MLB GMs vote 25-5 to recommend replay
By Phil Rogers
Tribune baseball reporter
November 6, 2007, 11:37 PM CST
ORLANDO -- Instant replay finally may be coming to Major League Baseball, although only in a limited way.
General managers voted 25-5 Tuesday to recommend the use of instant replay on contested home run calls only during the annual GM meetings. Their recommendation, which came out of a technology committee headed by Colorado Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd, will be passed on to owners at next week's quarterly meeting but could meet some opposition with Commissioner Bud Selig, who consistently has opposed electronic replays being used to assist in making calls during games.
Selig was not available for comment Tuesday. Jimmie Lee Solomon, MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations, said Selig recently has appeared to have "softened" his opposition to replay.
Solomon, referring to the "glacier-like movement" in baseball, made it sound unlikely that any changes could be put in place for the 2008 season. It is possible, however, that a system to review whether balls carried beyond the fence and either were fair or foul could be put in place in time to be experimented with next season and used in the '08 postseason.
White Sox GM Ken Williams voted with the majority, but sources indicated Cubs GM Jim Hendry was among the five voting against the replay proposal. Hendry declined to detail the reasons for his opposition but some in the meeting said there was concern that using replays to examine home run calls would make it easier to begin using them on safe-out calls or even ball-strike calls, lessening the human element involved with the game's tradition.
"All anybody is interested in is getting it right," Williams said. "It will be a lot easier and [take] less time to get it right than some of the arguments that ensure when a call is disputed."
Solomon said the details of an MLB plan had not been determined but indicated the technology committee preferred a replay system used by the NHL, which has a video official available at a central location (New York) during games to rule on contested calls involving goals.
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