COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Calling it a historic moment, Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday that Major League Baseball plans to expand its video review process next season, giving managers a tool they’ve never had in an effort to dramatically reduce the number of incorrect calls made in games.
Selig made the announcement after two days of meetings with representatives of the 30 teams. The proposal is to be voted on by the owners in November.
“I’m proud of them,” Selig said of the replay committee. “It’s worked out remarkably well. It’s historic. There’s no question about it.”
A 75 percent vote by the owners is needed for approval, and the players’ association and umpires would have to agree to any changes to the current system.
MLB vice president Joe Torre gave the replay presentation to representatives from all 30 teams Wednesday and it was discussed Thursday.
The Atlanta Braves’ president, John Schuerholz, a member of the replay committee with Torre and a former manager, Tony La Russa, said the umpires were receptive to the change. Schuerholz said 89 percent of incorrect calls made in the past will be reviewable but he didn’y provide a list.
Umpires have come under increased scrutiny following several missed calls this season.
“We believe this will be very impactful, and very, very meaningful and useful for all sides,” Schuerholz said. “Managers will have a new tool that they’ll have to learn how to use.”
Managers will be allowed one challenge over the first six innings of a game and two from the seventh inning until the completion. Calls that are challenged will be reviewed by a crew in MLB headquarters in New York City, which will make a final ruling.
A manager who sees a call he feels is incorrect can file a challenge with the crew chief or plate umpire. Only reviewable plays can be challenged. Non-reviewable plays can still be argued by managers, who can request that the umpires discuss it to see if another member of the crew saw the play differently. Reviewable plays cannot be argued by the manager.
Challenges not used in the first six innings won’t carry over and a manager who wins a challenge will retain it.
The home run replay rules now in use will be grandfathered in to the new system, Schuerholz said.
MLB expects to use the new system in the 2014 playoffs, and it could be enhanced in the postseason.