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MLB Expands Instant Replay

Jamie Sabau, Getty Images

Instant replay is here to stay in Major League Baseball.

According to ESPN.com, at the quarterly owners meetings in Arizona today, MLB owners voted to unanimously expand instant replay for the 2014 regular season and playoffs.

The biggest news is that managers will now have one challenge per game; similar to NFL head coaches, where if any part of the challenged play is overturned, they will get a second challenge to use. After the seventh inning the Umpire crew chief will be able to call for replays.

The crew chief and another umpire from the crew will have access to a headset to communicate with a central replay station, located in New York, where the review will take place.

All replays will now be allowed to be shown on stadium scoreboards, whether they are being reviewed or not.

Aside from challenges, Ump reviews, and home runs, the following plays are now reviewable:

  • Ground rule doubles
  • Fan interference
  • Stadium boundary calls
  • Force plays (except a fielder’s touching of second base on double plays)
  • Tag plays
  • Fair/foul balls in the outfield only
  • Hit batters
  • Timing plays (whether a runner scores before a third out)
  • Touching a base (only when appealed)
  • Passing runners
  • Record keeping (ball-strike counts to batters, outs, score and substitutions)

“I am very pleased that instant replay will expand to include additional impactful plays,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “The new system will give managers valuable recourse in potentially game-changing situations. The opportunity for our fans to see more replays in our ballparks is also an important modification that the clubs and I favored.”

 

The MLB Player’s Association as well as the World Umpire’s Association have both also approved the expansion of instant replay.

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