Forgive Bud Selig if he isn’t impressed with your instant replay demands, he’s too busy bathing himself in liquified one hundred dollar bills at the base of the Marlins Park home run monstrosity. Speaking to various media members Monday, Selig reiterated his disdain for cameras, computers, technology, the Internet, Zack Morris-sized mobile telephones and any other remnant of device that operates without the user murmuring “stop” at the end of a sentence.
Actually, he said the following, “given our attendance and everything we’re doing, we’re in the right place with instant replay.” That quote comes via John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle and it makes little sense of course but that’s part of the charm of the Commissioner.
He’s a pseudo-dunce in public talking to the press while accomplishing goal after goal in board rooms (20 straight years of labor peace, increasing the number of playoff teams twice, reigning in Draft bonuses) to boost his sport’s profile. Attendance is up 8.1% in 2012 compared to last year. People are flocking to ballparks to watch tight pennant races and they’re noticing the intricacies of the game that require a more progressive look.
Major League Baseball plans on expanding instant replay, it was written in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement but that expansion pertains to fair or foul balls hit down the lines and trap catches in the outfield. If you’re campaigning for strike zone review, save it. That’s happening right around the time Pete Rose enters Cooperstown and John Rocker buys an apartment in Times Square.
Akin to the college football playoff, a little of something wets the appetite and forces followers to become rabid. Instant replay is being used in Major League parks at the moment. Soon, it will entail more than just home runs. An overhaul of a tradition-rich sport in just days or weeks was never feasible. Let the old men wallow in their landlines a bit longer before someone with a smart phone inherits decision-making power.
Expanded instant replay won’t change my enjoyment of baseball any less or more. And being patient about it figures to keep my blood pressure low. Bud Selig has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the sport. I won’t hold it against him if he keeps the technology wolves at bay a little longer. Even if he uses an Atari to do it.