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AP source: Baseball to start instant replay on Thursday

Big League Stew

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We knew that baseball was getting closer to implementing an instant replay system, but I have to admit that I didn't think such a huge change in the game would be made this quickly.

Remember that scene in Mallrats where Brodie sees the television stage then shouts, "What is this monstrosity?" because he wasn't expecting it? Yeah, that's a little like how I feel right now.

From the Associated Press:

Major League Baseball reversed its long-standing opposition to instant replay and will allow umpires to check video on home run calls in series that start Thursday, a person familiar with the announcement told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was authorized before commissioner Bud Selig made the announcement at 5 p.m. Tuesday EDT.

Three series are scheduled to start Thursday, with Philadelphia at Chicago, Minnesota at Oakland and Texas at Los Angeles. For other games, replays will be available to umpires starting Friday.

I haven't posted that much on instant replay, mostly because I want to see it in action before my mind is made up one way or the other. While it's nice to know that there'll be a good way to confirm or overturn an umpire's call, I also hate to think that baseball's alluring human element will take a huge hit. (I admit that I like having Jeffrey Maier occupying a spot in baseball lore.)

Pardon the pun, but stay tuned.

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