It happens every year. The umpire blows a call, and every fan watching on television can see it. But baseball, bound by tradition and its embrace of the so-called "human element," shrugged and went on with the game, even if the blown call was the difference between victory and defeat. No more. For the first time -- and starting this season -- Major League Baseball will permit video review of just about every call an umpire can make beyond balls and strikes.
How will this work?
Each manager can challenge one call per game. If the challenge is successful, the manager gets a second challenge. Baseball officials believe there are few truly egregious calls, and limiting a manager to one or two challenges forces him to use them wisely.
What kind of plays are not subject to review?
In addition to balls and strikes, managers cannot challenge obstruction and interference calls. Also, the so-called "neighborhood play" will stand, with the second baseman or shortstop not strictly required to tag second base if he is vulnerable to a sliding runner.
What if a manager has no challenges left in the ninth inning, and a horrible call might decide the game?