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KBO to consider expanding video replay this season

All Headlines 18:21 May 21, 2014

SEOUL, May 21 (Yonhap) -- Under pressure amid an increase in blatant missed calls by umpires, the top domestic baseball league said on Wednesday it will consider expanding its video review process during the ongoing season.

"At the general managers' meeting and the board of directors meeting in early June, we will discuss expanding instant replay," said Yang Hae-young, secretary general of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO). "Once everyone can form a consensus, we will take action in the second half of the season, at the earliest."

KBO to consider expanding video replay this season - 2

Currently, the KBO umpires rely on instant replays on disputed home run calls only. Before this season, Major League Baseball (MLB) decided to expand its review process to cover fair or foul calls and force play at bases, among other categories.

KBO fans frustrated at the current state of officiating have called on the South Korean league to follow in the MLB's footsteps.

Before this season, Yang had said the league would conduct feasibility studies on expanded video review and that the KBO would consider making the move by as early as 2015. At their meeting earlier this month, the league's general managers discussed expanded replay but decided to put the issue on hold until the end of this season, citing technical difficulties.

Yet Yang acknowledged on Wednesday a recent string of blown calls has caused fans to lose faith in the league, and there was little time to waste.

"We may not be able to conduct such detailed reviews as MLB," Yang added. "But since clubs and fans are clearly upset, we will try to get help from network cameras and expand our replay as early as possible."

Jeong Geum-jo, head of baseball operations at the KBO, will visit MLB headquarters next week to study the major leagues' review system.

If the KBO were to expand video replay to include fair or foul calls and force plays at bases, the league would also have to amend its rules.

Under the current set of rules, umpires' decisions on fair and foul and on force plays are final and may not be protested.

Yang explained that a change could be made to such rules under special circumstances.

Also on Wednesday, the KBO disciplined an umpire at the center of the latest blown call in a game between the Nexen Heroes and the Hanwha Eagles a day earlier.

It said umpire Lee Young-jae has been fined 500,000 won ($US490) after he called a Nexen runner safe at home on a tag-up play even though replays showed he never even touched the plate as he was tagged by the opposing catcher. The Heroes went on to win the game 3-1.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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