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MLB owners unanimously approve expanded replay

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

There may be no need to argue or discuss anymore, if the players and umpires approve this proposal.
There may be no need to argue or discuss anymore, if the players and umpires approve this proposal. (USATSI)

Major League Baseball's proposed expanded instant replay challenge system still needs to be approved by the MLB Players Association and the World Umpires Association, but the 30 club owners unanimously approved the proposal at the GM meetings in Orlando, Fla., MLB announced Thursday.

"My father always said life is a series of adjustments and I've made an adjustment," commissioner Bud Selig said in a press conference Thursday (via usatoday.com). "There isn't one play or one instance that changed my mind. It has just happened over time. I know we're doing the right thing."

The original plan was for each manager to have one challenge in the first six innings of each game with two more available per team from the seventh inning until the end of the game. That has been tweaked, though, because now the system calls for two challenges per team, per game with no regulations on when the challenges are used.

This could be negotiated down to one challenge per team, per game in order to get this measure approved by either the players or umpires.

Also, if a manager wins his challenge, he'll get to retain it. From that light, there's really no limit on challenges, so long as they are used to correct incorrect calls. And, really, there wouldn't be much harm in limiting managers to one challenge. If he wins, he'd get to keep it.

The challenges do not apply to plays that were already reviewable -- boundary plays, such as fair/foul calls on home runs or fan interference on home runs. Those will still be handled by the umpires as they were this past season.

Also, balls and strikes aren't reviewable. MLB seems to be conveying -- at least initially -- that pretty much everything else would be reviewable. We'll know full details if and when the proposal has passed and expanded replay becomes part of the written rules.

 
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