Major League Baseball has officially moved into the 21st century.
Owners unanimously voted to approve expanded replay beyond just home-runs. Now, ground-rule doubles, fan interference, stadium boundary calls, force plays, tag plays, fair/foul in the outfield calls, trap plays in the outfield (see whether outfielder caught the ball or not), hit by pitches, and timing plays (runner scoring before 3rd out recorded), will all be subject to review.
The way the expanded replay system will work is managers will be provided with one challenge per game. To initiate a challenge, the manager has to indicate to the crew chief their desire to challenge a call.
If they get their first challenge correct, they will be awarded a 2nd challenge. The maximum amount of challenges a manager can ask for is 2. Umpires can only initiate replays from the 7th inning on.
In order for calls to be overturned, there must be clear and convincing evidence that the original call was wrong, just like how it is in the other major sports.
Teams will now be allowed to have a video specialist stationed in the clubhouse that can communicate via dugout telephone with the manager to assist them with challenges.
One specific play that will not be reviewable, at least not yet, is collisions at home plate.
Baseball was the most reluctant of all the sports to move into such vast replay, but finally cracked after enhanced video technology exposed umpires’ human error.
Now, teams will be unable to blame umpires on why they lost.
On a sad note, this looks like it’s going to put an end to classic manager/player tirades.
There was nothing more entertaining than seeing Lou Piniella sprint out of the dugout, scream his head off at an ump, then pick up bases and throw them all over the field, all capped off by throwing the water cooler onto the field before exiting into the clubhouse.
Those days however, appear to be over.