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Selig seeks 'perfect' replays

August 15, 2008|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Major league ballparks are being wired for instant replay, and Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday his "confidence is growing" that the technology to assist umpires will be ready soon.

"I want to make sure that if and when we do it, it's really good, it's perfect," Selig said at the conclusion of a two-day owners' meeting. "It'll be very limited. I want to make sure, and I'm not quite certain yet. But we should have answers very shortly."

Selig said he has visited the so-called "war room" in New York where officials would review video feeds of disputed home runs. The NHL has a similar setup in Toronto.

"We've spent a lot of time doing a lot of wiring of ballparks, doing a lot of checking," Selig said. "Let's just say my confidence is growing."

The "war room" will be at the offices of Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Phones and monitors for replay will be installed near the field at every ballpark, and decisions will be made by crew chiefs after consulting the New York office.

Replays would be used only to determine whether a ball leaving the field is fair or foul, or whether it actually went over the fence. It would not be used on close plays on the bases or balls and strikes.

Replay was discussed at the meetings but doesn't require a vote among the owners because it is not a rule change.

Selig again voiced his concern about maple bats, which appear to shatter more often and more dangerously than ash. He said baseball has hired researchers at two universities to study the bats, but no action will be taken this season.

Selig said All-Star rosters might be expanded by two pitchers to ensure that position players won't have to pitch if the game goes deep into extra innings.

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