New baseball deal includes extra replay
NEW YORK — Baseball's new labor contract includes more video replay, the chance for a longer All-Star break and a small, but likely welcome perk for players: the chance to get a private room instead of a roommate during spring training.
The Associated Press obtained the document that includes several changes, many starting next year. Among them:
- allowing teams from the same division to meet in the playoffs before the league championship series.
- a ban on players getting tattoos with corporate logos.
- the possibility of players wearing microphones during games.
Players have already ratified the hundreds of pages contained in Major League Baseball's Memorandum of Understanding. Owners are scheduled to vote Thursday.
Also part of the deal: Any big leaguer who wants to change uniform numbers without switching teams better give eight months' notice unless he's willing to buy warehouses full of his overstocked jerseys.
MLB wants to expand replay to include fair-or-foul calls, "whether a fly ball or line drive was trapped" and fan interference all around the ballpark. Umpires still must give their approval and it's uncertain whether the extra replay will be in place by opening day.
Video review began in August 2008, but only to look at potential home runs.
The All-Star break will be expanded to four days, rather than the traditional three-day gap. The five-year deal says starting in 2013 that MLB "shall have the right to elect to switch the All-Star game from Tuesday to Wednesday and the Home Run Derby from Monday to Tuesday." Sixty-nine of 82 All-Star games have been played on Tuesday, according to STATS LLC.
Gone, too, are the days of roommates, something that dates back decades, to the days players rode the rails to Florida. Now, all players on 40-man rosters are assured of single rooms during spring training. They've had that perk during the regular season since 1997.
And for players thinking about selling ads on their bodies, MLB has thought ahead. The agreement says "no player may have any visible markings or logos tattooed on his body" as part of the uniform regulations.
"Just trying to head something off at the pass," said Rob Manfred, baseball's executive vice president for labor relations.