Baseball fans! Have you ever been upset when a play is reviewed and the umpire just doesn’t get the call right? Have you ever wished that other teams wouldn’t catch a break because the umpires didn’t see the play, or would get frustrated when the umpire wouldn’t reverse the call because it was claimed to be non-review-able? Well, I’ve got just the thing. Now introducing, Expanded Replay from MLB. Now all the plays that need a second look are now available for any manager to challenge (and will probably guarantee a game to go longer by about 10 to 15 minutes). The plays that will be available to challenge are:
– Home runs
– A Ground Rule Double
– Fan Interference
– Stadium boundary calls (a fielder in the stands, ball going into the stands triggering a dead ball)
– Force Play (Except when a player touches up on second during a double play)
– Tag Play (includes steals and pickoffs)
– Fair/Foul in outfield only
– Trap play in outfield only
– Hit By Pitch
– Timing Play (if a runner scores before the third out is made)
– Touching a base (requires an appeal)
– Passing runners
– Record keeping (balls to strikes, outs, scores and substitutions)
How does it work?
– If a manager would like to challenge during a game, they must verbally tell the crew chief and it must occur in a timely manner. The manager could request that multiple portions of the same play be under review, but he must specify which portion of the play he plans to challenge. If any portion of the challenge is overturned, the manager who challenged the play may retain the ability to challenge one more play during the game. Both managers are allowed to challenge no more than two plays per game.
– Once the play is challenged, the umpire will signal for the Official Scorer and the play under question will be in review. The crew chief will then go to the designated communication station by home plate where they will have access to a headset connected to the Replay Command Center in New York City. The Replay Official from the command center will decide whether there is enough concrete evidence to overturn a call, while also using his judgement to place runners on the base paths, if they are there before the previous call was challenged. From there the ultimate ruling on whether a call will be reversed or not. Once the ruling on the field is announced, the challenging manager is not allowed to argue the call.
The new replay system seems great and should probably cut down on ejections and teams having wins ripped away from them because of tough calls. The only thing I hoped for was for the managers to have flags (or yellow baseballs) they could throw on the field when there’s a call they want to review.
Well, here’s to hoping to a successful replay system in 2014.