Expanded Replay Used for First Time in MLB Game

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Umpires await the ruling of a challenged call during a game between the Cubs and Pirates on Monday March 31, 2014. It was the first time a challenge had been issued during a game as part of MLB’s expanded replay system.

Major League Baseball‘s expanded replay system was put to the test early on Opening Day.

Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria unsuccessfully challenged a call during the fifth inning of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on Monday, marking the first time expanded replay was used during an official MLB game.

The new system, which was approved in January, was tested during spring training, but Monday’s call in Pittsburgh was the first time a challenge was offered during a real game.

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Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija was thrown out at first base on a close double play after a bunt attempt. The umpire called Samardzija out; Renteria challenged the call. The umpire’s call was ultimately upheld.

The new system allows managers to challenge at least one play per game, and questionable calls are reviewed by a team of umpires in MLB’s New York headquarters. The team’s decision is phoned back to the stadium. If a manager successfully challenges a play, he gets a second challenge to use later in the game.

The adoption of expanded replay helps put baseball on a par with the NFL and the NBA, both of which use instant replay. College basketball, as we’ve seen during the past two weeks during March Madness, uses instant replay on aggressive fouls and out of bounds calls during a game’s final two minutes.

Naturally, Monday’s unsuccessful challenge generated some conversation on Twitter. Users highlighted the reason instant replay was instituted this year: Close calls can dramatically change the outcome, or expected outcome, of a game.

Expect many more of these calls to take place throughout the year. For now, at least, the score stands: Umpires 1, Replay 0.

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Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/03/31/expanded-replay-mlb-game/

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