MLB to expand instant replay in 2014
Schuerholz said after the first year MLB will look at what worked and what didn’t and make adjustments for 2015. “It’s going to take some time,” he said.
One of Selig’s major concerns was the possible slowing of games. Schuerholz said with a direct line of communication between the central office and the ballparks the expectation is that replays under the new system will take 1 minute, 15 seconds. Current replays average just over 3 minutes.
“We want to prevent stalling,” Schuerholz said. “If it’s a reviewable play, he (the manager) has to tell the umpires he’s going to review it.”
In other matters, Selig said baseball’s investigation of Biogenesis, the now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs, has been completed.
Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece on Aug. 5 when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players for their relationship to Biogenesis. Rodriguez has appealed his suspension.
Selig also called the Tampa Bay Rays stadium situation “very, very discouraging.”
“Baseball needs a resolution to this problem,” Selig said with Stuart Sternberg, principal owner of the Rays, in the room listening. “I find it a very, very troubling situation. We were optimistic this was moving in a very positive direction. Unfortunately, it’s stalled.”
Selig said the situation was serious enough that he was giving “very strong consideration to assigning someone from MLB to intervene in this process, find out exactly what the hell is going on.”
“They’ve been a model organization, extraordinarily capable,” Selig said. “They’ve done everything in their power to make their ballpark situation work. Years have ticked by now with no tangible progress.”
The team is obligated to play at outdated Tropicana Field through 2027 and is averaging just over 13,000 fans a game this season. The low attendance figures have led to the Rays receiving millions of dollars in revenue sharing.
“Without that, we wouldn’t be able to compete,” Sternberg said. “The other owners are looking at it. How many years is this going to be? How much money is it going to be? We should be able to get to the point where the revenue sharing dollars we would receive don’t need to be so significant year in and year out.”
Relocating is not on the table, Sternberg said.
“Frankly, I haven’t been able to get this (new stadium deal) done,” Sternberg said. “Something needs to be done and nothing’s happening. We’ve got an enormous following, but something is clearly stopping people from coming through our doors. This isn’t a one- or two-year thing. Even the economy has picked up a bit and our attendance has gone down.”
AP freelance writer Mark Didtler in St. Peterburg, Fla., contributed to this report.