MLB, likely foe open to return to Orlando

A possible April series there against Toronto meets no resistance from league or Blue Jays officials.

Published November 7, 2007

LAKE BUENA VISTA - If the Rays want to make Disney their home for a three-game series again next season, Major League Baseball is willing to let them do it.

"I think the desire of the Devil Rays to establish Orlando as a natural extension of the Tampa market and the St. Petersburg market makes sense," MLB president Bob DuPuy said Tuesday. "So if they were to request permission to do so, assuming it could be all worked out, we'd be supportive of that again."

The Rays have talked to Toronto about shifting the April 22-24 series, and Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said they were open to it, especially after going 10-17 at Tropicana Field the past three seasons.

"We're definitely interested," Ricciardi said. "Anything to get out of that dome. It's been a house of horrors for us."

The Rays would still have to work out specifics with Disney, St. Petersburg and other officials.

LET'S GO TO THE VIDEO: Baseball took a tentative step toward adopting instant replay on a limited basis - determining whether a potential home run went over the fence, was fair or foul and if there was fan interference - in a 25-5 vote by the general managers, but it likely wouldn't have it in place by the start of next season.

MLB officials were unsure of the approval process but said commissioner Bud Selig - a longtime opponent who has become more open to the idea as long as it doesn't further slow the game - has the final say. Myriad details have to be worked out, but the most likely plan would have all applicable calls reviewed at a central site, similar to what the NHL does.

Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman wouldn't say how he voted.

MISCELLANY:DuPuy said the only remaining possibility for a new Marlins stadium is at the site of the Orange Bowl, which he admitted is less desirable than a downtown site. ... MLB officials plan to increase efforts to speed up games, considering forcing batters to remain in the box. ... Officials of several teams, including the Marlins, Tigers and Cubs, downplayed interest in Alex Rodriguez.