Major League Baseball has announced plans to expand instant replay beginning in 2014.
According to a report by USA Today, in 2014 MLB will start using a challenge system where managers can request a limited amount of replay reviews during a game. Each manager will have three challenges to use at their discretion; one may be used during the first six innings, and two may be used for any innings after that.
Reviews will all be conducted by a crew at the MLB headquarters in Manhattan. If the MLB crew at the Advanced Media headquarters upholds an umpire’s ruling, the challenging manager loses his challenge. If a ruling is overturned, the manager retains their challenge.
According to the report, 89-percent of umpires’ calls would be reviewable, which includes all safe/out calls. The unreviewable calls are plays including balls and strikes and whether or not a pitch hit a batter.
The reason managers have limited challenges is to prevent the challenge system from slowing down a game.
Extended replay is needed and long overdue, according to USA Today’s report. MLB will move past the current system of boundary calls to cover fair/foul or trapped balls and outs on the basepaths, but not balls and strikes.
USA Today said expanded instant replay will take the burden off umpires and onto managers who will ensure proper calls are made. After a manager has used all their allotted challenges during a game, they have no more challenges available to them, even if they believe a bad call has been made.
On Thursday, August 15, 2013, the new challenge system was presented to representatives of all 30 MLB teams. Before the system is put into place, a final proposal will need to be signed by the players’ unions and umpires.
The proposal will be formally voted upon in November 2013.