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MLB Rules 2014 : Clearing up baseball’s expanded Instant Replay Review system in laymen’s terms (VIDEO)

Brian Flood
By Brian Flood (b.flood@sportsworldnews.com) @briansflood
on Apr 02, 2014 01:04 PM EDT
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Adam Wainwright
Major League Baseball has an expanded Instant Replay system for 2014. (Photo : Reuters)

Many baseball fans are unsure and confused regarding the new Instant Replay Review system. We’ve got you covered and will break it down in laymen’s terms.

Click here for the complete Major League Baseball Replay Review Regulations

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Overview from MLB.com:

Video replay review in Major League Baseball (hereafter, "Replay Review") is designed to provide timely review of certain disputed calls in all Championship Season, All–Star and Post–Season games played in the 30 Major League ballparks (and, beginning in 2015, in any ballpark at which a Major League Championship Season game is played). A "call" as described in these Regulations means a judgment by one or more umpires or by the entire crew after conferring with one another (hereafter, the "Umpires") on a specific play, which may consist of an oral pronouncement or physical gesture (or may not, in the case of a "non–call"). Replay Review may be used to reverse or confirm the Umpires' call on the field subject to and in accordance with the terms and conditions described below. Subject to its obligations under its respective Basic Agreements and other agreements with the Major League Baseball Players Association and the World Umpires Association, the Office of the Commissioner reserves the right to rule on any point with respect to Replay Review that is not covered by these Regulations.

Still confused?

OK, basically, Each manager will start the game with one challenge. If the challenge is successful, he'll get one more. After the sixth inning, the umpires have the option to initiate a replay on their own.

All plays will be reviewed by umpires back at the MLB.com headquarters in New York. Apparently the umpires will have a rotation to determine who gets the NYC office duty. The Replay Official will have access to the best technology available, including high definition, slow motion, zoom and multiple angles. His decision is final.

"I like it. I think there are going to be some periods of time when you get some dead air, but that's the price for trying to get things right," said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told MLB.com.

Now, there are two lines of communication that are central to the system. The first is the direct link from New York to a headset behind the plate at each ballpark that connects the replay official to the crew chief.

The other is a relay at the stadium and teams hoping this technology will work with efficiency. Each team must have equal access to video. A designated employee will watch close plays on a monitor, presumably in the clubhouse. When there's a close call, he'll get replays within 10 seconds and then have to make a quick decision on whether it's worth risking a challenge. Some teams, such as the Indians, have hired an employee called the Major League replay coordinator to monitor the replays. He'll then call the dugout and inform the bench coach what he's seen. The coach will then signal the manager whether or not to appeal.

Yes, clubs are taking this so seriously that they’re hiring additional staff to monitor replays. Sounds like a nice gig if you ask me.

Questions? Hit me on Twitter @briansflood

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