Friday, March 8, 2013

Instant Replay Debuts at World Baseball Classic

Instant replay made its historical debut at the World Baseball Classic on Friday when umpires at Phoenix, Arizona's Chase Field consulted the technology to review and uphold a home run call. With two out and one on in the top of the 3rd inning of the Mexico-USA game, Mexico batter Adrian Gonzalez hit a 2-1 knuckleball from USA pitcher R.A. Dickey to deep right center field, where it hit to the right of the yellow boundary line, signifying a home run. Initially ruled a home run by 1B Umpire Brian Gorman, the play was reviewed and upheld by the crew chief (Gorman). Joining Gorman in consulting replay were HP Umpire Todd Tichenor and 2B Umpire Miguel Hernandez (Venezuela). 3B Umpire Michael Ulloa (Spain) remained on the field, pursuant to replay directive. At the time of the review, Mexico was leading 4-2. Mexico ultimately won the contest, 5-2.

In an unrelated story, Major League Baseball is reportedly monitoring the World Baseball Classic (albeit in Miami) to determine the suitability of extensive instant replay expansion. In February, MLB Executive VP of Baseball Operations Joe Torre admitted that the 2013 baseball season will open without expanded replay, even though both the players' and umpires' unions have approved instant replay up to and including fair/foul and trap/catch calls. To date, instant replay has retained its 2008 restrictions and may only be used in the event of boundary calls where the possibility of a home run exists.


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