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?
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.