In an unprecedented expansion of its own video replay program, Major League Baseball is giving team managers authority to challenge on-field rulings by sending them to officials outside the stadium. Plays will be reviewed at baseball's new Replay Command Center, located at Major League Baseball's Advanced Media offices in New York City.
The on-field officiating crew will not be responsible for determining the outcome of the challenges—except in circumstances where plays aren't reviewable at all. One example is baseball's legendary "neighborhood play," which is a term for when a player almost makes contact with a base while turning a double-play—an MLB version of golf's gimme.
Baseball estimates that nearly 90% of all calls will now be reviewable, as opposed to what was previously limited to questionable boundary plays involving home runs. Now, teams will have the ability to challenge plays during a game, but must do so at their own discretion. If a manager's suspicions are confirmed, they will retain their challenge and be allowed another challenge, though never more than two per game. Get it wrong, and you're out of luck.
Additionally, stadiums will be allowed to broadcast the same angles used by the officiating crews on Jumbotrons and other screens scattered about the park. Best of luck surviving the walk back to your car, umpires in Philadelphia!
[Image: Flickr user Keith Allison]