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Big 12 baseball: Expanding instant replay big topic in baseball

College baseball finally added replay at the College World Series last year after a botched call in the 2011 CWS. But Omaha is the only place replay is used in college baseball. Several Big 12 coaches believe if the technology is available, us it.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, Published: May 24, 2013

Smith said another plus is umpires would be held accountable. College umpires' performances are now being graded similar to basketball and football officials. One theory is the evaluator writing performance reviews could sit by the replay monitor and make the call.

“The more accountability we can get in our game the better the game is,” Smith said. “Every umpire tries his best, but it makes everyone work harder. Balls and strikes are the biggest issue. That won't be part of replay, but Pitch Track would help umpires with training, help make the game better.”

Balls and strikes are the pink elephant in the room that all of baseball, even MLB, hasn't discussed. Many baseball officials view balls and strikes as the human element that should never be eliminated.

But as they say, never say never.

MLB ran tests last year at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field with the Hawk-Eye animation system used to judge line calls in tennis and the TrackMan radar software used by the PGA Tour.

Replay has been in place in the majors for home run calls since August 2008.

Former manager Joe Torre, hired as MLB executive vice president, is leading MLB's replay dialogue and research.

Torre hopes to have proposals for traps and fair/foul down-the-line plays ready for the Aug. 14-15 session in Cooperstown, N.Y. Torre is against managers having challenge privileges. But there's growing sentiment it won't be long before a red flag comes flying out of a dugout onto the on-deck circle.

“Maybe we should just keep it at the Major League level,” said West Virginia outfielder Brady Wilson. “At the same time, it seems nowadays everyone is changing with the technology. It's hard to know what's best. But I could see if it's a big game on TV it wouldn't hurt to have something to help umpires out.”