Video reviews for home runs were just the start for Major League Baseball it seems. Last year, the head office instituted the review system just for when the ball was lashed out of the park, but now the system has been expanded to cover more plays.
And perhaps more importantly, managers can challenge these plays.
Comissioner Bud Selig was delighted that the change had gone through stating:
"This is really big, I'm proud of the changes we've made and I'll tell you why I'm proud of them: because they won't disturb the game as we know it. Yes, there will be some differences. But because of [MLB Advanced Media], because of our own technology, because of everything else, we've been able to do this."
So what exactly has changed?:
Well from the start of the season, A designated communication location near home plate will be established at all 30 MLB ballparks. There, the Crew Chief and at least one other Major League Umpire will have access to a hard-wired headset connected to the Replay Command Center, which will remain at MLB Advanced Media headquarters in New York. Major League Umpires will be staffed as Replay Officials at the Replay Command Center. After viewing video feeds, the Replay Official will make the ultimate determination of whether to overturn the call, based on the continuing standard of whether there is clear and convincing evidence.
Now for the challenges:
- A manager will get one challenge a game. If he is successful when using the challenge, he gets to keep it and use it again. Only two challenges can be made in a game though.
The following new play types that are now subject to review are:
• Ground-rule double
• Fan interference
• Stadium boundary calls (e.g., fielder into stands, ball into stands triggering dead ball)
• Force play (except the fielder's touching of second base on a double play)
• Tag play (including steals and pickoffs)
• Fair/foul in outfield only
• Trap play in outfield only
• Batter hit by pitch
• Timing play (whether a runner scores before a third out)
• Touching a base (requires appeal)
• Passing runners
• Record keeping (Ball-strike count to a batter, outs, score, and substitutions)
I for one, cannot wait to see the first inevitable blunder by umpires and managers using the system. You can probably expect a Top 5 of them sometime during the season.