MLB Owners Approve Expanded Replay In 2014

Expanded instant replay is officially coming to Major League Baseball for the 2014 season. MLB owners unanimously approved the new replay system today at the quarterly owners meetings, writes Paul Hagen of, and the new system has also been approved by the MLBPA and the World Umpires Association.

Managers will be allowed to challenge no more than two plays per game, with a second challenge only being earned if the manager wins his initial challenge. Initiation of these challenges will be made verbally to that day's crew chief. The umpiring crew will also be allowed to initiate a review on any qualified play from the seventh inning on, even if a manager has already used his challenge(s). Roughly 90 percent of plays in a game will be eligible for challenge, including: ground-rule doubles, fan interference, stadium boundary calls, force plays (with the exception of a fielder touching second base on a double play), tag plays, fair/foul calls in the outfield, trap calls in the outfield, hit by pitch calls, timing plays (whether a runner scores before a third out is recorded), touching a base, passing runners and record-keeping (e.g. ball and strike counts, outs, substitutions).

Home run calls will continue to be reviewable upon the crew chief's discretion. Managers can request that the umpiring crew review a home run call but cannot directly challenge a home run ruling.

Challeneged plays will be reviewed by an umpiring crew at the Replay Command Center at MLB Advanced Media headquarters in New York. Ballparks will be equipped with an easily accessible communication center near home plate. Additionally, teams will be allowed to have a club employee monitor video outside of the dugout and communicate with the manager about whether or not to initiate a challenge. Teams will now also be allowed to show replays of close plays on the stadium video boards, even for plays that aren't reviewed.

Hagen's piece is an excellent rundown of the entire replay system which contains considerable detail on the new system and is well worth the read for those wanting to familiarize themselves with the full scope of replay expansion.

In a press release, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark stated: "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."

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17 Comments on "MLB Owners Approve Expanded Replay In 2014"

1 year 7 months ago

finally this should have been done years ago, this is going to make baseball even more fun to watch.

1 year 7 months ago

I disagree, I’ll miss the arguments!

1 year 7 months ago

I know! No more Lou pinella-esque explosions? Darn!

1 year 7 months ago

As long as Angel Hernandez is an umpire there will always be arguments. Remember the A’s at Cleveland?

1 year 7 months ago

Those five-minute interludes that have almost never accomplished anything? Who wouldn’t miss those?

1 year 7 months ago

Tag plays with the exception of a fielder touching 2nd base on a double play? Why? That was one of the things I was actually looking forward to replay improving.

1 year 7 months ago

Below is how Sweetspot’s David Schoenfield supported it.

One interesting note is that the phantom double play — a.k.a. “the neighborhood play” — is not being subject to review. Why would that be excluded? It could be an issue of player safety; you don’t want a second baseman standing in there too long to make sure his foot is on the bag and then getting steamrolled by Bryce Harper. Also: It’s a tough play to call, since so many of those are bang-bang plays, with the ball reaching a player’s glove and the foot leaving the bag almost simultaneously.

1 year 7 months ago

Also, it could have to do with the fact that “ghost tags” of the bag are so commonplace on all levels of the sport that its become generally acceptable for the most part. I know when I was young (centuries ago) I was even taught how to just miss it correctly.

1 year 7 months ago

The difficulty of the call is a reason to include it in replay, not exclude it.

With MLB considering banning home plate collisions I hope they can scale back the dangerous slides into second base too. It’ll be a difficult balance to strike but I think the runner should bear more responsibility than they currently do (ie. none) to not contact the fielder.

There’s no reason to slide to the left or right of the base if the fielder is on that side. There’s little benefit to sliding over the base when going feet first. There’s little benefit to not getting as low as you can in a slide. I know it’s important not to put too many restrictions on the runner but breaking a fundamental rule of the game because slides are too dangerous suggests that maybe there should be some restrictions on slides too.

Zeeshan Merchant
1 year 7 months ago

Very similar adaptation to cricket

I like it a lot

1 year 7 months ago

So if a manager challenges the play and it is not overturned, will there be a penalty. Like in the NFL they lose a time-out. Of course, there are no time-outs in baseball. Or will they just not have the right to another challenge?

Jaime Pearson
1 year 7 months ago

It says if they lose the 1st challenge, they don’t get the 2nd challenge. If they lose the 2nd I guess there is no penalty.

1 year 7 months ago

I suppose that if a manager loses the first challenge they will not have their second challenge. That is their penalty. I suppose the incentive there is that they make sure they are confident of the first challenge, and do not use the, frivolously. As I understand the new rules though, if the umpires feel a play is in need of replay then they can review it regardless of the challenges available,,,

1 year 7 months ago

Hmmm… What would happen on a trapped ball replay if they initially called the batter out and then overturned it? Which base would the batter be awarded? Also, let’s say the opposite is true, and they call it a trap during the live play, and then a runner who is not the batter runs to the next base; upon review, they decide it was a catch…would the runner who advanced then be called out for not tagging, or does he just go back to his previous base? Also, he then would not have had the opportunity to tag had they called it a catch live.

Having said that, I’m all for replay. Just seems like there might still be some questionable elements.

1 year 7 months ago

There’s alway going to be questions. I’m sure this situation his come up before when a manager argued the call and the umpires called it a catch. It’s not like the situations are new. It’s just the replay and challenges part.

1 year 7 months ago

Wow. This is surprisingly well done. Meaningful change but not overreaching.

1 year 7 months ago

Let’s say I’m skeptical about the entire process.

Selig had a chance to implement a system that causes zero delay in an already slow game. But no. Bud goes cheap and creates the RCC in New York and only adds a couple of extra video Umps.

IMO, he should have added to Umps to every park. The replay team gets every feed including the networks feed. The booth has 30 seconds to review a play. If a decision isn’t reached in 30 seconds then the play on the field stands.

The replay team simply sends a message down to the on field crew Chief was the call was. That way the Chief is always prepared for a Manager challenge. By the time he walks out and asks for a review the Chief will have an answer in seconds barely delaying the game.

Not allowing Home Run calls must have been a Union request to protect Angel Hernandez. In fact, with Angel every call should be reviewed. If they did this they would see just how wrong this guy is.