Joe Torre Talks Rosters, Replay, Realignment

Joe Torre, MLB’s executive VP for baseball operations, briefed reporters on some details of the general managers’ meetings this afternoon. Here are some notes from his discussion with reporters…

  • There were no discussions about roster limits in September, but MLB hasn’t ruled out adapting roster sizes late in the year. “It’s something that we’re seriously considering,” Torre said. Rosters expand from 25 to 40 each September and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see MLB reduce roster size for the regular season’s final month.
  • The GMs discussed potential changes to the replay process. MLB may add replay for fair or foul calls, but there’s ongoing discussion about the drawbacks and benefits of expanding replay in this way.
  • Realignment was not up for discussion today. It's the domain of commissioner Bud Selig and appears to be linked to the ongoing talks for a new collective bargaining agreement. 
  • Player safety in Venezuela did come up in today's meetings. Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in Venezuela last week before being recovered by authorities, so there’s concern about the safety of MLB players in Venezuela.

17 Responses to Joe Torre Talks Rosters, Replay, Realignment Leave a Reply

  1. I don’t know what managers say when they go out to argue, but it’s largely a waste of time that would be better served by reviewing the play from a video booth. Despite popular announcer filler about how great the umpires are, the right call is much more important to me than this wretched tar called “tradition” that’s been slowing any attempts to change or modernize baseball and trying to suffocate any change that does come about.

    That’s not to say that Baseball hasn’t done many things right for a long time, but you don’t have to defend something done right with some whimsical nonsense like tradition.

    • Onetimeaccount 4 years ago

      I get both arguments. There are moments where I want to get on a plane and fly out to a certain baseball field and make it where a certain umpire can never do his job again, but in retrospect I also do enjoy the human element and I dont want to see that fully gone just yet. But what should be done no matter what is to suspend or relieve some of the umpires from their job. You shouldnt hear the broadcaster announce the games umpire and automatically groan knowing the game will be effected in some way or another (Hernandez, West, Davidson).

      • strikethree 4 years ago

        There’s enough human element in the game — they come from the players. I don’t pay for tickets to watch umpires or their mistakes. Sure, there is that “random factor” excitement but that excitement goes both ways. (imagine you being the pitcher/fan who gets his perfect game taken away after a missed call)

        But, I also must concede that a lot of us criticize a job that is probably much harder to do in reality. (as opposed to sitting on your couch and being able to get the best viewing angles from cameras) This is why we need replays: umpires are humans and they need help. 

        Frankly, a clutch hit or an error from a player is much more exciting than an error from an umpire. (even if the call was FOR my team) Umpire errors just get me angry. We have the technology now that can solve these problems — all we need to do is use them.

        • It’s got nothing to do with the human element. The fact is that the perception is that baseball is slow enough already and that adding replay will make the games even longer. Imagine a world where the Red Sox and Yankees could ask for review on an arbitrary number of plays of a certain type in a given game. You could be looking at a game of ~6 hours very easily.

          • If managers are no longer allowed to leave the dugout to pointlessly argue calls, you’re already saving plenty of time.  You can also address visits to the mound by the catcher, pitching coach and manager by limiting the number of visits, their frequency, and/or their duration to limit a team exploiting them to give their bullpen time to get ready. Once you actually start to affect play you need to be much more careful, but time between pitches is often a problem as well and it can be because of the battery or the hitter. This may be wrong, but I heard that batters are technically not allowed to leave the batter’s box during an at-bat, which if enforced may help. I think the problem is that speeding up the game is better achieved by recovering seconds here and there through several small changes so as to have minimal impact on the game.

          • strikethree 4 years ago

            Easy, have an official in a booth with headsets to an umpire on the field.

            Do you realize the amount of time it takes for both sides to argue with an umpire? THAT is what makes games longer. I’m tired of watching managers argue, yell, kick and scream.

            I don’t like how they are reviewing HR replays. Just have a guy watch the game in a booth and relay the right call through a headset. We don’t need any umpire to even move.

            Takes a minute at most. Obviously, there should be no arguments. (which is the case, from what I’ve observed)

            Football, tennis, hockey, etc. All these games institute replays without much fuss so why is this speed thing an issue? Again, we have the technology to pull up replays instantly. (hence the name “instant replay”)

          • You can also address the issue of too many replays slowing the game down in a few ways: 

            1. Limiting the number of times a manager can request a review. This doesn’t need to be incorporated as dramatically as red flags in football. If the rules allow the manager to request a manageable number of reviews then that can be handled by the umpires or the booth itself.

            2. The rules can explain which plays require video review, similar to the NHL and increasingly in the NFL.

            3. The umpires themselves can consider video review after conferring with each other as they do now, hopefully ensuring impactful plays are reviewed when the umpires are unsure of the call. Unless the umpires stop treating technology as some malicious intruder into their league that they need to valiantly defend against, I don’t prefer this option. 

  2. The_BiRDS 4 years ago

    What ever they are talking about please agree on something very soon so we can get this offseason going. Many clubs and prospects are waiting for this to end before they consider any deals.

  3. Edgar4evar 4 years ago

    I don’t care about replay on fair / foul balls that aren’t home runs. Frankly, they don’t often get those wrong in my experience. And what happens if a ball was called foul but replay shows it was fair? Then the umps have to decide where all the baserunners end up. Feh.

    Where they should do replay is on close calls at the plate. That’s where most sports focus their replay efforts…on scoring plays. Run it like the NFL…the replay has to clearly show that the call on the field was wrong or it stands. Review every close play at the plate automatically.

  4. Mark C Cappuccio 4 years ago

    Ok, here’s a take on the roster thing. Expand the rosters up to 40, but, they only dress 25, inactivating the rest for that day. I hear this has been bandy about a while.

    • stl_cards16 4 years ago

      That’s pretty much what it is now.  You are allowed to have 40 guys on the “40 man roster” but only 25 on the “active roster”.  The active roster can be changed daily.

      Edit: Nevermind, I’m guessing you mean in September. My bad

    • Damon Bowman 4 years ago

      I think I’ve got a better idea.  Grant roster exemptions of one spot on the 25-man roster for every player who qualifies as a 10-and-5 player.  In theory this would reward teams who have more stable rosters and don’t turn things over constantly.  During 2011, there were 26 players who would have qualified for this exemption with the Yankees carrying four of those players (Rivera, Jeter, Posada, and ARod).  Maybe if we “create” extra ML level jobs this way, we could convince Selig & the MLBPA to eliminate the DH since there are more jobs with this roster exemption than without?

  5. essmeier 4 years ago

    As an Astros fan, as well as a fan of traditional, if-you-can-pick-up-a-glove-you-can-pick-up-a-bat baseball, I think Bud Selig can take his realignment and shove it.

  6. Chris_RG 4 years ago

    I don’t know why people care so much about limiting expanded rosters in September. It’s a tradition in the game, and very few teams call up 15 players. 

    • Onetimeaccount 4 years ago

      They need to just keep what they have but limit each roster per game to 28 instead of all in.

  7. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    do these butthorns have a single worthwhile idea? worst meeting of the minds ever

  8. sherrilltradedooverexperience 4 years ago

    expanding rosters would greatly reduce the number of transactions, but especially the costs of shuttling fringe players (especially relievers and emergency starters) from point a to point b and back again because you actually do need more than 25 guys once injuries start to hit or arms get tired etc. 

    Most importantly…it would probably help to save more than a few relievers careers…

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