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The Hawk-Eye system is used in tennis

Major League Baseball is seriously looking into specific technology that will quickly determine whether a batted ball is fair or foul. As reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports,  MLB is studying a computer and video system created by a British firm called Hawk-Eye Innovations. This is the same technology that is used in major tennis and cricket matches, giving almost instantaneous alerts to where a ball lands.

Bud Selig has already stated that no more replay will be instituted at this time, but this is not a topic that can be avoided. The Johan Santana no-hitter only brought more light to the MLB replay controversy, as a ball was wrongfully ruled foul. Selig fears that replay will slow the game. What Selig and others seem to ignore is that with the proper technology, such as the Hawk-Eye equipment, the game will probably be expedited by eliminating long and extended arguments between managers and umpires. As a ball is batted down one of the foul lines, the Hawk-Eye equipment will send an instant message to an earpiece or other piece of equipment worn by an umpire, and the proper call can determined without delay.

Joe Torre is currently MLB’s executive vice-president for baseball operations and has acknowledged that MLB is in discussions with Hawk-Eye officials. As to the equipment and its potential use, Torre made the following statements:

The technology is really interesting…We continue to investigate it. I don’t think we’re at the point now where we want to do that, increase replay more than we have. Unless we’re confident that it’s going to be something that will work without any hiccups, we’re not planning to do anything right now.

Stay tuned, there will be more discussions to come, but changes probably will not be made until 2013. The new collective bargaining agreement allows for the expansion of replay that would include rulings on fair and foul balls and “trap” plays, but the umpire’s union must come into agreement. Replay is already used to determine home runs. Whether a ball is trapped or caught would most likely have to be determined by the same video replay used for home run determination.




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