July 9, 2012
Out of Left Field
Ending the Empire
With the All-Star game upon us, it’s a good time to take a look at the state of the game. So, on the pulse of things as always, that’s exactly what commissioner Bud Selig did. He pontificated about a number of topics last week, but the one that stood out was his brief discussion of instant replay. Here’s Commissioner Bud on the expansion of instant replay in baseball (via Paul Casella of MLB.com)
People in our sport don't want any more. Given our attendance and everything we're doing, we're in the right place with instant replay. Baseball is a game of pace. You have to be very sensitive and careful not to disturb that pace.
Let’s parse this a bit. There are three points. Point the first:
People in our sport don't want any more [instant replay].
When Selig says “people” he’s talking about the owners. They may not be keen on adding more replay if for no other reason than it’s an additional expense that they will end up paying for. Whether front offices, players, and other assorted members of the baseball community want replay is likely off Selig’s table. Clearly they’re not actively fighting for it, but they likely aren’t going to him and saying they don’t want replay increased either. I wouldn’t doubt that after particularly egregious missed calls, the kind that seem to pop up about once a week of late, Selig might hear a few voices in favor of increasing replay. Not that he would say so.
Of course it only matters what people in the sport want on the margins. Eventually, if there is enough call for replay from the paying customers, the ones who keep baseball in business, replay will come. It won’t come as quickly as if support for more replay already existed inside the game, but eventually fans will demand that calls are made correctly. Heretical thought, I know.
Given our attendance and everything we're doing, we're in the right place with instant replay.