With instant replay talks looming, umpires clamor for inclusion

Updated: November 3, 2007, 9:10 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- With baseball general managers set to discuss instant replay next week, the new league negotiator for major league umpires wants his members included in any talks.

Replay Possibilities

Several baseball executives have told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney that they expect some form of instant replay to be approved during the upcoming general manager meetings. Blog Insider

Baseball has resisted replays to help decide calls, but several GMs would like to see it adopted to determine whether home runs stayed fair or went foul, and whether balls at the tops of fences went over.

"It would create a big change in our working conditions," Lamell McMorris said Friday. "It would require a lot of training. Naturally we're open to discussions with Major League Baseball about this, but it is an issue pivotal enough that it would probably have to be addressed in our next collective bargaining agreement. What is important to us in regard to this issue is that the commissioner's office involves us in the decision."

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has been against replays but said during the postseason he is willing to let GMs debate the matter. If GMs recommend replays be used, baseball would have to decide whether umpires or some other group would run the equipment.

"There are a host of issues, from the standardization of everything regarding instant replay," McMorris said. "You talk about the equipment, you talk about its usage. We think there should be some analysis of how it has affected officiating in other major sports that use it."

Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi was on a subcommittee that discussed replays at last year's meetings and backs limited use.

"What happens on a play that ends an inning and everybody runs off the field? Where do you put guys back? At what spot do you count someone's run?" he said. "What I would be in favor of is just getting the home run calls on the fairs and fouls right. That would be a start. So many times you can't tell if the ball hit the top of the wall or went over. You can't tell if the ball went inside the foul pole or outside the foul pole. That's a small start."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press