MLB goes all in on instant replay

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 16, 2013 - 11:57 AM

A historic proposal will be a game-changer starting next season for a sport steeped in tradition.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has been asking for a “red flag” for a few years. Now that he’s getting one — metaphorically, anyway — he admits he hopes baseball eventually takes it away.

Major League Baseball intends to implement instant replay to double-check umpires’ decisions, starting next year, Commissioner Bud Selig announced Thursday in Cooperstown, N.Y. The system will include three challenges for managers to utilize during a game, one during the first six innings, and two for the seventh inning or later.

That’s similar to the three-challenge system used in the NFL, though baseball’s won’t include throwing a red flag, as Gardenhire has lobbied for. When a manager decides to challenge an umpire’s call, he’ll notify the crew chief verbally, and umpires monitoring the game from MLB headquarters in New York will uphold or overturn the call.

“I can’t tell you exactly if it’s going to work or not,” said Twins General Manager Terry Ryan, who for several years has been a member of Selig’s committee examining on-field issues like replay. “But let’s try. We’ve got the technology.”

The plan was presented to owners at a two-day meeting in Cooperstown and must be approved by 75 percent of owners at their next meeting in November in Orlando. The idea of overturning blown calls was popular among players on Thursday.

“I’m all for getting calls right. That’s a good thing,” said Joe Mauer, the victim of one of the more memorable missed calls in Twins history — he hit what replays showed should have been an 11th-inning ground-rule double in the 2009 AL Division Series in New York but was incorrectly ruled a foul ball by umpire Phil Cuzzi. “I haven’t seen the changes that are going to be made, so I don’t have an opinion on that, but to make the game better, that’s what we’re all striving for.”

Some worry that frequent challenges will slow down games that already are dragging, “but getting the call right is more important. I think everyone in here just wants the call to be right,” third baseman Trevor Plouffe said. “The game is focused on integrity right now, making sure all the rules are followed, and this is another example.”

Replay challenges won’t be allowed for balls and strikes, and certain other plays, such as hit batters, according to Atlanta Braves General Manager John Schuerholz, a member of the replay committee, along with former managers Tony La Russa and Joe Torre. And Ryan acknowledged that baseball understands there will still be unforeseen problems with the new system; plays where baserunners act in response to a missed call figure to be the most vexing.

“Where you place baserunners, that’s going to be touchy. That was the biggest issue — you can’t just assume [a runner] would have been here. Is the runner Billy Butler or Ben Revere?” Ryan said. “You can’t anticipate every situation that might come up.”

Especially since baseball is adding a new element — the manager challenges. The limits mean a manager must calculate how confident he is that a call was missed, and whether the time is right to use one (though a team won’t be charged for a challenge if it’s upheld by replay).

“If you’ve already thrown your flags in the seventh inning, and they missed a call in the ninth, it won’t help you,” Gardenhire said. “If you limit what you can challenge, and you happened to be in one of those ballgames where it doesn’t seem like anything’s going right for anybody, it can make a difference. You’ll run out of flags.”

That’s why Gardenhire hopes baseball eventually adopts a simpler system, one in which an umpire is constantly viewing the game on monitors and interrupts when he sees an umpire error.

“I’ve said all along that they should have a guy up in the booth, he has a replay right in front of him, and he signals yes or not. I’ve always thought that’s the quickest way to do it,” Gardenhire said. “That would be fine. Leave me in the dugout, that’d be great. I wouldn’t ever have to go out on the field.”



The Associated Press contributed to this report.


  • dawn of a new era

    What’s next? The plan for a dramatically expanded MLB replay system will be put to a vote at the next owners meetings in November. With the expected cooperation of both the Players Association and the umpire’s union, it should be in place by Opening Day next season.

    How will it work? Managers can issue one challenge in the first six innings and two from the seventh inning on. If the manager correctly challenges a play in the first six innings, he will retain his option to challenge future plays. If the review upholds the decision on the field, the manager loses his challenge until the seventh inning, when the clock resets.

    What about ...? More questions and answers on C4.

    news services

    more on instant replay

    Who developed the proposal? John Schuerholz, president of the Atlanta Braves, along with former managers Joe Torre, now an executive vice president for MLB, and Tony La Russa, now an adviser to the league.

    Who will rule on the challenges? An umpiring crew watching video at MLB headquarters in New York — similar to what the NHL does in Toronto.

    What can be challenged? Schuerholz outlined a program where 89 percent of the game’s plays will be considered “reviewable.” Home run calls, reviewable since 2008, will be grandfathered in and modified for improvements.

    What can’t be challenged? The umpires on the field will still have the final say on balls and strikes, checked swings and obstruction, among other calls.

    Will the manager toss a red flag? No. Unlike the NFL, the MLB system will not have a flag to throw. The manager must give the closest umpire a verbal notification.

    How long will the process take? Schuerholz said only an average of 1 minute, 15 seconds as opposed to the current 3:04 average for home run reviews.

    news services

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Buffalo 17 FINAL
New England 9
Cleveland 10 FINAL
Baltimore 20
Dallas 44 FINAL
Washington 17
Indianapolis 27 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Jacksonville 17 FINAL
Houston 23
San Diego 7 FINAL
Kansas City 19
NY Jets 37 FINAL
Miami 24
Chicago 9 FINAL
Minnesota 13
Philadelphia 34 FINAL
NY Giants 26
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Tampa Bay 20
Carolina 34 FINAL
Atlanta 3
Detroit 20 FINAL
Green Bay 30
Oakland 14 FINAL
Denver 47
Arizona 17 FINAL
San Francisco 20
St. Louis 6 FINAL
Seattle 20
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Pittsburgh 27
Arizona 1/3/15 3:35 PM
Baltimore 1/3/15 7:15 PM
Detroit 103 FINAL
Cleveland 80
Houston 106 FINAL
San Antonio 110
Oklahoma City 107 FINAL
Dallas 112
New York 79 FINAL
Portland 101
Toronto 116 FINAL
Denver 102
Phoenix 116 FINAL
LA Lakers 107
Toronto 4 FINAL
Florida 6
Vancouver 1 FINAL(OT)
Anaheim 2
Tulane 57 FINAL
St Johns 82
Central Conn St 48 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Iona 81 FINAL
Drexel 62
Concordia (MI) 42 FINAL
Eastern Mich 100
Harvard 46 FINAL
Arizona State 56
Longwood 64 FINAL
Ball State 69
Sacred Heart 76 FINAL
Brown 79
Colgate 64 FINAL
Columbia 69
MD-Eastern Shore 78 FINAL
Duquesne 69
UNC Greensboro 50 FINAL
East Carolina 71
Marist 64 FINAL
Elon 69
Lafayette 76
Cincinnati Christian 58 FINAL
Liberty 78
Morgan State 53 FINAL
Marquette 81
Campbell 56 FINAL
Samford 65
Bucknell 71 FINAL
Siena 73
Long Beach State 67 FINAL
Syracuse 85
Coppin State 80 FINAL
Evansville 85
Indiana State 70
Hofstra 88 FINAL
Long Island 62
Coast Guard 48 FINAL
Army 93
Thomas (GA) 48 FINAL
High Point 85
Texas Southern 58 FINAL
Kansas State 56
Rutgers 59 FINAL
Monmouth 58
NC Wesleyan 54 FINAL
NC A&T 58
South Dakota St 63 FINAL
Northern Iowa 74
Central Penn College 69 FINAL
Radford 119
Bowling Green 79 FINAL
South Florida 70
Harris-Stowe 66 FINAL
SE Missouri St 94
Robert Morris-IL 56 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 104
Northland College 59 FINAL
North Dakota St 83
Milwaukee 60 FINAL
South Dakota 84
Northwestern St 92 FINAL
Arkansas 100
Saint Peters 59 FINAL
Cornell 52
St Katherine 62 FINAL
Fresno State 93
Haskell 42 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Wake Forest 65 FINAL
Richmond 63
Fla Gulf Coast 57 FINAL
Xavier 71
SD Christian 45 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Judson 46 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 80
Ill-Chicago 60 FINAL
Bradley 68
Loyola-Maryland 61 FINAL
Fairfield 59
Miss Valley St 53 FINAL
Houston 80
Lehigh 58 FINAL
Delaware State 56 FINAL
Temple 66
Belmont 56 FINAL
Butler 67
Howard 59 FINAL
Fordham 74
NW Christian 67 FINAL
Nevada 81
UC Davis 83 FINAL
Washington St 90
Abilene Christian 81 FINAL
Grand Canyon 83
Alabama 56
Stony Brook 62 FINAL
Washington 57
Buffalo 56 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
CS-Bakersfield 55 FINAL
California 52
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Toledo 1/4/15 8:00 PM
Arkansas State
Drexel 71 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 54
Holy Cross 63 FINAL
Norfolk State 62
East Carolina 62 FINAL
South Florida 69
(10) Oregon State 63 FINAL
(8) Tennessee 74
Providence 51 FINAL
Boston College 79
Florida A&M 47 FINAL
Miami-Florida 83
Oakland 69 FINAL
Central Michigan 74
Chattanooga 59 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 49
Fairfield 59 FINAL
La Salle 73
St Francis-PA 59 FINAL
Pittsburgh 97
Milwaukee 72 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 78
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Longwood 63
New Hampshire 58 FINAL
Manhattan 54
Bucknell 68 FINAL
Binghamton 57
Northeastern 70 FINAL
Albany 67
George Mason 70 FINAL
Towson 72
Richmond 59 FINAL
William & Mary 56
Tulane 60 FINAL
Cincinnati 50
North Florida 51 FINAL
Florida 63
(14) Georgia 51 FINAL
Seton Hall 70
Tennessee St 75 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 87
American Univ 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 77
Massachusetts 78 FINAL
Boston U 57
Quinnipiac 69 FINAL
Saint Josephs 67
Lafayette 49 FINAL
Saint Peters 34
Northwestern 61 FINAL
(20) Michigan State 57
Duquesne 82 FINAL
Lehigh 75
George Washington 72 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 49
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Indiana 51
(24) Green Bay 66 FINAL
Dayton 72
Western Mich 55 FINAL
Stony Brook 59
Davidson 67 FINAL
Virginia 57
UNC Greensboro 61 FINAL
LSU 82
Denver 63 FINAL
North Texas 55
VA Commonwealth 63 FINAL
Coppin State 52
Huston-Tillotson 36 FINAL
Houston Baptist 86
Lamar 63 FINAL
Rice 97
Miss Valley St 40 FINAL
Alabama 71
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 49
Middle Tennessee 98 FINAL
Tenn Tech 76
Penn State 52 FINAL
(23) Iowa 77
Purdue 62 FINAL
Illinois 55
DePaul 99 FINAL
Illinois State 62
Sam Houston St 46 FINAL
Wichita State 70
South Dakota 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
(4) Notre Dame 82 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 51 FINAL
SC State 60
Alcorn State 53 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 63
Dartmouth 76 FINAL
Niagara 70
Colgate 68 FINAL
Siena 80
Michigan 53 FINAL
Wisconsin 63
Fla Gulf Coast 73 FINAL
CS-Northridge 64
Yale 51 FINAL
(25) Arizona State 69
UC Santa Barbara 34 FINAL
(16) Stanford 90
Long Island 63 FINAL
Long Beach St 71
Jackson State 56 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Eureka 50 FINAL
Western Ill 91
Cornell 59 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 76
Temple 58 FINAL
Memphis 57
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins' offseason moves so far?

Weekly Question