Major League Baseball plans to expand its video review system to include almost all umpire rulings except balls and strikes, and will feature as many as three managerial challenges each game starting next season.
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said the replay proposal was accepted by representatives from the league’s 30 teams, marking a “historic day” for the sport. The plan will be presented for approval during owners meetings in November, Selig said today in Cooperstown, New York.
Under the new system, managers can make one challenge of umpires’ rulings over the first six innings of games and get two challenges after the seventh inning. If a manager’s replay challenge is successful, he won’t be charged with a review.
Calls that are challenged by managers will be reviewed at MLB headquarters in New York by a crew with umpiring experience. They will make the final ruling on disputed plays, rather than the crew chief at the game.
Currently, replay is only used to review home runs -- whether they’re fair or foul, cleared the fence or were subject to fan interference. It would be expanded to include such plays as forceouts at first base, tag plays at bases, trapped-ball plays in the outfield and reviews of balls hit down the foul lines.
USA Today reported that the expanded replay system may cost $25 million to $40 million in start-up fees, without saying where it got the information.
Shortly after two mistakes by umpires in May drew criticism from the commissioner’s office, MLB Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre said that the league would probably have increased use of replay in 2014.