Get ready for the “manager’s challenge.”
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced that a new instant replay policy was adopted Thursday morning by MLB owners, beginning next season, that would allow one manager’s challenge in the first six innings and two more beginning in the seventh inning. The challenged calls would be reviewed by an off-site crew at MLB headquarters in New York. Balls and strikes would not be subject to review.
The policy is expected to be formally adopted at the next owner’s meetings in November.
The net benefit to the game could be a good one. The policy is a success if a bad call never decides the outcome of a game (or a perfect game) again.
Yet you wonder how much slower the games will be as a result of the policy and how soon — not if — MLB will make the inevitable tweaks to the system. It’s not likely that baseball gets this right on the first try.
• Eye-opening line from USA Today: “The Dodgers’ success is even good for the rival Los Angeles Angels, owner Arte Moreno says, predicting that the Dodgers could draw 4 million fans by the year’s end.”
• George Lopez confronted Vin Scully in an elevator after last night’s game. The imaginary thought bubble over Scully’s exasperated face in this photo says more than Lopez’s pedestrian caption.
• Sports writers have to hedge against a late-inning comeback by the losing team by writing two possible game stories for publication. So don’t attribute yesterday’s outcome to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, even though he threw this on Twitter before the ninth inning started.
• “Echoes” by Leon Thomas