Major League Baseball will not expand its instant replay system this year, according to Joe Torre, the league’s executive vice president of baseball operations.
Commissioner Bud Selig told the Los Angeles Times four months ago that expanded replay would be in place for the 2013 season “for sure.” Torre told The Times that the timetable has been delayed one year.
“Next year, there will be something, for sure,” Torre said. “It’s not like we’re afraid to do something. I don’t want to do something unless we feel like it’s the right thing to do.”
Torre, who is Selig’s point man on the issue, said he understood the commissioner’s oft-stated intention to broaden the replay system to include calls of fair balls, foul balls and trapped balls.
However, in the wake of last fall’s playoffs, Torre said it became evident that expanded replay should be all-encompassing rather than incremental. He cited one play in particular -- a blown call in the American League championship series, in which Omar Infante of the Detroit Tigers was called safe at second base when replays clearly indicated he had been tagged out.
“We’re not going to get caught in the trap of doing something if we don’t feel what we’re doing is enough,” Torre said.
Selig pledged repeatedly last year that MLB would implement replays for fair, foul and trapped balls this year. Although the league has made no public announcement of the delay, ESPN reported last month that expanded replay appeared dead for the coming season.
Torre said the league is studying not only how widely to expand replay but how to implement the most effective technologies and how to challenge calls without unnecessarily delaying the game.
“Let’s do it the right way and have a formula that will work, without making the game stand still,” he said.