New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi argues a call with second base umpire Jeff Nelson (L) during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the MLB ALCS playoff baseball series against the Detroit Tigers in New York, October 14, 2012. (Reuters/ADAM HUNGER)
DETROIT - Baseball is moving toward expanding the use of replay but it won't extend as far as manager Joe Girardi wants it to go.
In the wake of his New York Yankees' ALCS Game 2 loss to the Detroit Tigers, Girardi said he would be in favour of, essentially, unlimited replay after Omar Infante was called safe on a tag play at second base. Replays showed Infante should have been called out.
Both Joe Torre, MLB vice-president of baseball operations, and Jim Leyland, who sits on Bud Selig's influential blue-ribbon panel of baseball experts, expect replay to expand from the current program of looking at fair or foul on home runs to adding such things as outfield trap plays and fair or foul on flyballs on the outfield grass.
"We are certainly sensitive to it," Torre said. "We are looking into it. We have technology set up in (Yankee Stadium) and over at Citi Field the last month of the season and looking at the results of that, but that wouldn't have included the play (Sunday night).
"I know we're talking about balls past the bases down the line and trap plays."
Neither Leyland nor Torre thinks unlimited replay is appropriate.
"I like the human element, to be honest with you," Leyland, the Tigers manager, said. "But I would like to see fair or foul on the grass. I know you can't do it on the ground ball because over the bag, the third baseman catches it, and the umpire says "foul" and on the replay it's fair, and (the third baseman) didn't even throw the ball. That is difficult. But any ball that is in the outfield, if it is questionable you need to check it."
In the heat of the moment, Girardi's frustration was understandable. He was crying out for replay but you got the impression he would rather have settled for a couple of well-timed base hits.