This story doesn't quite represent a breakthrough moment for those of us in favor of expanded replay in Major League Baseball, but it's a start. Via Jayson Stark, the league is going to experiment with two different replay systems, installing one at Yankee Stadium and the other at Citi Field. Both systems are designed to determine whether a ball is fair or foul without the need for traditional video reply. According to Stark, it's the league's preference to use some type of precise technology, as long as it proves both accurate and quick. This doesn't necessarily mean we'll see either system actually used to overturn a call, though.
First, here's exactly what the league will be installing in each park, via Stark:
"Hawkeye," the camera-based technology used in tennis, will be tested at Citi Field, both during Mets games in September and on off days. A radar-based system, similar to the technology used to track shots in golf telecasts, will be tested at Yankee Stadium. That technology, officials said, has not previously been used to review calls in any sport.
A few caveats, though: The technology won't actually be used to review calls this season; they're both just being tested for now. Stark's sources tell him that there's no timetable for when they might start using one of the systems, nor is it guaranteed they'll ever use either one. And they could still opt to use traditional video replay for such calls, as they currently do for disputed home runs. (Generally speaking, it seems to us that simply using replay would be pretty reliable, but we'll admit that the speed at which tennis challenges are decided is pretty impressive.)
Baseball will also test the systems in the Arizona Fall League and will present the findings at owners' meetings in November. As Stark points out, Bud Selig has said that replay on fair/foul calls and catch/trap calls could be implemented as early as next year. So this seems like a step in the right direction.