Jeff Passan has a column up today chronicling the recent run-ins between players and umpires and talking about how replay would solve so much of it. In the course of his argument, he drops this as a means of explaining one of the reasons Bud Selig is against replay:
There’s the financial factor, too. A football source said the NFL spends about $4 million a year on instant replay. With almost 10 times as many games, new equipment and a fifth umpire with each crew to monitor the replay booth, MLB’s annual costs could go well into eight figures.
Wow. That is somewhat shocking. I’d be curious to see a breakdown of this. I mean, even if you added 15 umpires at max salary, that would be less than $4 million a year in salary. Entry-level umps would cost less than $1.5 million a year. If the recently-reported idea of a centrally-located replay bunker were to be implemented the personnel costs would even lower than that.
Beyond people, where does the rest of the cost come from? All of the games are televised now, and rare is it the case that at least some existing camera angle doesn’t capture the disputed play clearly. Can’t we just use the existing TV feeds? What else has to happen here?
These are not rhetorical questions, by the way. I’m (for once) not trying to be cute. I really don’t know what replay would entail financially and how it would all break down. Anyone have an idea about this?