Major League Baseball is making tentative plans to experiment with instant replay in the Arizona Fall League, according to a baseball official with knowledge of those discussions.I suppose that's fine, but I'm not sure how testing replay in small stadiums with no outfield seats and atypical sight lines is going to represent the best test for replay. Why not put it in as a non-binding pilot program in Major League stadiums a la Questec, thereby allowing users to get comfortable with it in a real-life setting (i.e. screaming fans, some semblance of time pressure).
If that experiment proves practical and successful, MLB then is likely to continue the experiment next March during the World Baseball Classic and spring-training games.
If no insurmountable problems arise, baseball could begin using replay -- though only to decide home run calls -- as soon as next season.
What is yet to be determined is whether calls would be reviewed by a "replay umpire" in each stadium, as the National Football League does, or in the MLB offices in New York, a system that would more resemble the National Hockey League.
As for the "replay umpire" thing, it seems to me that there are maybe a couple of these disputed calls a week, so dedicating someone at each stadium to replay would be inefficient. As long as they're limiting this to home run calls, MLB should have no problem seeing all of the video at its home base via video feed and dedicate one person to all disputed calls.
Your Million Dollar Idea of the Day: MLB can then use it to promote the Extra Innings package!
[voiceover, cutting to a video of a stressed man in a dark room switching from game to game as umps call in asking him to review video]: "Our replay official is required to keep tabs on every single game."
[cut to video of a couple of guys in a living room drinking beers switching back and forth between exciting games] "Wouldn't you like his job? With the Extra Innings Package you can."
Da da da, dee, dee, dee, and whatever the hell else you want to put in there.