Apparently, instant replay is really expensive

30 Comments

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?

Astros release Jon Singleton

Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Astros have released first baseman Jon Singleton, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Singleton, 26, was suspended for 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. He has had issues with marijuana in the post and admitted to being a drug addict several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself. I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”

Singleton played parts of two seasons in the majors in 2014-15 with the Astros, batting a combined .171/.290/.331 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in — appropriately — 420 plate appearances. He spent 2016 with Triple-A Fresno and 2017 with Double-A Corpus Christi, putting up middling numbers.

If he can convince teams he’s still actively working to overcome his addiction, Singleton may be able to find an opportunity elsewhere. But his road back to the majors remains long. He was once a top prospect in the Phillies’ system, then was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal back in July 2011.