Along with a new playoff format, MLB was expected to expand their replay rules for the 2012 season. The new rules would have added elements to the current rules put in place in August 2008 including fair/foul down the baselines, trapped balls and fan intereference anywhere in the ballpark. The new reviews needed to be approved by MLB, the players and the umpires (their respective unions) but the sides were unable to come to an agreement.
We weren’t able to come up with an acceptable set of agreements between the three parties,” MLB executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred told The Associated Press. “We hope we’ll be able to do it in time for the 2013 season”
The new timetable for the expanded replay now looks to be 2013 at the earliest, but it doesnt look promising. The umpires want to get something out of this, the Associated Press suggested additional retirement and disability benefits or a seventh umpire for postseason games. The seventh umpire for the postseason is viable to me but additional retirement and disability benefits? For making their jobs easier? As of right now they have to walk into the clubhouse to review plays but thats likely to change. So why do they need added benefits to approve this?
Apparently the other thing the umps are concerned about is varying coverage from stadium to stadium making some stadiums harder to get the right angle than others. This one I agree could be a problem but Im sure the sides can figure something out to fix it. Adding a few cameras to the ballparks that have the least coverage seems like a viable option. Im curious to see how they resolve that issue.
The players union is waiting for the umpires and MLB to reach an agreement before they make their negotiations, if they have any. It looks like its the umpires that are resisting the change the most, so if MLB can satisy them it shouldnt be long before we see a deal struck. Whatever happens, you will know as soon as we do.