Cuddyer, Twins support instant replay

Cuddyer, Twins support instant replay

MILWAUKEE -- Michael Cuddyer has hit 75 home runs over the course of his career, but he hasn't forgotten at least one blast that's escaped that total.

Cuddyer said that two years ago in Tampa Bay, he belted a solo shot three rows deep at Tropicana Field that bounced off the chest of a fan. But the umpire didn't see exactly where the ball landed and ruled it a double.

The ruling was made, Cuddyer said, in spite of the fact that the man had to be escorted from the field.

"I would have had 25 homers and 110 RBIs that season," Cuddyer added. "But who is counting?"

That missed home run is one of the reasons why Cuddyer is in favor of the current push to have a limited version of instant replay implemented in Major League Baseball.

That could happen as soon as Aug. 1, according to reports that have surfaced this week. Last November, baseball's general managers voted 25-5 during their annual meeting to explore the possibility of using the video technology to help decide disputed home run calls -- fair or foul, over the fence or not. Union officials for both the players and umpires have met to discuss the issue and have agreed that these would be the areas targeted by instant replay.

The video review of disputed calls would take place at a central location and would be the responsibility of the umpire crew chief at each game, according to a report by ESPN the Magazine on Saturday.

Cuddyer, who is the Twins' current player representative, said that the issue was not raised during a team meeting with the Players Association last week in Cleveland.

Twins players have not officially met to reach a consensus on the issue, but Cuddyer said there has been some clubhouse chatter about using instant replay on home run calls.

"I think most guys are for it," Cuddyer said. "I don't think it's going to take time away from the game. No more so than when they meet and are standing there and nothing is resolved anyway. Now they can meet, stuff will be resolved and we can go forward."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had already stated that he is in favor of using instant replay on determining home run and fair-foul calls. He repeated that sentiment again on Saturday.

"If it helps the game, fine, and if it get calls right, that's what we are all working for," Gardenhire said. "We all talk about getting them right. And I think we've all seen that some of these ballparks, it's really hard to tell."

But Gardenhire stressed that baseball should make sure it has all the details worked out before implementing any form of instant replay.

"I think the system better not just be a trial basis -- not in the Major Leagues," Gardenhire said. "It better be something they are very sure it's going to work."

Cuddyer joked that he has just one request if it is indeed put into place -- make the ruling retroactive as well.

"Make it go back two years ago, send the tape in [of the lost home run] and we'll make the adjustments," Cuddyer said with a chuckle.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.