January 11, 2011
The good news is that Bud Selig says that baseball is taking its time while drawing up schemes for its (unnecessary) playoff expansion.
The bad news is that it's also dragging its feet when it comes to widening the use of instant replay.
Selig said on Monday that both of baseball's hot-button topics won't be resolved in time for the 2011 season.
"There continues to be fruitful talks about it, but they're definitely off the table for this year," Selig said when reached by phone on Monday at his office in Milwaukee. "Really, I think that's what we've been saying all along."
When it comes to the playoffs, I'm all for an extended dragging of the feet. Even though the expansion is probably inevitable, there's no reason we need two or more additional wild cards to drain the pennant races of even more drama. Wait until 2050 for all I care.
But to further delay what would be an implementation of wider instant replay after Joyce-Galarraga and a few more controversial calls last postseason? Well, that just doesn't make much sense, especially when you're talking about a league that features loads of TV angles for every game and has been progressive in some other areas of technology with MLB.com and its apps on the iPhone and iPad.
(It's here that I'll admit it'll be a bit of a challenge to decide what's reviewable and what's not, but it's not like this topic just arose last October. The powers-that-be could have been working on this the whole time to install at least a starting point past the already-reviewable home run calls this spring.)
Then again, given the arcane blackout rules that we're still saddled with, maybe MLB's continued refusal to adapt on the fly isn't surprising. No one complains about the instant-replay delays in the NFL, NBA or NHL — no, not as long as the call is made correctly — but leave it to baseball to figure that it's an issue it can afford to keep waiting on.