Baseball to move ahead with instant replay

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Another Major League Baseball tradition is
about to largely disappear: A manager, with a crazed look in his eyes,
charging the field and getting into a face-to-face shouting match with
an umpire.

Instead, most calls on the field next season will be subject to video review by umpires in New York.

MLB
took the first vote in a two-step process Thursday, unanimously
approving funding for expanded instant replay in 2014. They plan to
approve the new rules when they meet again on Jan. 16 after agreements
with the unions for umpires and players.

“We made a gigantic move today,” MLB commissioner Bud Selig said. “This is quite historic.”

Selig
long opposed replay and watched from afar as it was first used by the
NFL in 1986, the NHL in 1991, the NBA in 2002 and Wimbledon in 2006.
Even the Little League World Series put replay in place for 2008.

MLB allowed it starting in August 2008 but in a limited manner: To determine home runs.

Now, virtually every decision likely will be subject to review, except balls and strikes, checked swings and some foul tips.

“Tag
plays, out/safe at first, fair/foul past the bags, those are all going
to be included,” said Rob Manfred, MLB’s chief operating officer.

So
no more blown calls, like Don Denkinger’s at first base that turned
Game 6 of the 1985 World Series or Jim Joyce’s bad decision at first
base that cost Detroit’s Armando Galarraga a perfect game in 2010.

“We want to get more plays right, the ones that matter,” Manfred said.

Manfred
said when a manager wants to challenge a call, he will notify an
umpire, triggering a review in New York by what are likely to be present
or retired big league umps. A headset would be brought to the crew
chief, who would be notified of the decision.

There will be a
maximum of two challenges per manager in each game — “it could be
less,” Manfred said — and if the challenge is upheld it would not be
counted against the manager’s limit. If a manager is out of challenges,
umpires probably will be allowed to request a review on their own.

“Getting more plays right can only enhance the game,” St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said.

Selig
has emphasized that he doesn’t want replay to slow games, whose
increased length in recent decades has been targeted for criticism.

In tests last week in the minor Arizona Fall League, most reviews averaged 1 minute, 40 seconds.