AP source: MLB leans toward extra replay for 2012

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NEW YORK (AP) - Shane Victorino charges hard from center field, chasing a sinking line drive. His glove, the ball and the grass all smack together at the same time. What’s the call?

Next year, it well could be: Let’s look at the replay!

Major League Baseball is leaning toward expanding replay for the 2012 season to include trapped balls and fair-or-foul rulings down the lines, a person familiar with the talks tells The Associated Press.

Commissioner Bud Selig and a group of umpires discussed the extra video review at spring training and were in agreement, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is still being discussed.

“Yeah to all of them, oh yeah,” St. Louis reliever Ryan Franklin said. “I just think they should all be called the right way, and it doesn’t matter if it takes an extra five minutes.”

“Don’t take so long between innings, cut 10 seconds off between every half-inning and that could make up for five minutes for the replay on a trapped ball or something like that,” he said. “It doesn’t happen that often.”

Baseball began using replay late in the 2008 season, though only to check potential home run balls. The NFL, NBA, NHL and the NCAA had already employed instant replay.

Since then, there have been a spate of missed calls in the playoffs and World Series.

Last October, Yankees right fielder Greg Golson clearly caught a low liner for the final out of Game 1 in New York’s first-round series against Minnesota, but the umpire ruled the ball bounced. In the 2009 AL playoffs, Joe Mauer’s looper down the left-field line landed fair by a full foot at Yankee Stadium, hopped into the seats and was mistakenly called a foul ball.

Out-or-safe calls on the bases, like the one that cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game last year, would not be subject to review. Nor would ball-or-strike decisions.

Players and umpires approved adding replay three years ago. MLB’s contract with the umpires runs through the 2014 season; the labor deal with players expires this December.

Selig’s special committee for on-field matters, a 14-man panel that includes managers, general managers and team executives, also is said to favor the additional replay for next year.

“All anybody wants, and that’s the umpires and us, is to make sure we get the call right,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Thursday. “And whatever it takes to do that, I think, that’s what they’re trying to do. The one thing you don’t want is to have the game last longer and longer because of all these replays and go deep into the night.”

Others are a little leery, too.

“I think it might be too much if you do that. Then you have to do it for everything, strikes, I think it’s just a tough call,” Seattle third baseman Chone Figgins said. “To have those guys go back and look at replay for everything, it would be just too long unless they had a signal from upstairs and hit a button.”

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