Instant replay is winning by a mile

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I know this morning’s instant replay poll is not scientific. It also features slanted questions and lends itself to self-selection. But results are results!  And after about six hours of voting the results are clear: instant replay in a landslide. Just over 1000 people have voted. About 83% of you want replay of some kind.  About 79% of you favor the fifth-ump-in-the-booth option.

I’ve left the poll open for a couple of days for those of you who are working on ways to rig the vote.  Otherwise, I’m going to leave it for now, wondering only one thing: who are these “baseball people” Bud Selig referred to yesterday as being against replay? My only guess: it’s the 30 owners who pay both his salary and would pay the salaries of the15 extra umps needed to man the booths.

But of course, it has almost always been that way when baseball has had to make a choice between short term costs and long term benefits.  They eventually get it right. It just takes a while.

Each owner will get at least $50 million in early 2018 from the sale of BAMTech

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Earlier this year Disney agreed to purchase the majority stake in BAMTech, the digital media company spun off from MLB Advanced Media. We know it as the source of the technology for MLB.tv and MLB.com, but it’s far more wide-ranging than that now. At present it powers streaming for MLB, HBO, NHL, WWE, and, eventually, will power Disney’s and ESPN’s upcoming streaming services.

The company was started by an investment from baseball’s 30 owners, so they’re getting a big payout as a result of the acquisition. Earlier this morning Jim Bowden dropped this regarding how much of that payout is in the offing in the short term:

That’s probably on the low end, actually. Some people I’ve spoken to who are familiar with the acquisition say the figure is more like $68 million in Q1 of 2018.

Good for the owners! It was a savvy, forward-thinking investment that, in the past, baseball owners might not have made. Bud Selig, Bob Bowman and others deserve credit for convincing the Jeff Lorias and Jerry Reinsdorfs of the world to think big and long term. It’s money out of the sky, raining down upon the owner of your baseball team for, basically, doing nothing.

Money which should be remembered when your buddy complains about a relief pitcher getting $6 million for only pitching 65 innings. Money which should be remembered when your team’s GM says that he has to cut back on payroll in the coming year.