UPDATE: Being told be several people that teams do not use the 2008 Sharp TVs for replay. That they have true HD screens of more modern vintage. This makes sense to me. It’d still be good if MLB was more upfront with it, however.
9:38 AM: Not sure what to make of this Deadspin post. It shows a fairly small and antiquated TV which doesn’t do true high definition in the bowels of a ballpark, reporting that this is the TV that major league umpires use to review plays. The reason: a sponsorship deal with Sharp and no apparent desire to keep things up to date.
But then later in the article:
Most of what we know about how MLB handles replay comes from 2008, when the system was first implemented. They haven’t talked about any changes since then, and when we asked very specific questions about the technology used a league official politely declined to answer any of them. It’s possible they have larger screens (and ones from Samsung, the new MLBAM official sponsor) but MLB didn’t confirm anything of the sort when we asked—and we can’t find any evidence the system’s technology has been revamped at all, something you’d assume the league would trumpet in support of its sponsor.
So maybe this is old information. But, at the very least, it seems like MLB should say it’s old information if it is. And affirmatively state what technology umpires are using to review plays.
People don’t trust baseball’s umpires or its review system right now, and for good reason. A good way to get people to start trusting again — apart from the obvious in not botching easy calls — would be for Joe Torre or someone in a position of authority to explain the system being used and assure us that it’s the best it can reasonably be. To assure us that the men in charge of deciding things in games aren’t worse off than some fan 500 miles from the park watching the replay on his iPhone.
If it’s not: well, umpires aren’t the only thing we need to worry about.