Thursday, November 14, 2013

Instant Replay: Owners Approve Funding, Tweak Challenges

MLB owners approved funding for expanded instant replay during Thursday's GM meetings in Florida, clearing a financial hurdle and setting up a final owners' vote on the technology in mid-January when the owners have their quarterly meetings in Phoenix. Funding was approved in a unanimous vote.

The final rules and replay terms are expected to be in place for that January vote.

Reviews will be conducted remotely in New York.
Though expanded replay graduated the November session with a financial green light, the plan was adjusted. Instead of a one-plus-two system, wherein managers would be given one challenge for innings #1-6 and two challenges for 7+, as previously proposed, the new iteration of replay calls for two unsuccessful challenges per manager per game, theoretically putting into a play a scenario of unlimited (successful) challenges, though with a 99.5% umpiring accuracy rate, such an event would be unlikely. The penalty for an unsuccessful challenge under the new framework would simply be the loss of one challenge for the remainder of the game.

Play eligibility for expanded replay was not wholly addressed during the funding vote. During the 2013 Arizona Fall League, nearly all plays save for balls and strikes (and balks, check swings, foul tips) were reviewable, including one hit-by-pitch/foul ball call that was upheld upon instant replay review. Also unaddressed at this stage was the so-called neighborhood play and other less overt situations and calls such as obstruction, interference or invocation of the infield fly; the issue of camera locations and angles—whether all stadiums will incorporate the same placement plan in both number and position—remains unknown.

News: Major League Baseball owners approve funding for expanded instant replay (


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