As could probably have been expected, we have seen several more obviously wrong umpiring calls this season, leading to more inquiries as to when we’re going to get replay review expanded — something that was promised last November in the new MLB-MLBPA CBA.
It hasn’t happened. And, says Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, don’t hold your breath waiting:
Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president for baseball operations, told me Wednesday that instant replay does not have an official place on the agenda at the owners meetings next week.
Oh, they’ll keep talking about it. Much harrumphing is expected. It’s entirely possible that we’ll have something by 2013, but that’s a promise that should have been kept this year. Morosi’s article does have one very good suggestion, made by a MLB general manager, which would expand upon the “fifth umpire in the press box” concept that many observers have championed:
Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin suggested a similar plan to me this week: He would allow the fifth umpire to correct calls that were obviously missed because of a bad angle by the umpire. (That would cover the Welke play, for example.)
Another feature of Melvin’s plan: “I would recommend each club gets one upstairs review on offense and one on defense during the game. I would experiment in September with games but not activate it and see how many calls that would be reviewed could impact a game. The umpires, players and field staff should all be a part of the process to determine if replay should be extended beyond home run calls.”
Sounds great. Time for Bud Selig to step out of the 1970s and get it done.