Can you feel it? Instant replay in baseball is happening, perhaps as soon as the end of the month. Here's what we know:
- MLB ballparks are being wired for instant replay as we speak
- The replay feeds will go to a "war room" in New York City, where baseball officials will review questionable plays (like the one the NHL employs).
- Instant replay will only be used to determine homerun calls on the basis of fair/foul or before/beyond the wall.
- Instant replay will *not* be used on close plays, ball/strike calls, etc.
- Instant replay does not require a vote by the owners because it isn't technically a rule change.
The Mets have been on the short end of a few botched homerun calls this season, so in the interest of simply getting those calls right I fully endorse the use of replay in those situations. Considering that the umpires already congregate to discuss Jebus-knows-what on questionable calls, I wouldn't expect replay to be much of an encumbrance time-wise. The NHL has it down to a science, and in a lot of ways the baseball replays will be far easier to discern.
While the exact timetable for its institution is as yet unknown, expect instant replay to be ready in time for the end of the season and, for sure, the forthcoming postseason.