instant replay won’t be expanded this year after all and that’s a bit disappointing.

In the grand scheme of things, a one-year delay isn’t the worst news, but it is a bit of a letdown that Major League Baseball, the umpires and the players’ unions could not reach an agreement in time for the 2012 baseball season, especially after they came to a relatively quick deal to add two more wild cards for the playoffs. We’re now in for a season in which every tough call is going to be controversial because of the inability of the umpires to take a second look. I just hope we can avoid another Armando Galarraga situation (still rooting for him to make a comeback).  

Bud Selig has not been a fan of instant replay due to concerns about slowing down the tempo of an already slow game although he seems to have warmed up to the possibility. It seems like the umpires are stalling the process, which I have a major problem with because they may be trying to use this to gain leverage to sweeten their retirement or disability benefits. I have no problem with them trying to negotiate for better working conditions such as a seventh umpire in World Series games, but their personal benefits have nothing to do with what is happening on the baseball field.

Because a major blown call can make or break a game, it’s important that the umpires have all the tools at their disposal to get things right. It looks like they will be missing one major tool, at least for the 2012 baseball season. 

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