The MLB introduced a proposal Thursday that would drastically expand the instant replay rules to include almost any play except strike calls, Commissioner Bud Selig announced.
"I couldn't help but sense in the room the acceptance and excitement," Selig told reporters. "People understood they were sitting in on something that was historic."
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MLB Vice President Joe Torre, Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz, and adviser Tony La Russa presented the plan to representatives from the 30 MLB teams at the last of the quarterly owners meetings Thursday. The new instant replay rules are expected to be finalized at the next round of meetings in November and implemented in 2014, according to MLB.com.
"[This is a chance] for baseball to dramatically reduce the number of incorrect calls that are made in any game that impacts the outcome of that game and hence the outcome of division races," Schuerholz said. "We believe that not only is it historic, but it will be impactful and very meaningful and useful."
Here are the highlights of the new MLB instant replay review proposal:
-A review will be initiated when a manager informs the umpire that he wants to challenge a play. He will be allowed one challenge in the first six innings and two more from the seventh through the end of the game.
-If the manager wins his appeal, he retains the challenge. The challenge from the first six innings does not carry over.
-Not all plays are reviewable.
-If a manager disagrees with a reviewable call, his only recourse would be to use a challenge. Managers would not be able to argue a reviewable call in a bid to get it overturned without the use of replay. A manager could still argue in situations not open to review, such as when defending a player or questioning an improper substitution.
-All replays will be reviewed by umpires at MLB.com headquarters in New York, with technicians available to provide the necessary video.
-However, boundary calls on home runs have been grandfathered. The on-site umpires will retain the right to submit the plays for review or not.
-There is no provision to cover the possibility of an obviously blown call late in the game if the manager has used all his challenges.
"It is a phasing plan," Schuerholz said. "This is but the first phase. At the end of '14, we'll go back and look at what we've done well — what's worked, what hasn't worked — and make adjustments, and then we'll improve it in the next phase, the next rollout, the second iteration. And we feel that by no more than a third iteration, we will have diminished to the most minimal level the number of incorrect calls that impact our games."
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