Major league baseball has decided to hold off on expanding replay for 2012.
I think it is important to look a few quotes from the article:
Umpires were concerned the television feeds they received to review calls were not equal at every ballpark. The umps get fewer looks in Oakland, for example, than at Yankee Stadium.
This was one of the areas that I stressed in my earlier article about instant replay.
Also at issue is how calls would be made under expanded replay and who would ask for a challenge. Would umpires still make the final decision, as they do now? Or would there be an NHL-style conference room with an MLB executive making the ruling?
This is an important point and MLB needs to tread a bit carefully here. While I think it is important for baseball to create a better way for umpires to confer about a getting a call right, I still am not sure about having somebody off the field making the decision. Given the separation of the umpires, the players, and baseball itself, I don’t think giving an MLB executive or official scorer the ability to question an umpire’s on-field call is compatible with the current separation.
It should be interesting to see the reaction when questionable calls do come up that may have been affected by the new instant replay changes*.
* Okay, it would be fun to see it happen to Ryan Braun. “Well, if the new instant replay was in effect, he could have won on appeal. Again.”