At the General Managers meetings this morning in Orlando, FL the MLB GM's began baseball down the path that most of the other professional sports have already gone down. Allowing instant replay to be part of the officiating process. The vote by the GM's was historic, normally these votes are 2-1 against replay, but this time it was 25-5 in favor.
The recommendation, by a 25-5 vote, was limited to boundary calls -- whether potential home runs are fair or foul, whether balls go over fences or hit the top and bounce back, and whether fans interfere with possible homers.
I would say this is pretty much just a sign of the times. All of the new younger GM's in baseball have grown up in an era where replay has been part of the NFL. We are in the technology age. So I guess this is a national progression. Not so fast my friends.
I'm probably 'out of step' on this one, and feel free to tell me if I am. I really think that blown calls and the human element are as much a part of baseball as hot dogs and flat beer in wax cups. The blown call is part of baseball lore. Take the Jeffrey Maier incident back in the 1996 ALCS. Did the umps blow the call? There is no doubt about it (look to the left). But that play is a memorable play in baseball history. I also pretty confident in the MLB umpires. I think they get most of these calls correct. Yeah, occasionally you have a blown call. But that's part of the game. Just like it is when an umpire has a bad day behind the plate.
So it looks like this will take baseball down the merry road toward having replay in the game in the next few years. The next step will be for the owners to vote on it and after that the MLBPA and umpires will have their say. I'm not sure if this will be in place for 2008, but who knows the MLB has started to instigate change at a quicker pace in recent years. It seems like this is the first step in getting replay into the grand ole game.