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Umpires balk at instant replay; boycott conference call

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Write-brained, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Thought this was worthy of a thread. It's only a conference call, but the implications are interesting.


    NEW YORK -- Umpires want baseball to take another look at instant replay.

    Appearing on Mike & Mike in The Morning, World Umpires Association spokesman Lamell McMorris explained why umpires have issues with the proposed replay system. Listen Insider

    Umps said their governing board voted Tuesday to boycott a conference call with management intended to discuss implementing replay, angry that their concerns aren't being addressed.

    Major League Baseball responded by saying it canceled the Wednesday call because it doesn't have a replay agreement with the union.

    "A lot of the procedural issues necessary for instant replay to be implemented need to be worked out," World Umpires Association spokesman Lamell McMorris said. "Major League Baseball needs to step up to the plate and iron out these issues."

    Umpires say they're unhappy that replay equipment is being installed away from the field in nearly all major league ballparks and say MLB wants to limit the number of umpires allowed to review replay monitors.

    They also aren't pleased that MLB wants them to discuss the replays with umpire supervisors in New York before making a decision on whether to reverse a call. They claim MLB may not be able to provide replays for some rescheduled games.

    "I'm not going to go through these one by one. I will tell you that on a number of them, the comments are simply not accurate," said Rob Manfred, MLB's executive vice president for labor relations. "For example, we've had an understanding with the WUA for some time that the crew chief and the crew chief only would be the one responsible for reviewing the video and making the decision on instant replay.

    "There are other issues that remain to be worked out. It is my general policy that I don't comment when I'm trying to bargain but I remain confident that we're gong to be able to make a deal."

    Baseball has started installing equipment in ballparks, hoping to get a replay system up and running this month. It would be used for boundary calls, such as determining whether balls cleared fences for home runs and whether potential homers near foul poles were fair.

    McMorris said that other than at Chase Field in Phoenix, the equipment will cause umpires to leave the field.

    "Thus, there will be a lack of transparency and obviousness for the public as to what is going on when instant replay is under way," he said.

    McMorris said the procedures and limitations were proposed by Jimmie Lee Solomon, MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations.

    "There may be situations where the umpires will have to leave the field in shifts so that everyone can view the video while leaving the requisite number of umpires on the field," McMorris said. "This could create a 'Laurel and Hardy' effect, and may cause delay-of-game problems."

    McMorris said Solomon wants some umpires to remain on the field because "he doesn't trust the teams to behave themselves in their absence." McMorris also said MLB hasn't thought about where to place batters and runners after a changed call, or how crew chiefs will communicate decisions to the teams, official scorer, media and fans.

    McMorris maintained Solomon originally wanted only an umpire supervisor to review replays, but that umpires objected and said they wanted to see the video for themselves. In addition, McMorris said MLB hasn't figured out how to secure the cabinets where the equipment is stored, claiming that in some ballparks the location is in public areas.

    "The umpires raised concerns and brought potential problems to Solomon's attention at least six weeks ago," McMorris said.

    Solomon did not return a call seeking comment and was en route to Beijing, MLB spokesman Rich Levin said.

    Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
  2. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Well, since their union is no longer worth a shit thanks to Richie Phillips, methinks they don't have any fucking choice.
  3. I think the umpires need to ask themselves WWEGD?

    (What Would Eric Gregg Do?)
  4. beefncheddar

    beefncheddar Guest

    And then, when they're done eating ...
  5. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    AP now reports the sides have come to agreement.
  6. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    I suspect MLB made them a Vito Corleone offer.

    They busted the last umpires' union; they can bust this one too.
  7. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Eat three cheesesteaks, then give Livan Hernandez a 10-foot wide strike zone.
  8. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    They didn't bust shit, the union self-destructed under the leadership of an idiot.

    MLB's reward was it got to execute a lot of vendettas, and replace some competent umpires with guys who were clueless but compliant.
  9. Table this discussion until next year when the fat-boys can get training on how to 1. Use the internet 2. Use the replay system. 3. See the top of their shoes without sitting down.

    Do it right. Or don't do it at all.
  10. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Sorry, bub, but the fat umpire cliche doesn't hold up so well these days.
  11. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    They probably had an issue because of where it could lead.

    Right now it's boundary calls, but it should be every call eligible for replay in games where C.B. Bucknor, Angel Hernandez and Sam Holbrook are umpires. I don't trust any call they make in those games.
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