Major League Baseball announced this morning that beginning in the 2022 season, Major League umpires “will conduct in-park announcements during the replay review process.”
It’s an overdue update to a replay system that has often been confusing for fans viewing at home and, particularly, for fans at the the park. The NFL-style announcements regarding the nature of the challenge and the reasoning behind the umpires’ rulings will lend some clarity for all spectators. The league announced that training for this process is already underway both in Arizona and in Florida, where Spring Training games are being held. All indications are that the practice will be in place come Opening Day next week.
Under the prior system, viewers were at times unclear as to what specifically was being challenged, and it was not always immediately clear to viewers (particularly those at the park) whether a call had been confirmed or simply not overturned due to a lack of sufficient video evidence. The additional transparency provided by simply giving the umpiring crew with a microphone to explain the review and its outcome should be a welcome addition moving forward.