Expanded instant replay was approved by MLB owners and will be put into effect starting in April.
Previously, only home runs were looked at on video review, and most plays were deemed “judgement calls” by officials on the field.
Adding instant replay is going to be good for the game, but it’s going to have a lasting impact on how baseball is played from now on.
Here’s what’s going to be different starting in 2014:
No more blown calls
According to the Associated Press, up to 89 per cent of plays will be eligible for review starting next season. The only exceptions will be for ball/strike calls, checked swings, and some foul tip calls will not be reviewed. MLB executive Tony La Russa said the objective was to eliminate “the dramatic miss” like Armando Galarraga’s almost perfect game above.
Like the NFL, MLB managers can use a maximum of two challenges each game. Managers will be given one challenge per game, but will be able to retain their challenge if the call is overturned. Umpires can authorise a review without a challenge after the sixth inning.
Less arguing from managers and players
We will see less of managers screaming and arguing in the face of umpires now. Instead a manager can simply request for a video replay to validate a call. Managers can and will still argue calls to save their challenge but if it drags on umpires will ask, “Do you want to challenge?” and the decision has to be made on the spot.
Games are going to be longer
More video reviews also means games are going to be longer. According to the Boston Globe, games are now an average of 2 hours and 58 minutes in length. MLB has already tested out the procedures and each replay is expected to take about two minutes. Depending how many reviews happen each game will effect how much longer fans will have to wait for a game to finish.
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