Selig: Replay likely; asterisks unlikely
Commissioner addresses issues in talks with reporters, fans
NEW YORK -- Commissioner Bud Selig took Manhattan on Tuesday in the hours before the 79th All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.He told two distinct audiences that instant replay is a possibility on a limited basis for Major League Baseball games, perhaps by the start of the playoffs, but certainly not as early as Aug. 1 as previously reported. He also said for the first time that it isn't practical to place an asterisk next to the name of any player who set a record during Major League Baseball's so-called steroid era.
"We are hard at work, looking at [instant replay] intensely," Selig said during a question-and-answer session with reporters at the annual Baseball Writers of America Association luncheon. "No decision has been made. I want to say that again. But if it occurs, it will be in a limited form. Once we are convinced that the bugs are all out of it, it'll come quickly."And so, is there a chance that we could agree to do it before the postseason? The answer is yes, there's a chance. But we've got work to be done yet." About the notion of modifying records, Selig said: "When you start that, when you start dealing in asterisks, trying to change records, then you're really starting to open a Pandora's box. I don't think it's pragmatic. So I don't really have any plans to do that." Once again, Selig answered questions in person and via the Internet during his eighth consecutive chat with fans at the DHL All-Star FanFest, this year held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. The session was carried live on MLB.com from the site's FanFest booth. Aside from replay, Selig was asked about myriad issues, including the increase of shattering maple bats, the future of the designated hitter, expanding the first postseason round from a best-of-five to a best-of-seven format, and the All-Star format in which the team from the winning league gets home-field advantage in the World Series. Selig said that the DH rule will remain the same -- used by the American League and not by the National League -- and hasn't been a matter of discussion among owners for 30 years. He said that changing the first-round playoff format has been considered, but won't be altered at this point because of the season's length. And finally, Selig said he's happy with the All-Star format, which was collectively bargained and is part of the current Basic Agreement, which is due to expire after the 2012 season. But in both venues, Selig wasn't asked a single direct question about steroids or drug testing -- an indication, perhaps, that the decades-long saga is off the front burner in the eyes of fans and journalists.
|"I have not been a proponent of instant replay as everybody knows. However, I've said to our people that we ought to study it in the most limited form. And that is on home runs. ... No decision has been made. But I'm not ruling it out for 2008."|
|-- Commissioner Bud Selig|
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.