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Major League Baseball Owners Approve Expanded Instant Replay for 2014 Season

January 17th, 2014 at 4:18 AM
By Karen Vankat

On Thursday Major League Baseball owners unanimously approved expanded instant replay. Both the Major League Player's Association and the Major League Umpire Association are in agreement with the new system.

MLB in their decision decided that two more additional umpiring crews and staffing the replay center in New York will be on a rotation of current umpiring crews instead of former umpires and umpiring supervisors.

'Umpires' photo (c) 2009, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The committee that formulated the new replay system consisted of MLB executive vice president Joe Torre, former Major League manager Tony La Russa and Braves president John Schuerholz.. The goal according to La Russa was to eliminate the dramatic miss and pivotal call that has changed outcomes of games both in the regular and post season.

In addition the home runs the MLB owners approved the following plays:

-Ground-rule double, fan interference, stadium boundary calls, force play (except fielder's touching of second on double play), tag play, fair/foul in outfield only, trap play in outfield only, batter hit by pitch, timing play, touching a base (requires appeal), passing runners and record keeping.

A limit of two manager challenges per team per game. A manager would begin a game with one challenge per game. If he correctly challenges a play, he retains the right to challenge no more than one additional play at any point during the game. If he incorrectly challenges a play in the first six innings, umpires would not have the authority to review a call involving his team until the beginning of the seventh inning.

The only exception to the rule is umpires can decide to review home run calls, but those will be reviewed by the replay umpires in New York not by the on site umpires.

'Kahuna HD Switcher' photo (c) 2008, Rob Lee - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Teams will have access to video feeds in the clubhouse to look for potential challenges and would be able to communicate with the dugout via a hotline-type phone. No monitors or video will be allowed in dugouts.

All 30 ball parks will have standardize technology and the same 12 camera angles would be available to replay officials in every venue.

Challenges need to be made before the pitcher and batter are ready for the next pitch.

Two umpiring crews would serve as replay officials on any given night which means a total of eight umpires could monitor up to 15 games.

The crews will be assigned to the replay center for one week and then return to working games on the field. Replay officials will only overturn calls showing clear and convincing evidence of an error.

The tweaking of the replay system will happen over a three-year period until it settles on the best possible system.

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Tags: Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Yankees

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