MLB GMs pass on expanding use of instant replay
Posted: Tuesday November 10, 2009 4:06PM; Updated: Tuesday November 10, 2009 8:21PM
GMs pass on expanding replay
GMs failed to take a vote Tuesday on expanding instant replay following a postseason filled with blown calls by umpires.
"I know there are some who have talked off line about the expansion of instant replay," said Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's office. "Right now, the commissioner doesn't see any reason to consider it."
Baseball began video review in August 2008 but only to determine whether potential home runs were fair or foul or cleared fences.
Any change for 2010 likely would be likely have to be instigated by commissioner Bud Selig, who repeatedly has said he's against widening the use of video review. While there was discussion, Solomon said "it was all confined to the current instant replay system that we have."
"I think it's working great, and for the most part the umpires are getting the calls right when replay is used," Los Angeles Angels GM Tony Reagins said. "Can we always tweak and get better? Absolutely. But I think were headed in the right direction. For the most part they're getting calls right and not afraid to use instant replay. As long as things are moving in the right direction, I don't see a need to change."
The GMs also heard a report from umpiring vice president Mike Port on training, evaluation and structure.
"I think commissioner Selig is going to look at the entire umpiring structure and he's going to seek ways to enhance the entire structure," Solomon said.
Other topics touched on during the GMs' initial 4 1/2-hour meeting were restructuring the Arizona Fall League to include younger players and modifying the amateur draft to reflect the previous year's postseason performance.
Solomon said there was no discussion on pace of the game, a topic that came to the forefront during the World Series after numerous visits to the mound by Yankees catcher Jorge Posada.
No major trades were expected at this shorter-than-usual annual meeting, which ends Wednesday. Agents also are on hand at the gathering, being held at a hotel in O'Hare International Airport. Among the top available free agents are outfielders Matt Holliday and Jason Bay, pitcher John Lackey and infielder Chone Figgins.
Reagins said the Angels are interested in re-signing both Lackey and Figgins.
"These guys have opportunities to market themselves, and they've earned that," Reagins said. "And we're hopeful that we can come to an agreement at some point. Right now it remains to be seen."
Holliday, acquired by St. Louis from Oakland in July, figures to get among the largest contracts of the offseason. The 2007 NL batting champion is represented by agent Scott Boras.
"There's no doubt there will be a significant financial commitment with regards to Holliday, and at some point if we feel we're not getting to a successful conclusion of that, then we would start to decide how we would redeploy those resources," Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said. "I haven't spoken with Scott for some time. I'm hopeful that before I leave here we will have a face-to-face."
Boras, who was at the hotel to meet with some GMs, drew a parallel between Holliday, who turns 30 in January, and another of his clients, the Yankees' Mark Teixeira. Boras negotiated a $180 million, eight-year deal for Teixeira.
"Last year we had one club that went out and made a commitment to a franchise player and they won a world championship," Boras said. "I think a Matt Holliday is another player like that in this marketplace. You have a franchise player at a young age and you have a chance to really differentiate yourself as a franchise from all others. And we'll see how many teams are really going to be involved in that."
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein hopes to re-sign Bay, a three-time All-Star obtained from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline in July 2008.
"We'd love to have him back under the right circumstances and he's certainly open-minded to returning to Boston, it's just a process that has to play itself out," Epstein said. "He's never been a free agent before. He's got the ability and a right to see what other teams have to offer."
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