Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

By Marc Topkin, Times Staff Writer

Major League Baseball on Thursday approved and will implement a vast expansion of instant replay for this season. The plan includes a limited number of manager challenges and gives umpires the latitude to seek reviews of late-game plays. Also, teams can now show replays of all plays — even controversial ones — to fans at stadiums.

The expansion, agreed upon by the players and umpires unions, is expected to be tweaked in coming seasons.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said he liked the concept and applauded the move.

"I'm looking forward to our game taking this significant step in a technological direction,'' he said. "I'm impressed with the efforts (of commissioner Bud Selig and all involved) in hammering this first step in place. Not an easy task.

"Now it's time to understand how this all interconnects and get used to implementation. I expect some glitches, which shall be confronted and fixed. Patience and cooperation will move our game forward.''

How many challenges will each team get?

A manager will have one challenge to start. If he uses it and any portion of the challenged play is overturned, he gets to retain the right to challenge another play, so a manager has a maximum of two challenges per game. However, if a manager is out of challenges and it's the seventh inning or later, the umpiring crew chief can ask for a replay on a reviewable call.

How does a manager ask for a replay?

No red flags! He verbally informs the crew chief — in a "timely manner" — that he wants a play reviewed. Multiple portions of the same play may be reviewed, but the manager must specify what portions he is challenging. The crew chief will signal the official scorer that the play is under review. In deciding whether to challenge, dugout personnel will be allowed to communicate by phone with a video specialist in the clubhouse who has access to the video feeds.

What type of plays can be reviewed?

Home runs, ground-rule doubles, fan interference, stadium-boundary calls, force play (except for fielder's touching of second base on a double play, also known as the "neighborhood 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 an appeal), passing runners and record-keeping (ball-strike count to a batter, number of outs, score and substitutions).

Who makes the final call?

Major-league umpires, operating from the Replay Command Center in New York, will review video feeds, then decide whether to overturn a call based on "clear and convincing evidence." There will be a "designated communication location" at each park, from which the crew chief and at least one other umpire will access a headset connected to the center.

Will replay officials just use video from the TV broadcast?

No. Replay officials will have access to video from most cameras in the ballpark, regardless of whether it has been shown on the live broadcast.

Will the on-field umpires have any input?

No. Umpires on the field will not have a monitor to review the play and will not leave the field at any time. If a play is overturned, the replay official determines where to place base­runners based on where they would be if the play had been called correctly. Managers, coaches and players may not argue with the replay official's decision.

When does it start?

The new replay system will be in effect for the upcoming season and postseason. The league will experiment with it during some televised spring training games.

What else?

Clubs will now have the right to show replays of all close plays on their ballpark scoreboard, regardless of whether the play is reviewed.

By Marc Topkin, Times Staff Writer 01/16/14 [Last modified: Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week


    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.