ST. PETERSBURG — Not everyone within the Blue Jays’ clubhouse are big fans of the new instant replay ruling that Major League Baseball has implemented. Count Roy Halladay and Matt Stairs among those who aren’t entirely in favor or the decision.
“You kind of hate to see it, just because you’re starting to change the game,” Halladay saod. “Really, I think it’s probably going to be more fair and it’s probably going to be the right way to do it, but it’s starting to change the game — change the way it’s always been called.”
OK, Stairs wasn’t entirely against it — let’s be honest.
“I think changing the game and putting instant replay in, in my mind, is wrong,” Stairs said. “Next thing you know, it’s going to be computerized strike zones with no umpires. That’s the next step. I just don’t agree with bringing the instant replay in. It makes the umpires look bad if they’re wrong.”
Beginning Friday for the Jays, any questionable home runs can be reviewed by the umpires. The process involves calling MLB Advanced Media’s headquarters in New York City, where a technician and a umpire supervisor or former MLB ump, who will review the play and relay their findings to the crew at the game in question.
As Stairs put it: “The pitchers are going to suffer because of the fact that he has to stand on the mound and not do anything.”
That is certainly one concern for Halladay.
“Hopefully, they just find a way to do it quickly,” he said. “You don’t want to be standing out there every time somebody hits a home run waiting for them to figure it out. Let’s see how it works. Maybe it’s something that goes quickly and it’s not even an issue. But, yeah, that’d be a concern, especially with them trying to speed games up, I think that would put a hamper on that.”
Now, there were plenty of Blue Jays who were in favor of the new initiative, but most said that will only remain so as long as the guidelines remain as is. Stairs expressed concern that this could open the door for more reviews being allowed down the road and that’s something the players don’t want to see, or the coaches for that matter.
“I don’t want the human element taken out of this game,” bench coach Brian Butterfield said. “I don’t want there to be computers or machines doing the job of our umpires.”
TORONTO (68-63) at TAMPE BAY (79-51)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field
Joe Inglett, 2B
Marco Scutaro, 3B
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Adam Lind, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Matt Stairs, DH
Rod Barajas, C
John McDonald, SS
PITCHING: LHP David Purcey (2-4, 6.55)
Akinori Iwamura, 2B
B.J. Upton, CF
Carlos Pena, 1B
Rocco Baldelli, DH
Willy Aybar, 3B
Ben Zobrist, LF
Shawn Riggans, C
Justin Ruggiano, RF
Jason Bartlett, SS
PITCHING: RHP Matt Garza (10-7, 3.71)