Paradise Valley, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - The 30 teams of Major League Baseball have unanimously approved the expansion of instant replay, which will be in effect for the 2014 regular season and postseason.
The announcement was made Thursday afternoon at the conclusion of the quarterly owners meetings in Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Both the Major League Baseball Players Association and the World Umpires Association had previously given their consent to the game's new protocols for instant replay.
"As many know, the Players agreed to the expanded use of instant replay in 2011, during the last round of collective bargaining," MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a statement. "However, today's announcement includes a number of reviewable plays that were not part of those negotiations.
"Because of the increased number of reviewable plays and the many new procedures that were proposed, Major League Baseball required more than the consent of the Players. The issue required full review and negotiation with our union and with the umpires' union before its implementation in 2014. The Players look forward to the expanded use of replay this season, and they will monitor closely its effects on the game before negotiating over its use in future seasons."
Under the new system, managers will start each game with one challenge. If correct on the first challenge, they would receive a second. No manager may challenge more than two plays in a game.
Once the manager has exhausted his ability to challenge plays during the game and after the beginning of the seventh inning, the crew chief may choose to invoke instant replay on any reviewable call.
Home run and other boundary calls will remain reviewable under the procedures in place last season.
The following play types will be subject to review: home run; ground-rule double; fan interference; stadium boundary calls; force play (except the fielder's touching of second base on a double play); tag play (including steals and pickoffs); fair/foul in outfield only; trap play in outfield only; batter hit by pitch; timing play (whether a runner scores before a third out); touching a base (requires appeal); passing runners and record keeping (ball- strike count to a batter, outs, score, and substitutions).
"I am very pleased that instant replay will expand to include additional impactful plays," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "The new system will give managers valuable recourse in potentially game-changing situations. The opportunity for our fans to see more replays in our ballparks is also an important modification that the clubs and I favored.
"I thank the Major League players and umpires for their cooperation with this change, which will serve our shared game well. I also extend my gratitude to John Schuerholz, Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, Peter Woodfork and Chris Marinak, all of whom worked extremely hard to make this highly complicated task a reality."
Home run calls that are currently subject to instant replay review will continue to be reviewed at the crew chief's discretion. Managers may request that an umpire review a home run call, but managers cannot challenge home run calls.
Managers may initiate replay review by verbally indicating his intention to challenge, in a timely manner, to the crew chief. Guidelines will be established to determine whether a challenge is timely.
The crew chief and at least one other umpire will look at the replay when a review is called for. They will then move to a designated communication location near home plate, where they will have access to a hard-wired headset connected to the command center in New York. The replay official will make the ultimate determination of whether to overturn the call.
In addition, clubs will now have the right to show replays of all close plays on its ballpark scoreboard, regardless of whether the play is reviewed.