KANSAS CITY -- There will be more instant replay in baseball, commissioner Bud Selig said while speaking to the Baseball Writers Association of America on Tuesday morning
“We've been through this lot. We're going to expand instant replay when we have the technology to do that,” Selig said. “Everyone I talk to, starting with Joe [Torre], Tony [La Russa], managers ... nobody is anxious to expand replay anymore. That doesn't mean we won't continue to review it. Baseball is a game of pace, you can't compare it to anything else. We have to be careful how we proceed.”
Selig and Joe Torre said the next avenues of replay would be foul-fair calls in the outfield and trapped balls. Torre said Major League Baseball has explored a replay umpire in the park, as well as a NHL model with video watchers in a central location.
“First of all, we're looking at all the suggestions. The extra umpire is something we're discussing. I can't say what's wrong with it, because we're not finished talking about it,” Torre said. “We're talking fair or foul, but it seems replay comes up on whatever play happened last night. Because of technology we feel we can fix something quickly, but that's not the case.
“At first I thought ground balls over the bag was a no-brainer, but then. ... First of all you want umpires to call what they see. In the case of fair or foul, the smartest thing is to call it fair. Because if it's called foul and ruled fair, where do we put the runners? That's why, through education, I'm not so quick [to accept more replay]. ... We've had all the suggestions, the extra umpire, someone sitting at [MLB Adavance Media]. ... The game is imperfect, for all of us who want everything to be right all the time, it's not going to happen. I don't know why we want everything to be perfect. It's an imperfect game. Life isn't perfect and this is a game of life.”
Later in follow-up questioning from Eye On Baseball, Selig said that while he does hear fans who want replay, he also hears just as many fans asking for less replay. He reiterated that the 12-man committee looking into replay does not want more anytime soon, or at least until technology is better.
Torre said there would need to be a “significant number” of more cameras at every ballpark to get the views deemed necessary. Still, it is under consideration and will continue to be debated.
• Selig said he was happy with the result of the All-Star Game deciding home field advantage: “I really like it,” Selig said. “We were at a point where guys were leaving in the third inning. You were having a hard time getting people. I had two people, Henry Aaron and Ron Santo, who said you have to get meaning back in the game. Is it perfect? There's no perfect solution. ... You take a game that's clearly the best of the All-Star games and give it some meaning. You watch these dugouts, they're all there. They all care. ... The only guys (who) matter are who don't come.
“When I'm gone in two-and-a-half years, they can do what they want.”
• Selig said the location of the 2014 All-Star Game would be announced “in a reasonable amount of time.” It's expected that Minnesota will be the location for that game. He also said despite the difference between the number of new ballparks in the National League and the American League, he did not see a change in the current system of alternating AL and NL parks hosting every year.
On the 2-3 playoff format for the Division Series this season: “It's only for this year. Next year it's 2-2-1,” Selig said. “As of today, none. I've had no complaints. The clubs understood it was a one-year [agreement].”
Selig said there will be a slight increase in interleague play next year when the Astros move to the American League, with “about the same” number of intradivisional play games. There may still be a period of every team playing intraleague play.
There have been discussions of mirrored rules in interleague play -- with the DH being used at National League parks during interleague play and the pitcher hitting in AL parks. “I like that idea,” Selig said. “We've talked about that for a while. That's something we will really look at this winter.”
On the Roger Clemens verdict and the perception of the Mitchell Report, Selig said: “I'm as proud of the Mitchell Report today as I was then. I took a lot of criticism at the time internally as I was externally. No other sport had an outside person come in before. ... We knew from the start it was impossible to get everything. They not only examined and found a lot of things. They made 19 or 20 suggestions, which we adopted and cleaned up clubhouses. The only objective was to make it cleaner. ... The Mitchell Report will stand when history judges it as another step in a process that cleaned up a sport quickly. Whether the Clemens situation -- I've heard lawyers debate and say what it meant -- it's not relative to me as for what the Mitchell Report did. It was part of a very constructive process.”
When asked if he had spoken with Clemens since the vedict, Selig said he had not.
• When asked if he would have a problem with the Giants hiring Barry Bonds, Selig said: “That's between Mr. Bonds and the San Francisco Giants.”
On moving the trade deadline back with the new playoff format: “We talked about it. There has been conversation, but we've decided to leave it how it is. This is the first year and we did this on the fly. We have a different playoff ... Everyone wanted it, led by me. We'll make some adjustments to it, but it's working out.”
On the booing of Robinson Cano at the Home Run Derby: “It just happened, we just talked about it on the way over. I felt badly last night,” Selig said. “Robinson Cano picked people he thought should be on it, as Matt Kemp did last year and Matt Kemp last night. ... The other side of the coin, since we went to captains, we get everyone we want. The players do it themselves. We're going to, we'll talk about it. I understand Kansas City and the Billy Butler thing, I felt badly last night. I felt badly in Phoenix for Prince [Fielder].”
Could it be worse in New York next year?
“It can't get any worse than last night,” Selig said. “You can only boo so loud.”