Mon March 3, 2014
Baseball Tests Out Its Expanded Replay System
Major League Baseball debuted its expanded replay system on Monday and all three calls challenged ended up being upheld by another umpire looking at a screen in a satellite truck.
"The first test came at 3:06 p.m. EST in Fort Myers, Fla., after first base umpire Fieldin Culbreth ruled Toronto shortstop Munenori Kawasaki's throw pulled Jared Goedert off the bag in the sixth inning. ...
"After 2 minutes, 34 seconds, replay umpire Brian O'Nora relayed his call by headset, confirming that Minnesota batter Chris Rahl was safe. During the wait, Rahl said he realized he perhaps was part of history."
"It's kind of funny. I was thinking, `Is this the first one?"' he said.
"O'Nora made the final ruling from a satellite truck outside the stadium. During the regular season, umpires on the field will check with the replay booth in New York, where an MLB umpire will make the final call."
Two other calls were upheld during that game.
Major League Baseball had allowed instant replay to review home run and boundary calls. Now, managers are allowed to challenge one call on most plays other than balls and strikes. If their challenge is upheld, they get a second challenge.
ESPN reports that that the 2-minute, 34-second wait on the first-ever replay was about twice what Major League Baseball had hoped for.
O'Nora told MLB.com what it was like in the replay truck:
"O'Nora described the new replay process, and he found that the replay showed conclusive evidence that the play on the field was called correctly.
"'What I saw, when [the video technician] brought up the replay, she brought up two of them, from two different angles,' O'Nora said. 'On the one angle, you could not tell. It was all blurry. On the second angle, [it showed] the back of the first baseman. You could see he was up in the air, and when he was coming down, he wasn't on the base, wasn't on the base. And then when I could definitely tell he was on the base, the Twins runner's foot was already on the base.'"