Wary of technology, Selig very much welcomes replay
Bud Selig, although an energetic 74, freely admits he's one of the least tech-savvy executives you'll find. He likes the feel of a newspaper in his hands and lives an Amazon.com- and eBay-free existence. He also values the comfort of picking up a phone over the convenience of pushing a button and sending a text message lord knows where.Major League Baseball's commissioner is open-minded, yet gadgetry-impaired. "I'm not a technical expert," Selig said Tuesday afternoon, while describing himself as "old-fashioned" and an "amateur" on the subject. But old-fashioned doesn't necessarily equate to being obstinate or being tolerant of mistakes that could easily be avoided. In the name of progress, fairness and disaster aversion, Selig is embracing the future with open arms. Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that it will join the other major sports and introduce instant replay on a limited basis. The new system will go into effect with games in Oakland, in Anaheim and at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Thursday, then be implemented at all 15 of Friday's games. After the obligatory dickering among MLB, the Major League Baseball Players Association and the umpires' union, the nuts and bolts are relatively simple: Replay will be limited strictly to home run calls. If an umpiring crew chief determines a review is in order, he'll call a technician at MLB headquarters in New York, who will transmit the video footage in question. The crew chief will determine whether the call on the field should stand or be overturned, and anyone who argues will get the Bobby Cox treatment up the dugout runway.
To use one of my favorite lines, this isn't Einstein's theory of relativity. We have the best technology you can possibly have, and the procedures have been described in great detail. I wanted to do it as soon as possible.