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

Updated: October 13, 2007, 1:40 AM ET
Associated Press

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."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press