New MLB Video Review Rooms Open for Business
Televised sports have made the instant replay possible for those of us watching at home, giving viewers a second look at memorable plays and questionable calls. By giving home viewers a privileged glimpse at these plays – and ultimate revealing the mistakes of the gaming officials – television broadcasts enabled fans to boast a more omniscient viewpoint than the refs on the field.
Professional football was the first to make use of this video technology for reviewing and correcting calls on the field. After a great degree of success, many other sports followed suit soon after, and by now most professional sports have adopted this technology as part of the official review process, allowing referees to take a closer look at a given play and allow for accuracy in their officiating.
Although the instant replay has long been a part of the game for such professional sports as football, basketball, hockey, tennis, and golf, Major League Baseball is just now making it an official part of the review process with their brand new video monitoring centers.
This new video room, located at MLB Advanced Media headquarters, will function as a central hub for all instant replay requests. Upon the request of local managers and umpires during a given game, the video technicians will determine if a call should be overturned based on the video footage.
Many baseball fans might be concerned that this new technology will take away from the spirit of managerial argument, eliminating the spirited arm flailing of the manager in support of his player. MLB assures us that managers can still argue, they just have to be clear as to whether or not they are challenging.
There are a number of plays that can or cannot be challenged, and each manager gets one challenge per game – unless his first challenge is correct, then he gets another. Force plays and tags will likely be the primary plays up for video review.
It will be interesting to see how this review process changes the temperament on the field and in the dugout going forward.