MLB owners unanimously approve instant replay

Jim Rogash

After years of deliberation, MLB owners have approved instant replay.

Major League Baseball owners voted unanimously on Thursday to approve instant replay, according to multiple reports and MLB, with umpires serving as replay officials.

The plan, as it stands now, allows managers to challenge one call per game with the option to challenge an additional call if their first challenge is sustained according to Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal. Also, after the start of the seventh inning, the crew chief will be able to initiate a challenge on any reviewable play. There will also be eight new umpires to accommodate a replay command center stationed in New York which will handle all reviews. Joe Torre expects most reviews to take between one minute and 90 seconds.

Homeruns, ground rule doubles, fan interference, stadium boundary calls, force plays, tag plays, fair/four calls in the outfield, trap plays in the outfield, hit by pitches, the timing of a run scoring, touching a base, passing runners, and record keeping will be subject to review per MLB. If a call is overturned, the replay official will use their best judgment as to where to place any baserunners. The neighborhood play at second is exempt and umpires can still initiate homerun reviews without a challenge. The umpires have agreed to expanded replay, but the player's union has only agreed to certain changes to the system and still needs to vote on the new replay plan in order for it to take effect in 2014.

The reviewed plays will be shown on the scoreboard in the thirty major league parks and scoreboard operators will now also be able to show close plays that are not reviewed.

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