Baseball’s revamped replay system is about to take its first test-drive.
Select Arizona Fall League games from Nov. 5-9 will be the first to allow manager’s challenges of umpires’ calls. One of the games will feature the Glendale Desert Dogs, the Dodgers’ AFL affiliate. All of the games will be televised on MLB Network, so fan input on social media will likely be swift.
The proposed changes to baseball’s replay system were devised with significant input from former Dodgers manager Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz. A thorough review of the changes, including the guidelines for manager’s challenges, can be read here.
Four things to keep in mind:
1. Arizona Fall League umpires are usually Triple-A umpires, but the games will be observed by select MLB officials and umpires.
2. A spokesperson for the league said that the feedback from the replay experiences at the AFL games will be evaluated by MLB. If any changes are recommended to the proposed system, teams will know by the time their owners vote to implement it in 2014. That vote is expected to take place at the owner/GM meetings, Nov. 11-13.
3. Managers will make verbal indications of their intent to challenge a play. No flags need to be thrown in the process of challenging a call.
4. The camera angles available to AFL umpires won’t be the same as they would be during a major-league game.
A few bullet points for an Antigua and Barbudan Independence Day: