MLB prepared to adopt expanded replay with manager’s challenge system

Game 120: Finish the Sweep
Examining Michael Pineda's service time

Via Bob Nightengale: MLB is prepared to adopt an expanded replay system that would give managers the opportunity to challenge a disputed play. Managers would get three challenges per game but could only use one in the first six innings (wtf?), and most (but not all) plays would be reviewable. Reviews will be made by a central office that will remain in contact with the crew chief.

Expanding instant replay is great and MLB should be all for it, but the manager challenge system is … questionable. There will be a lot of ways to exploit the system, namely by having someone in the clubhouse watching replays before telling the manager to formally issue the challenge. I suppose you could also see a situation where a challenge is made just to give a reliever more time to warm up. I dunno, we’ll see. There is a phasing plan to implement the system in 2014, but the final vote won’t come until the owners’ meetings in November. The players’ and umpires’ unions must sign off as well. Getting the umps to agree could be a headache.

Game 120: Finish the Sweep
Examining Michael Pineda's service time

    Why don’t they just get rid of umpires and start using computers for everything????

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead



        I was being sarcastic FYI

        • Wolfgang’s Fault

          Yeah, & the highest paid yankee will be the hacker plugging away on his laptop from her suite deep within the bowels of Hal Steinbrenner.

  •!/OneJay76 OneJay76

    The argument that somebody could see the replay and tell the manager to challenge is not a great– as that is how it pretty much works in NFL- they are all staring up at the jumbo-trons, and having their guys upstairs look at it before throwing the flag. I don’t have a problem with it.

    I read where they had two challenges in the first six- then one after. In which case they could do something like, if you don’t win both challenges, you forfeit that third one in the late innings. THat way people would just be challenging to stall or what have you.

    And as far as putting it in the hands of a central control center, I think it’s a great idea. My biggest problem with NFL replay is the official going over under the hood, and having to communicate to get the right angles, etc.– it slows down the process terribly. Take the review away from the guys on the field, like MLB would be doing, and like the NHL does, it works so much smoother.

    We have the technology — it’s time to get as many calls right as possible.

  • Marcus

    Only one challenge in the first 6 innings because runs scored in those innings are not as important as those scored in the final three innings. Everyone knows that.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      1 > 0

      It’s not amazing, it’s better than what we have now. I know to be happy with baby steps from MLB while selig is in charge.

  • RetroRob

    The challenge would have to be pretty rapid, but considering the importance of using the challenge system, I would absolutely implement a system where someone could be instantly reviewing replays and then conveying the message to the manager. Hat off: challenge it. Hat on: don’t bother.

    Yet, overall, it’s a big step in the right direction.

    I had read earlier that it was two challenges allowed in the first six innings and only one after the sixth. Not sure what is true.

  • Winter

    The manager only loses a challenge if the call isn’t overturned. So “one challenge in the first six innings” really means “one wrong challenge in the first six innings.”

  • Slugger27

    i dont understand the complaint about seeing the replay before deciding to challenge. whats wrong with that?

  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

    Ah what the crap Brett. Where was triple #2?

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Annnnd wrong thread.

  • PhilHughesIsAfraidOfTwitter

    The chant from local media to those ripping Phil Hughes is: “so who replaces him?” As if there isn’t anybody capable of replacing this guy.

    My question is this: who could POSSIBLY be worse? Seriously! Would the top guy in Scranton be WORSE?

    WAR suggests the average MiLB replacement would have no problem “replacing” Phil Hughes.

  • CUYanks

    Do balls and strikes fall under this? Check swings?

    • forensic

      They haven’t outlined exactly what would be involved in this yet, but they’ve long stuck to the mantra that balls and strikes would not be reviewed. A check swing is basically just another version of balls and strikes.

  • Tyrone Sharpton

    Fuck expanded replay. Umpires should be able to ref clean in this game and not have their performance enhanced like that

  • Eddard

    Challenges won’t work in baseball. It’s a sport without a clock. How many times in the NFL do you see a coach waste a TO and then decide to challenge because the play clock is running down? That can’t happen in baseball. The pitching coach could walk out to the mound, hitter gets something in his eye, etc to give the manager more time to see the replay in the clubhouse and challenge.

    Just have a central authority buzz the crew chief if a close play needs reviewing, 1st through 9th innings. No challenges.

  • sjferrari

    Is it so hard to put an extra umpire on the each crew, sitting in front of a couple of televisions, watching the myriad game feeds? If a call is wrong, he sends a message down to the home plate ump who calls for the review/change of call.

    Wouldn’t that work faster/be more efficient than a managerial challenge?

    • nick2slick

      That would involve quite a bit of infrastructure being built at each ballpark to support this, plus training an ump to use the software AND hardware, as well as staffing at least 15 more umps.

      The way it is now, and the way it will work after expansion is just more logistically and financially reasonable.

      • Deathstroke Heathcott

        It won’t be financially reasonable if the game slows down even more and fans continue to flock more and more to NFL, NBA, NHL, and even MLS over the MLB.

  • forensic

    I’m not sure I buy MLB’s assertion that these reviews will only take about 1 minute and 15 seconds (compared to 3 minutes for the current reviews) unless they’re really going to enforce that the manager and the umpires can’t go chat about it forever before making the official challenge decision.

    I don’t necessarily mean arguing the call first, but maybe the manager asks the umps to at least get together first to see if someone saw it differently before he wants to risk his challenge. Then, if it’s not changed at that point, he challenges and it just makes things even longer.

    If they can get some of these things sorted out and it doesn’t take too long, then so be it. Getting the call right is the main thing, but I really don’t want things taking too long.

    • Winter

      Because they’re no longer going to have the umpires review the call. There’s going to be a central hub that reviews replay for all games (a la NHL). This will cut down on review time compared to what we’re seeing now.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    This has disaster written all over it.

    Why not implement hockey’s review system? It’s one of the few things hockey got right in the last decade, and it works great.

    • Winter

      They’re essentially combining the NHL and NFL systems. Manager challenges like in the NFL, but with separate officials who review the replay.

  • Chris Z.

    Hate it. Baseball for some reason is rooted in working the umps, getting that break and having calls go your way. It turns seasons around and ruins others. It’s baseball. All the other sports I am ok with having replays but for some reason, to me, give me human error.

  • Pasqua

    First, I think three challenges per manager is WAY too many. Overall, I think the number of questionable (non-strike-ball-related) calls per game is really low, and I think giving mgrs. that much opportunity to challenge those calls will really turn the umpire’s role into a charade.

    Second, I hate the argument that the amount of time it will take to review a play will be less than the amount of time it takes for a manager to go apeshit arguing the play. Why? Because mgrs. going apeshit is ENTERTAINING to watch. Now what will we have to fill that time? A bunch of people standing around, spitting, arms folded, waiting. Bleh.