The New MLB Replay Rule

I was unaware of the new MLB replay rules until Jayson Stark wrote about it this morning. Make sure to give it a read as there are some great takes from multiple managers about this rule. But I want to talk about what MLB may have missed here. This is the basics of the new rules:

  • To initiate a replay request, the manager must immediately raise their hand(s) at the end of the play
  • After initiating, they have 15 seconds to decide if they want a replay review
  • After 15 seconds, all requests will be denied
  • The rest stays the same

The idea from the league is that this will limit review requests to the most high leverage plays of the game and will help to eliminate the requests when a player’s fingernail comes off the base for .3 seconds. But will it? Or will coaches raise their hands a lot more and then hear from their replay specialists and decline to request the review? When your starter is getting knocked around a bit and you don’t want to spend a mound visit, do you fake a challenge request? Buy a little time? Putting this solely in the hands of the manager allows the MLB to say “not our fault”, but it also takes this process out of their hands.

Why not cap the amount of time the review team has to actually execute the review? Put the pressure on them as well. If the play is so close it takes more than 30 seconds to figure out, it’s not really the type of play replay is supposed to handle. This would be more of a deterrent as managers would need to consider if the missed call was so obvious it could be quickly identified.

As White Sox fans, at least we can now feel confident that our manager will be awake at the end of each play.


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