Mike Port, former NASO Board member and MLB vice president of umpiring, recently weighed in on an espn.go.com columnist’s instant-replay debate, contending that MLB should move ahead with replay and use it for frequently missed calls. He also condemned a challenge system, saying it would be too confusing for managers.
“As a basic premise,” he told espn.go, “if the purpose of replay is to get calls correct … then let’s try to get ALL correct within certain categories.”
Port explained that those categories include plays at the plate, tags on steal plays, swipe tag plays, force plays and hit-by-pitch.
“Evaluate the most frequently missed calls and establish what REALLY needs to be subject to replay,” Port wrote in ESPN’s call-out. “Focus on those MOST FREQUENTLY missed. Not something that happens once every 1,000 innings. Make those frequently missed calls subject to automatic review by a replay official stationed in a club's video room.
Port spent six years (2005-11) as baseball’s vice president of umpiring after a career as a general manager and executive for the Angels, Red Sox and Padres. He served on the NASO Board of Directors from 2010-12.
MLB has an evaluation system in place, Port said, that reviews umpires' calls — both correct and incorrect. So it “shouldn’t be a large problem” to figure out fairly quickly which plays are worth honing in on.
And once the powers that be have settled on those plays? Then …
“Let’s go,” Mike Port wrote. “Baseball moves at Neanderthal speed in too in many of its undertakings.”
For more, go to espn.go.com/mlb/blog.