New MLB replay system receives its first test

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

A glimpse into the future of replay in Major League Baseball.

Major League Baseball experienced its first taste of instant replay over the weekend, as both the Blue Jays and Angels experimented with the challenge system in their respective games.

On each occasion, the umpires convened on the side of the field with headsets rather than going all the way inside the clubhouse like they previously did with home runs over the past five years. They confirmed the rulings with officials at MLB headquarters in New York, and upheld their initial calls despite the challenges from John Gibbons (who challenged twice) and Mike Scioscia. The Yankees are set to play exhibition games where Joe Girardi can experiment with challenges later this spring. The Daily News reported that at least one will be on March 6th against the Phillies.

Obviously, it's going to be different seeing how replay is handled in games that actually matter and managers get visibly upset when calls don't go their way. However, if the time taken to determine the correct call is any indication, then people worried about the calls taking too much time should not be concerned. The umpires will be able to have much better support to get the final calls correct, which is the most important part of their jobs and will avoid post-game embarrassment. It's a net good for the game, especially given instant replay's more prominent role in other major sports.

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