So were arguments between managers and umpires, often to the delight of fans. Worries that replays would slow the pace even more were offset by this: Replay decisions cannot be argued.
Replay umpires will make their final rulings in no more than a minute to 90 seconds, MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Torre estimated.
“With our technology today we can do that in a way I don’t think we will interrupt the flow of the game,” Bochy said.
To make reviews uniform, cameras will transit 12 angles from each ballpark. MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred said it was uncertain whether the replay system will be in place in Australia for the season-opening series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers.
“For some, the discussions regarding expanded replay appeared to move too slowly, too deliberately,” said Brian Lam, the lawyer for the World Umpires Association. “But there were technical and operational challenges that needed to be addressed, and that took time. With so many competing interests and opinions, it is unlikely that all will be completely pleased at the end of the day, but that’s often the nature of things.”
Selig said the replay expansion ranks “very, very high” when compared with other moves made during his time on the job.
The new rule allows ballparks to show fans the same replays on stadium video screens. But only plays under review can be shown on the screen in slow motion.
“It’s the first time in the history of the game that a manager has the opportunity to change the call of a play that may have adversarily affected their team,” said Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz, who chaired the committee that came up with the replay plan, “that may have cost them the game, that may have cost them the division, that may have cost them a World Series.”
The existing rule on umpires calling for a review of whether a hit was a home run or not will remain, although the review will be done by the umpire in New York.
Torre said the number of manager challenges were limited to a maximum of two to maintain “the rhythm of the game.”
“We’re going to start this way and if we feel something has to be adjusted we’re certainly going to be aware of that,” he said.
Torre and MLB executive Tony La Russa, both ex-managers, joined Schuerholz on the replay committee.
“We’re really going for the dramatic miss, not all misses,” La Russa said. “…This is a challenge for a game-changing play that goes against you, and now you can correct it.”