Bud Selig: Too much replay hurts

Updated: October 24, 2011, 9:53 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Commissioner Bud Selig said Major League Baseball plans to "enlarge replay a little bit," but seemed to suggest that any expanded use would not extend to plays such as the blown call in Game 3 of the World Series.

During an appearance Monday on "Galloway & Company" on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM, Selig said he is concerned that blown calls easily seen by millions of fans on television can affect the outcome of a World Series but that errors -- both on the field by players and by umpires -- are part of the game.

"We are going to enlarge replay a little bit. We have made that decision and we'll add a couple of things to it," Selig said. "But if we go any more or not, I will say this to you, we will look at all of this in the offseason."

But Selig added, "I haven't changed my mind. It's not a question of being stubborn, it's a question of being rational about it -- and I really feel that we have done things on home run calls -- but where does it end? And that's the problem, where does it end?

"If you're going to start replaying every controversial decision or every close call, I think that hurts the sport."

Replay is currently used in MLB only to examine home runs. In April, MLB was reportedly leaning toward expanding replay for the 2012 season to include trapped balls and fair-or-foul rulings down the lines.

The replay discussion ramped up again after umpire Ron Kulpa botched a call at first base in the fourth inning of Saturday's Game 3. Replays clearly showed that Texas Rangers first baseman Mike Napoli tagged the St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Holliday on the left shoulder well before Holliday reached the bag, but Kulpa ruled he was safe. The play negated a Rangers double play.

Holliday came around to score and the chain of events that followed led to a four-run inning and a 5-0 Cardinals lead. St. Louis won the game, 16-7.

Rangers manager Ron Washington, previously not a proponent of replay, said Sunday that he would be in favor of expanded instant replay in the World Series, but not in the regular season.

"Maybe that's what they need to get it right in the World Series," Washington said. "You want everything to be right, that's all. I don't want to be having everything replayed (in the regular season). It could be imposed in the World Series because of the magnitude of the game."

Napoli, who made a two-run throwing error four batters later, said after the game that he is not in favor of postseason instant replay.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he would favor exploring options for using replay in the World Series.

"My two cents is more in favor of looking at it. I think, as long as it doesn't affect the game as far as slowing it down," La Russa said. "And if there's a way to ease that burden, some limited additions are going to be discussed, and we'll see where it goes."

MLB vice president Joe Torre was asked Sunday whether exploration of replay is a real possibility or if the media should just drop the discussion.

"I'd say drop it," said Torre, the former New York Yankees manager, who now works for the commissioner's office. "But, I don't want people to think we're stubborn about this."

Torre acknowledged that the technology obviously exists to expand instant replay for the World Series, but he said the league's reluctance to look into it has more to do with the fear of disrupting the flow of the game.

Selig, who said there are not many people within baseball -- managers, general managers and owners -- that want more replay, is also concerned about the flow.

He said lengthy delays to check the video monitors can potentially leave a pitcher standing on the mound too long and affect performance, therefore damaging the integrity of the game.

"I am a pace-of-the-game guy, it is a different sport. It's not the other sports," Selig said. "You can't start replaying everything because you've got pitchers standing on the mound."

"And I am concerned. We'll always consider things in the future and we will go back and look at instant replay."

Jeff Caplan is a reporter for ESPNDallas.com.

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