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Selig willing to let GMs provide input on replay's role in MLB

10/13/2007 - MLB

PHOENIX -- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, a staunch
opponent of instant replay, is willing to let major league general
managers examine whether it should be used.

"I don't like instant replay because I don't like all the
delays. I think it sometimes creates as many problems or more than
it solves," Selig said Friday night during Game 2 of the NL
Championship Series. "But I am willing to say we'll at least talk
about these if people want to talk about it. I'm going to let the
general managers discuss it, let them come back and make
recommendations. No, I'm not a big advocate of instant replay."

General managers meet from Nov. 5-8 in Orlando, Fla. Rockies
manager Clint Hurdle says replays would cut down on arguments and
speed up games.

"No, it would not shorten the game," Selig said. "In the
other sports that use it, one thing we can be assured of is it
hasn't shortened the games. It takes time. But look, you won't say
you wouldn't consider something. There are controversial decisions,
and I understand it. But this has been going on 130 years, too. So,
we'll see."

Four times this season Hurdle thought the Rockies were robbed of
a home run by an umpire's incorrect decision, including a crucial
seventh-inning call in Colorado's 13-inning win over San Diego in
the NL wild-card playoff when Garrett Atkins hit a line drive that
appeared to clear the left-field wall before bouncing back into
play.

On another topic, Selig didn't find it surprising that three of
the four teams left in the playoffs are small spenders. Boston,
second to the New York Yankees with a $144 million opening-day
payroll, is the only big spender left.

Cleveland was 23rd among the 30 teams at $62 million, Colorado
ranked 25th at $54 million and Arizona was 26th at $52 million.

"I don't think there's anything freakish about it at all," Selig said. "I
think it's something we set out to do a decade ago and through a
lot of economic reforms we got to where we are."

"I'm satisfied that this is not just an aberration," he added. "Other clubs with low payrolls had very good years. Well,
this couldn't happen in the '90s."

Selig said savvy teams have proven that building from within can
be successful.

"Money is important, and nobody understands that better than I
do. But I think what you've seen is management looking at things
differently and some clubs doing things differently," he said.
"And so I don't think it's bad that you've got three teams left
standing that aren't big spenders.

Selig was concerned about poor ratings. Colorado's Game 1 win
Thursday was easily the least-watched LCS prime-time game ever, and
Game 2 didn't start until 10:19 EDT.

In the division series, baseball avoided early afternoon starts.

"This is tough. I worry a lot about these things," Selig said.
"And we go back over and over. The division series is a nightmare.
And we just can't win, no matter what we do. We've got three or
four games [on the same day] and sometimes just to get them all in
is tough. We don't like it. Our ratings so far have been good. They
really have been spectacular. They're ... up 26 percent in the
division series. We'll see how these all play out."