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MLB announces changes to Umpire Reviews

Commissioner Bud Selig is calling it a historic moment for major league baseball, while skeptics say it could slow down a game that is already too slow.

On Thursday, MLB announced it is planning to expand the video review process starting next season.

The expansion will give managers something they have yet to have in an attempt to reduce in a dramatic fashion, the number of bad calls made during a game.

The announcement for Selig came after meetings were held for two days with representatives from all 30 teams. In November, the owners will vote on the new proposal.

Selig said he was proud of the members of the replay committee, as the decision made is historic.

Owners will have to approve the committee’s recommendation with 75% of the votes in favor, while both the umpires and players’ association also needing to agreed prior to changes taking place.

Joe Torre the vice president of MLB gave the presentation about the replay changes on Wednesday to the 30 teams and it was then discussed during meetings on Thursday.

Torre and Tony La Russa a former manager and member of the committee said umpires seemed receptive to the new changes.

John Schuerholz, the President of the Atlanta Braves and a replay committee member, said that nearly 90% of the incorrect calls that have been made previously will be reviewable, but a list of what type was not released.

Increased scrutiny has been put on umpires of late due to several calls being missed this season.

Managers will be able to challenge one play during the first six innings of each game, and two from the seventh inning until the game is completed.

Each call that is challenged will have a crew in New York City at MLB headquarters to review it. Their ruling will be final.

Only plays that are reviewable can be challenged by managers. Managers can still argue calls that are non-reviewable and can request that all four umpires discuss the call in case one of them saw it differently.

The one challenge during the first six innings cannot be carried over if not used. When a challenge is won by a manager, the manager retains the challenge to be used again if needed.

The new system is expected to be used during the playoffs of 2014. This winter training exercises for the league’s umpires will begin at the Arizona Fall League and into spring training.

Following the first season of the system, the committee will review the positives and negatives of the system and make adjustments for the following season.

A concern over slowing the game down was a worry of Selig, but it is expected that since the line of communication between the ballparks and the central office will always be open that each replay should only take 1 minute to 1 minute and fifteen second to complete. Currently replays average over 3 minutes.

Now three parties need to approve the new system for it to move ahead.

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