MLB, umpires negotiating expanded replay

MLB, umpires negotiating expanded replay

MLB, umpires negotiating expanded replay
Major League Baseball currently is exploring the expansion of instant replay with the World Umpires Association, and no timetable has been specified for any adjustments to the current policy.

The owners and the MLB Players Association agreed in collective bargaining last year for a new Basic Agreement that replay could be expanded to be used on fair-foul calls down the lines and balls deemed trapped by fielders. Any formal expansion of replay requires collaboration between owners, players and umpires. Replay is currently used only to determine the legitimacy of home runs -- whether the ball was fair or foul and whether the ball was over the fence.

"I've had very, very little pressure from people who want to do more," Commissioner Bud Selig told a small group at a sport and society conference at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis., on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

The umpires union has told MLB officials in recent meetings that a significant assessment of options needs to take place if replay is to be changed. Right now, any possible expansion would not occur until next season at the earliest.

The very limited use of replay was first instituted in 2008, with the installation of television screens in the dugout area in each of the ballparks. The umpires view the home run in question and determine, with help of replays reviewed in New York, whether it is legitimate.

Selig, who signed a contract extension during the offseason, told the group that he planned on retiring when his contract expires at the end of the 2014 season, according to the AP report.

Asked about another extension, Selig told the AP: "No. 1, I'd have to convince my wife, and No. 2, I do want to teach," he said. "That'll take me to age 80. I would think then, you better send somebody to get me because this is it. I will say that."

Selig told the audience he was looking forward to Wednesday night's Phillies-Nationals game, the AP reported. Cole Hamels and the Phillies faced rookie Bryce Harper and the Nationals. Hamels was suspended for five games earlier this season after admitting he deliberately hit Harper with a pitch on May 6.

"I think it's going to be very interesting when Harper comes up [to bat]," Selig said, according to the Associated Press, which drew some laughter.

"Sometimes, some things are better unsaid," Selig said about Hamels' admission. "But I have to let that thing play out. I think the discipline was fair."

"I think we handled it well. Cole Hamels has been great since then. Harper's been good. Both clubs have been good. I didn't hear from either club."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.