NEW YORK -- Commissioner Bud Selig touched on a variety of topics, including possible expansion of instant replay and scheduling, after the quarterly Owners Meetings wrapped up Thursday.
After umpires came under scrutiny last week for an incorrect call on an apparent home run despite the use of instant replay, which MLB said was not ruled correctly, many of the questions Selig answered had to do with progress on a plan to implement expanded replay.
Selig praised the thoughtfulness of a presentation on the subject given by Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and John Schuerholz. Selig declined to predict whether more replay will become a reality by next season, saying that the more replay is studied, the more complicated it becomes putting it into practice.
"They've been hard at work," Selig said. "There's been a lot of work done. But I think it's fair to see there's a lot of work to be done. The more issues they raise, the more thoughtful [their report] is. So my opinion has evolved because of all the work they have done. Time will tell. I'm not going to make any time prediction. The more issues they raise, the more complex it becomes."
With no action items on the agenda, the Commissioner was questioned on several other topics, including:
• Attendance. "It's May 16 today," Selig said. "We've lost more games already than we did all of last year. We've played a lot of games in weather that was really bad, painfully bad. I'm still optimistic that we can pick up a lot. We have a lot of games to make up. So at this point in time, the weather has been so bad that I'm not overly concerned. It's too early."
• On whether adjustments need to be made in future schedules to try to hedge against early-season postponements. "I don't think so. Look, we have Interleague Play now from day one [of the season], and that makes [creating a schedule] even more complicated. I've heard all these complaints every year for the last 45 or so. So I'd be less than candid if I didn't tell you. I could say, 'We'll look at this and that,' but there isn't much we can do."
• On the chance that Major League teams could play at international venues next season. "Possibility. We're working on a series of things. Absolutely. International growth is very big and we're going to push that very aggressively. We'll do some exciting things."
• On what concerns him most, considering there is labor peace and long television contracts in place. "The growth of the sport. The continued growth of the sport. I mean, we're doing great. We're the only sport that has showed an attendance increase every year [for the past three years]. Our revenues have gone up. But my job now is to make sure we stay on that course. Plus international growth. And if we do that, I'm happy."
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com.