Major League Baseball's New Plans For Instant Replay Progressing

Baseball Considers Home Plate Collisions

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Joe Torre
Joe Torre
- photo by Tim Evearitt

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Expanded instant replay remains on track to be implemented in time for the 2014 season even though several details remain to be ironed out, Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations, said on Tuesday. There is also growing support for a rules change regarding home-plate collisions.

Torre made the comments on the second day of the annual General Managers Meetings at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes.

He was on the committee -- along with Braves president John Schuerholz and former big league manager Tony La Russa -- that was formed to suggest changes to the replay system. Torre also sits on the Rules Committee, which will have informal discussions on Wednesday before meeting again at the Winter Meetings next month.

Torre said he didn't know whether there will be a vote on instant replay during the Owners Meetings, which will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the same hotel, or whether that will come when the owners next get together in Phoenix in January.

The replay system was tested last week in Arizona Fall League games, and Torre termed the results "very promising."

Under the current system, replay is used only for boundary calls involving home runs. The new plan will allow an appeal of most disputed plays. A review will be initiated when a manager informs an umpire that he wants to challenge a play. Each manager will be allowed one challenge in the first six innings and two more from the seventh through the end of the game.

If he wins his appeal, a manager retains the challenge. The challenge from the first six innings does not carry over, and managers cannot argue reviewable calls. If a manager enters the field to argue, he must challenge.

Before changes can be made, both the Major League Baseball Players Association and the World Umpires Association must sign off on the plan. Torre said there have been ongoing negotiations with both groups.

No decision has been made regarding how many umpires will be stationed at MLB Advanced Media's New York office to review the video and make the final call on disputed plays, but Torre said this system is preferable to adding a fifth umpire on site to create a rotation where one could review plays in the pressbox each game.

It also remains to be seen how extensively the system will be employed during Spring Training and what sort of time limit, if any, will exist be before a play can be challenged.

The first calls for changing the rules regarding home-plate collisions came from Giants manager Bruce Bochy after San Francisco catcher Buster Posey suffered a broken left ankle in a home plate collision on May 25, 2011. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose playing career was cut short by a series of concussions, has also called for revisions.

That sentiment is starting to gain traction. Torre said it's not impossible that new rules protecting both catchers and baserunners could be in place for next season, but he admitted that at this point, the plan has few particulars. Torre will meet with Bochy and Matheny at the Winter Meetings -- set for Dec. 9-12 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. -- and will also solicit opinions from any other baseball people who have ideas to offer.

"There are a lot of layers to go through, but I think there are a lot of people who are concerned, obviously, with the health of the catchers and, as I said, baserunners. So I think there's a possibility it could happen [by 2014]."

Like many issues, this becomes more complex the closer it's studied. For example, there's a rule in college baseball forcing baserunners to slide into home plate instead of barreling in headfirst in an attempt to jar the ball loose. That may not be the answer, Torre suggested.

"In being a catcher, if you have the ball early enough, you don't have a collision because that runner has to commit himself far earlier than you have to commit yourself," Torre said. "To me, [in the case of] a catcher with the ball in plenty of time, can you say he has to slide? But it's a little tough to do that based on the fact that the runner makes up his mind before, and then you're trying to stop yourself from sliding or running into him and you wind up hurting yourself.

"Then somebody also threw out there, 'What happens when the pitcher has to go cover home plate with a passed ball or a wild pitch?' He could be in danger, too, because you could definitely slide in and hurt somebody."

Despite the difficulties, Torre made it clear that something will have to be done.

One rule that's unlikely to change is obstruction, even though it received a lot of attention when Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks was called for obstructing Cardinals baserunner Allen Craig during Game 3 of last month's World Series, allowing the winning run to score in the bottom of the ninth.

---- Source: MLB.com



Moc Hoopsters Fall At Tennessee Tech 82-76

Makinde London’s 21 points led four in double figures in the Chattanooga Mocs 82-76 loss at Tennessee Tech Sunday afternoon. The loss dropped the Mocs to 5-6, while the Golden Eagles improved to 8-4. Nat Dixon added 19 points for UTC as James Lewis, Jr., tallied his first career double-double with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Makale Foreman chipped in 14. Aleksa Jugovic ... (click for more)

#13 Roadrunners Fall To Red Hawks

#13-ranked Dalton State came up short in their third conference game of the season against Martin Methodist (Tn.) with the final score of 65-64 at Curry Christian Life Center in Pulaski, Tn.  on Saturday . To start the game, the Roadrunners jumped out a quick lead on the back of a 9-0 run in the first three minutes of the game. The run was quickly halted by Red Hawks ... (click for more)

1 Killed, Another Injured In Shooting On The Southside Early Sunday Morning; Delivery Driver Carjacked On Southside Earlier

One person was killed and a second person injured in a shooting on the Southside early Sunday morning. The victims are Sharone Porter, 22, who was killed, and Torrie Porter, 24, who had non-life threatening injuries.  At 2:47 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 1400 Cowart St.  on a person shot. Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police found two victims suffering ... (click for more)

Bradley County Deputy Shoots And Kills Stabbing Suspect At Charleston

A Bradley County deputy shot and killed a man who was a suspect in a stabbing early Sunday morning. The Sheriff's Office said, "At approximately 11:54 p.m. on Saturday, a call was received at the Cleveland/Bradley County 911 Center to report a stabbing at a residence on Leyland Drive in Charleston. "The caller indicated a male had been stabbed and another male had fled from ... (click for more)

The Growing Monopoly

Over the last decade, five tech giants have risen to the top, and created, discovered and invented services and products that have made these companies worth billions today. Those five, of course, are Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Each of these companies are responsible for several products and services that we use in our everyday lives. They have devoured the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Those We All Ignore

I was in the midst of my “morning readings” the other day when a number leapt off my computer screen. Hark, heralded angels, did you know in the state of Iowa there are two (2) inpatient psychiatry beds for every 100,000 people? I’m not the best with percentages but there are some people in Iowa who aren’t getting the help they need. There are roughly 3.2 million people living in ... (click for more)