08/26/2008 4:45 PM ET
MLB to launch limited instant replay on Thursday, August 28
Major League Baseball is set to launch limited instant replay review beginning with three new series of games on Thursday, August 28th, Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today. Limited instant replay will be in effect for all games on Friday, August 29th.
The three new series where instant replay review will first be employed on Thursday will feature the Minnesota Twins at the Oakland Athletics, the Texas Rangers at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the Philadelphia Phillies at the Chicago Cubs. It was determined that instant replay review should commence when a new series begins.
Instant replay will apply only to home run calls -- whether they are fair or foul, whether they have left the playing field, or whether they have been subject to fan interference. The decision to use instant replay will be made by the umpire crew chief, who also will make the determination as to whether or not a call should be reversed.
"I believe that the extraordinary technology that we now have merits the use of instant replay on a very limited basis," Commissioner Selig said. "The system we have in place will ensure that the proper call is made on home run balls and will not cause a significant delay to the game."
All games will be monitored and staffed by an expert technician and either an umpire supervisor or a former umpire at Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLB.com) headquarters in New York.
A television monitor and a secure telephone link to MLB.com, placed next to the monitor, have been installed at every Major League ballpark. If the crew chief determines that instant replay review is appropriate, then he will call the MLB.com technician, who will transmit the most appropriate video footage to the crew chief and the umpire crew on site. The umpire supervisor or former umpire will not have direct communication with any of the umpires on site.
The decision to reverse a call will be at the sole discretion of the crew chief. The standard used by the crew chief when reviewing a play will be whether there is clear and convincing evidence that the umpire's decision on the field was incorrect and should be reversed.
Once instant replay review is invoked, whether or not the call has been reversed, neither club will be permitted to further argue the decision. A player, manager or coach who continues to argue will be treated in the same manner as one who argues balls and strikes.
Any decision regarding the placement of runners, should a home run call be reversed, will be made by the crew chief. As is done in cases of fan interference, the crew chief will place the baserunners where he believes they would have been had the call been made properly.