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New MLB Deal: More Instant Replay?

Last night, the Associated Press was able to obtain a document with new MLB formalities included in the recently signed collective-bargaining agreement.

The following are most notable:

1) Teams from the same division are now able to meet each other before the league championship series. This is largely thanks to the addition of another wild card team. It would certainly be strange to think of the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees meeting each other in the American League Divisional Series, but that's likely to happen relatively soon.

2) Major League Baseball wishes to extend instant replay to further than simply whether or not a fly ball indeed traveled over the wall. It appears the next step in this gradual process is examining fair-or-foul calls, if a player trapped a ball or caught it, as well as fan interference. While the first two seem easy enough, I feel as if fan interference is more of a judgment-based call, even with instant replay. Sometimes those are way too close to call and one could speculate for or against it. One downside is that umpires need to give approval and it's unclear if they'll be able to do so before Opening Day.

3) Players are prohibited from inking corporate logos on their bodies. This is likely due to legal matters and protecting MLB from some outlandish (or perhaps warranted) lawsuits. I can't honestly say I've ever been aware of a player tattooing a corporate logo on himself, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.

4) All-Star Break is now four days long as opposed to three. MLB also has the exclusive right to switch Home Run Derby from its traditional Monday night slot to Tuesday, which would move the Mid-Summer Classic from Tuesday to Wednesday.

5) This rule is probably the funniest:

Players must tell the commissioner's office by July 31 of the preceding year if they want a new jersey. That is, unless "the player (or someone on his behalf) purchases the existing finished goods inventory of apparel containing the player's jersey number." As in, every replica jersey, jacket, T-shirt, mug and anything else with a number that's anywhere in stock.

All details of the story can be found at CBS News.

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