November 8, 2007
Is there room for replay?
By JODY VANCE -- Sun Media
Time for a little unofficial "Sidelines" poll: Are you a baseball fan? Yes? OK, then tell me: Do you believe that there is room in the game for instant replay?
I am on the fence about this, certainly not a place you would usually find me.
At the GMs meetings in Orlando this week, the powers that be showed where they stand on the topic, voting 25-5 in favour of adding the second look to the game. That's strong support to add technology to a game steeped in tradition.
My first thought after hearing the news was, "Good God, a game will take five-plus hours to play!" What a relief to hear that the plan is to limit replays to home run calls only.
You know: over or under the yellow line on the outfield wall or fair or foul, and the like.
Even with that stipulation, I fear that ball games already pushing four hours could - gasp - get even longer. On the topic of game length, maybe the GMs could put to a vote the idea of a time limit between pitches? Now there is a new rule I could really get behind. But I digress....
We are being assured, at this point, that should this new technology be added to the MLB, it would be run like the buzzer-beater replay in the NBA and take 15 seconds, max.
If that is the case, then I think I would enjoy the right call being made; however, I cannot help but feel that this one change might grow into a TV technology overload where it is counted on to call balls, strikes and even close plays.
We will learn more about the future of instant replay becoming part of baseball at the winter meetings in December. It is expected Commissioner Bud Selig will get involved in the discussion on an official level and give it either the thumbs-up or a veto.
What say you? My e-mail is below -- let me know.
-- Jody Vance is a longtime sportscaster and personaility with Leafs TV. Her column appears Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.