ORLANDO, Fla. – Another baseball tradition is about to largely disappear: a manager, with a crazed look in his eyes, charging the field and getting into a face-to-face shouting match with an umpire.
Instead, most calls on the field next season will be subject to video review by umpires in New York,
Major League Baseball took the first vote in a two-step process Thursday, unanimously approving funding for expanded instant replay in 2014. They plan to approve the new rules when they meet Jan. 16 in Paradise Valley, Ariz., after agreements with the unions for umpires and players.
We made a gigantic move today, commissioner Bud Selig said.
Selig long opposed replay and watched from afar as it was first used by the NFL in 1986, the NHL in 1991, the NBA in 2002 and Wimbledon in 2006. Even the Little League World Series put replay in place for 2008.
MLB allowed it starting August 2008 but in a limited manner: to determine whether potential home runs were fair or cleared fences.
Now, virtually every decision likely will be subject to review, except balls and strikes, checked swings and some foul tips.
So no more blown calls, like Don Denkinger’s at first base that turned Game 6 of the 1985 World Series or Jim Joyce’s bad decision at first base that cost Detroit’s Armando Galarraga a perfect game in 2010.
We want to get more plays right, the ones that matter, said Rob Manfred, MLB’s chief operating officer.
Selig has emphasized that he doesn’t want replay to slow games, whose increased length has been targeted for criticism.
The current thinking is that if a manager comes out and argues, once he argues, he can’t challenge that play, Manfred said. One way to control the timing of challenges is to use the natural flow of the game, that is the next pitch cuts off your right to challenge.
Manfred said the initial rules likely won’t be the final ones.
The system will see some continuing evolution until we get to a point of stability, similar to what you saw in the NFL, he said.
In other news:
Alex Rodriguez’s scheduled investigatory interview with Major League Baseball today was called off because the New York Yankees third baseman is feeling ill, according to a person familiar with the process.
Ray Davis was unanimously approved to succeed Nolan Ryan as controlling owner of the Texas Rangers.
MLB withdrew its proposal for a new bidding system with Japan.
While MLB wants Tampa Bay to get a new ballpark, negotiations by the club to get out of its lease at Tropicana Field is a team matter for now.