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Video replay 'unacceptable,' says National League boss

NEW YORK (AP) -- Baseball wants umpires to limit television to their private lives.

Umpire Frank Pulli's decision to view a videotape replay and change a home run to a double in Florida's 5-2 loss to St. Louis was wrong, NL president Len Coleman said Tuesday."Use of the video replay is not an acceptable practice," Coleman said. "Part of the beauty of baseball is that it is imperfect. Players make errors. Managers are constantly second-guessed. But the game is played and determined by two teams between the white lines."

Baseball, the NBA, NCAA football and soccer do not allow officials to use replays, while the NHL permits it to determine goals and NCAA basketball allows it in a few specific instances.

The NFL had replay from 1986-91 and reinstated it on a limited basis last March after several game-turning calls that replays showed were incorrect.

"Traditionally, baseball has relied on the eyes of the umpires as opposed to any artificial devices for its judgments," Coleman said. "I fully support this policy. Occasionally, however, the umpires too will make mistakes; that is also part of the game."

Cliff Floyd claimed his drive Monday was a homer because it bounced off the facade behind the left-field scoreboard in Miami. Second-base umpire Greg Gibson thought the ball hit off the scoreboard and called it a double, but after the Marlins argued, the umpires conferred and Pulli -- the crew chief and third-base ump -- changed the ruling to a homer.

The Cardinals then protested, and the game was delayed for more than five minutes while Pulli studied replays on a TV camera near the Marlins' dugout. After consulting the replay, Pulli changed the call back to a double.

Coleman said Pulli, with 28 years, is second in seniority among NL umpires, was "acting in good faith," but made a mistake. Coleman did not rule on Florida's written protest. Because the Marlins would have gained only one more run if the play had been ruled a homer, it's unlikely the protest will be upheld.

Floyd, speaking in Miami before Tuesday night's game, agreed with Coleman's decision. He said allowing replays would lead to more arguments.

"You set yourself up for it to happen again, and you're going to have tons of people thrown out of the game. They'll be arguing until they're green in the face," Floyd said.