In 2014, Major League Baseball will employ an instant replay system during games, a move made nearly necessary by several years of high-profile blown calls by umpires.
The use of expanded instant replay was unanimously approved by MLB owners in January, but the sport’s managers aren’t unified in their reaction to the sweeping changes the system will bring. Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson is, shall we say, cautiously optimistic about the new regulations.
“Personally for me, I can live with the old system. I like the human element,” Gibson told Doug and Wolf Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “It puts accountability on us all. But at the same time, that’s where the game has decided it wants to go.”
Gibson, who is entering his fourth full season as a big league manager, wasn’t overly critical of the implementation of expanded instant replay. In fact, he thinks it could eventually be a positive.
“We’ve made a lot of good decisions in the game over the years and they’ve been good for the game. This one can work too,” he said. “I know they don’t want (the game) to get bogged down where we’re sitting and looking at replays all the time. I think they’ll have a quick fashion to resolve it. They’re virtually going to review these plays, is my understanding — it’ll be going on before I even go out there to dispute it.
“I guess I have to be for it, I’m not going to fight it — I’d be in the minority, I think, if I did.”
It’s interesting to note that the Diamondbacks will only have 160 of their 162 regular season games governed by the new system. Their season-opening two-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Australia will not feature expanded replay because the technology is not available at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground.