MLB to review runners coming off base on tag plays
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) With more runners called out on slides when they pop up off a base as fielders keep tags on them, Major League Baseball plans to review the issue during the offseason.
Since the start of expanded video review for the 2014, more runners have been called out after fielder's press their gloves against them, hoping they will come off the base for a split second during or after their slide.
''I've talked to a number of managers about that, and in a lot of ways they feel it's unfair,'' Joe Torre, MLB's chief baseball officer, said Wednesday. ''And yet when you're dealing with replay and dealing with technology, it is what it is. If there's a separation and his glove, the ball is on the runner, you can't ignore that.''
Slo-motion instant replay has allowed the video review umpire at Baseball Advanced Media in New York to discern when a runner comes off a base for an instant. Before expanded review in 2014, the runner almost always was safe in those instances.
''We are going to talk about that, because there's been a lot of inquiries about – is there any way we can sort of tweak the rule to keep that from happening?'' Torre said. ''A lot of times you're really negating good baserunning, where a guy slides in there and he's popping up.''
Torre said it is hard to define rules because of some issues created by replay.
''Before replay we accepted the imperfections of our game, and now since replay we're impatient with a play that may be missed,'' he said.
Of 1,338 reviews during the 2015 regular season, 654 calls (48.9 percent) were overturned, according to MLB's records. Of the rest, 311 (23.2) percent confirmed calls and 358 (26.8 percent) allowed decisions on the field to stand – meaning there was not enough evidence to overturn. Of the remainder, 10 involved rules checks and five record-keeping.
There were 1,275 reviews during the first season of expanded replay in 2014, of which 603 calls (47.3 percent) were overturned, 310 (24.3 percent) confirmed and 352 (27.6 percent) allowed to stand.
''That's just telling us technology may be getting a little bit better,'' Torre said of the slight increase in reversals.
Torre said a change in replay rules that may start next year would allow umpires to use video review to place baserunners on fan interference calls.