MLB Advanced Media Head Defends Replay, Tweaks ESPN
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The head of baseball’s Internet company is defending the sport’s new replay system.
Bob Bowman, chief executive officer of MLB Advanced Media, said Tuesday the system based at his company’s office has largely worked.
Through Monday, calls by umpires on the field have been confirmed in 33 of 89 challenges and overturned in 30. For 25 others, calls stood because of a lack of “clear and convincing'” evidence. In one instance, umpires asked for a video review to check the balls-strike count.
“Technology takes a while to work,” Bowman said during a panel discussion at the MLB Diversity Business Summit. “I don’t know if you ever bought a new car. You don’t know how all that stuff works right away. And if you ever get a new phone, it takes you a while to learn it. We’re under 30 days old, and I know we’ve arrived because ESPN is already criticizing us. And it must be great to be perfect the way ESPN is.”
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz declined comment.
Boston manager John Farrell was ejected after a call was overturned during Sunday’s game against the Yankees, which gave New York an additional run in a game it went on to win 3-2.
“It’s extremely difficult to have any faith in the system, the process that’s being used,” Farrell said.
A day earlier, MLB admitted it incorrectly failed to overturn a call that was in favor of the Yankees and said it was because the replay room in New York did not immediately have access to some of the camera angles shown during broadcasts.
“Our concern was the length of the game,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said, “and clearly it hasn’t affected that.”
Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts had a more parochial — and playful — view.
“We’re two and two in challenges, so it’s clear to us the replay system only works about half the time,” he said.
MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre told the New York Daily News that he wasn’t sure replay would ever be “perfect.”
“We feel for the most part, it’s going to get a lot of the plays right that are going to be game-changers,” Torre said. “That could be two-out, nobody on, ground ball to first base. There’s nothing insignificant about any play because it could turn into something.”
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