SABR

Thurm: Fans want more instant replay, but does MLB care?

From SABR member Wendy Thurm at FanGraphs on July 23, 2012:

Several times in the last two months, Commissioner Bud Selig publicly stated that “no one” is clamoring for more instant replay in baseball. He made this comment to a sports and society conference in Wisconsin in late May. He repeated it in when he spoke to the Baseball Writers Association of America during All-Star week. And he reiterated it just yesterday on a sports radio show. Selig’s position confounds many of fans not merely because we support expanded instant replay in baseball, but because we know many others, including well-regarded baseball writers and analysts who do, as well.

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Let’s put the question of polls aside for a bit. We conducted our own poll – indeed, it’s the basis for this post – and we’ll get to those results in a few. But first, the notion that Selig receives letters, reads them, and responds in writing is charming, in a 1950’s kind of way. The fact that Selig would even mention the letters to a sports radio show as a justification for maintaining the status quo demonstrates how out-of-touch he is with the fans and technology.

Second, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement approved last December specifically provides for expanded instant replay on fair/foul calls and on plays involving a potentially trapped ball. Why would owners and the players’ association negotiate terms of expanded instant replay if “no one” wanted it. They wouldn’t. And it’s foolish to suggest otherwise.

And now to our poll.

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In total, we received 832 responses. Are the responses a representative sample of baseball fans around the country? I hope so, but don’t know for certain. There is a good deal of diversity in the answers, though, which suggests that the poll was worthwhile and should be taken seriously by the Commissioner, the owners and the players.

Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/fans-want-more-instant-replay-but-does-mlb-care/

This page was last updated July 24, 2012 at 11:15 am MST.

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