All 30 MLB Clubs Unanimously Approve Instant Replay

An article by posted on January 16, 2014

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2:45 PM Update: All 30 MLB clubs have just unanimously approved expansion of instant replay, which will be in effect for the 2014 season and postseason.

Clubs can now show all replays on scoreboard in stadiums.Teams should know if they’ll win challenge before doing so. Can look at video.

Anthony Rieber of Newsday is at the Owners Meetings where the big thing on the agenda is whether Major League Baseball should scale back its planned ambitious expansion of instant replay so it can be implemented in time for the upcoming season.

MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre said on Wednesday night, ”I think it’s going to happen.”

Torre said MLB is considering adding fair/foul calls and limited safe/out calls with a manager’s challenge.

Previous incarnations of the system proposed to begin this season included all safe/out calls, but that may no longer be the case.

“It’s not a perfect game,” Torre said. “If you try to get every single thing right, you’d have to time the game with a calendar.”

He indicated that adding safe/out calls on plays at the plate was the first priority. The current replay plan looks only at whether a ball is a home run.

“The home run thing, it’s worked really well,” Torre said. Of the changes, Torre said, “We certainly don’t want a play at the plate where umpires realize they were wrong and couldn’t do anything about it.”

Torre said the umpires are on board, but any plan approved by the owners must also be approved by the players’ union for 2014. Owners also are discussing banning home-plate collisions at these meetings.

Back in November, when the plan was first bought to the table and met with a strong willingness by the owners to move forward with it, our own John Ginder wrote the following:

Touching on it briefly, it looks as if managers will be allowed two challenges a game. If they are unsuccessful with their first challenge they will lose the second one. It is still unclear what can be challenged, but it won’t just be home runs anymore.

One thing about baseball that I have always loved and admired is the human element. Maybe I am in the minority. I understand how frustrating it can be when a call doesn’t go your way, but I also know the feeling when you get away with one. Implementing this replay system in a way is phasing this out. I am not saying that I don’t agree with it, I am just saying that one of the things that I along with many love about the game is being handed over to the replay booth.

A complaint for years has been how long games take to be played. With pitching changes, hitter’s pre-at bat rituals, time between pitches, etc… adding the possibility of four challenges isn’t going to speed things up any. I am not complaining about the duration of a game because I could spend all day everyday at a ballpark, I am just stating the facts.

It is still early in this process and I know that the people involved are going to put in a ton of time to iron out the details to be sure the right system is in place, but it leaves me with an on the fence feeling about how much it actually will change the game.

The technology is there to make this work but where does it stop?

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